Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. The behavior you’ve described is generally called
pica, which is an abnormal desire to eat inedible things. Wool chewing or wool sucking is not at all uncommon in animals who have the disorder, especially in the so-called
Oriental breeds such as the
Siamese. Though the target is often a soft fabric — such as wool — some cats prefer other objects, such as
plastic grocery bags. We’re not really sure what causes the behavior, but since it is more common in some breeds than others, it is believed to have a genetic component. It was long believed that wool chewing was a result of a kitten who was separated from her mother too soon (probably because the behavior can look like nursing), but that’s not believed to be the case today. Nor is it believed to be linked to dietary deficiency.
Best guess: It’s a habit (like people who chew fingernails, pop knuckles, chew gum) that relieves stress and brings comfort.
Unfortunately, there is no 100 percent effective cure for it. Things to try:
If all else fails, ask your veterinarian if she'd recommend medication to help with compulsive behavior.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
In a massive airlift, 33 circus lions from
Peru and Colombia boarded a flight to a
sanctuary in South Africa.
Saturday is National Adopt a Shelter Pet
Day, so we’re featuring photos of shelter
pets our readers have rescued!
We looked at our database of more than
78,000 Persian cat names to come up
with the top male and female monikers.
In honor of National Hairball Awareness
Day today, Dr. Patty Khuly is sharing four
expert tips on how to prevent…
Secondhand smoke isn't just hazardous
for humans — it can cause many of the
same illnesses in pets, too.
The APBT has a formidable reputation
and appearance, but he is meant to be a
dog who loves and accepts people.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Visit HealthyPet magazine for interviews with pet-loving celebrities, health advice from our experts, training tips and…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.