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Although cats seem comfortable in many weird places and positions, you can notice how they still have their preferences. Any cat owner knows that one of them is a blanket. Especially if the blanket is soft, warm, and freshly washed.
Lately, I’ve been having some issues with my new blind kitten, which of all the places in the apartment has simply chosen my bed as its favorite place to sleep and does this on my clean blanket.
So while it may seem pretty obvious why cats love blankets so much, there are some interesting explanations for this behavior considering their animal nature.
Besides a deeper understanding of a cat’s love for blankets, you will also find out how to choose the perfect blanket for your home while having a cat living with you.
Why Do Cats Like Blankets?
Cats are known for their love of cozy spaces, and blankets are one of their favorite things to curl up on. But have you ever wondered why cats are so drawn to blankets? There are a few reasons why cats seem to have a special affinity for these soft and warm coverings.
One of the main reasons why cats love blankets so much is that blankets provide warmth and all cat owners know how much cats enjoy warmth. One of the reasons is that cats have a higher body temperature than humans, and they are often drawn to warm spaces to help maintain their body heat. Curling up on a blanket allows cats to stay warm and cozy, making it an ideal spot for them to relax and nap.
I remember when my grandmother had a stove that would heat its marble surface so much that I could barely touch it, but all the cats simply loved napping on that heated surface. I always, always wondered how they did not melt sitting there in that heat, but they loved it so much that they would go into some sort of a coma state.
Another reason why cats are so attracted to blankets is the fact that blankets carry the scent of their owner. As cats have a strong sense of smell they will be drawn to this familiar scent since it can provide comfort to a cat, especially if their owner is not around.
In my apartment, I have a rocking chair that I never use and my bed, both places are very comfortable and covered with nice, soft blankets. My new kitten will always choose my bed in which I sleep in over the chair, although the blankets on both places are very warm and comfortable (they are plush/velvet blankets as I love those materials so much). It is always the place that I use, no matter if the other place is just as comfortable.
Beyond warmth and comfort, a cat’s pull to blankets comes from deep-rooted instincts for nesting and burrowing. In the wild, cats seek out soft, warm spaces for rest and security. Those instincts linger in domestic cats, making blankets their chosen refuge for relaxation and warmth. They burrow under or curl atop blankets, seeking not just the warmth but a sense of security as well.
For kittens, the softness of a blanket reminds them of the fur of their mother. This likeness offers them comfort, a security, particularly for the young or the newly brought home. You may often see a cat kneading a blanket, something they learned as kittens, pressing against their mother to draw milk.
As adults, cats continue the kneading on soft surfaces, like blankets, to express contentment, mark their territory (with scent glands in their paws), or prepare a comfortable spot for resting.
Another thing is cats like designated or bounded spaces so if you want your cat to lay on a certain spot you can put a cat blanket on the spot and you can be sure that will attract and keep the cat. Check out how I get my kitten to sleep where I want it to by putting a small blanket on the spot and this really works.
Blankets can provide a sense of ownership for a cat. By claiming a specific blanket as their own, a cat can establish a territory and feel a sense of security within their chosen space.
Comfort and Care: The Role of Blankets in Cat Well-being
Material Preferences: Just as humans have preferences for certain types of blanket materials (like wool, cotton, or fleece), cats also show preferences for certain textures and materials. Some cats may favor lying on soft, plush blankets.
Behavioral Issues and Solutions: Blankets can be used as a tool to help manage certain cat behaviors. For example, covering a cat carrier with a blanket can calm a nervous cat during transportation. Similarly, a blanket might be used to gently restrain a cat during grooming or veterinary visits.
Aesthetic and Decorative Purposes: Just as blankets can be decorative elements in human living spaces, cats often become part of the aesthetic of a home. Stylish or specially designed cat blankets can complement home decor while providing a designated space for the cat.
Health and Cleanliness: Blankets can help maintain cleanliness in spaces shared with cats. Placing a blanket where a cat frequently rests can collect fur and dander, reducing the spread around the house. This is similar to using throw blankets on furniture for protection against wear and tear.
Sensory Experience: Both cats and humans can have a sensory response to blankets. The softness of a blanket can be soothing and comforting, and cats may also find sensory pleasure in the texture of certain blankets.
Seasonal and Temperature Considerations: The use of blankets for cats can vary with the seasons, similar to humans. Lighter blankets might be preferred in warmer months, while heavier, warmer blankets are more suitable for cold weather.
Attachment and Bonding: Just like humans can become attached to a particular blanket, cats can also develop attachments to certain blankets, often seen as their territory or safe spot.
The Therapeutic Benefits of Blankets for Cats: Blankets can be more than just a comfortable resting place for cats. They can serve therapeutic purposes, especially for anxious or elderly cats. The warmth and softness of a blanket can soothe anxiety and provide comfort to cats with arthritis or other health issues.
Some Common Questions About Cats & Blankets
Do Cats Like to be Swaddled?
Swaddling, or wrapping a cat in a blanket, can be comforting for some cats, especially those who are anxious or stressed. It mimics the secure feeling of being nestled with their mother and siblings. However, it’s crucial to observe your cat’s response. Some cats may find swaddling restrictive and stressful, so it’s important to respect their preference.
Why Do Cats Like Soft Things?
Cats are attracted to soft materials for comfort and warmth. Soft surfaces like blankets mimic the soft fur of their mother and littermates, offering a sense of security and well-being. This preference is also why many cats choose plush blankets over harder surfaces for napping.
Do Cats Need Blankets in Winter?
While cats have their fur coats, they do appreciate extra warmth during colder months. Providing a blanket in winter can help your cat stay warm and comfortable, especially for older cats or those with thinner coats. Ensure the blanket is placed in a draft-free area to maximize comfort.
Should I Cover My Cat With a Blanket When Sleeping?
Covering your cat with a blanket can be a comforting gesture, but it’s essential to follow your cat’s cues. Some cats may enjoy being covered lightly, while others prefer not to be covered at all. Always allow enough space for your cat to move freely and breathe comfortably.
Why Do Cats Love Plush Blankets?
Plush blankets are particularly appealing to many cats due to their soft texture and warmth. These blankets mimic the softness of another cat’s fur, providing a comforting and secure feeling. Additionally, plush blankets often retain heat well, which is attractive to cats who instinctively seek out warm spots for relaxation and sleep.
Selecting and Setting Up Cozy Blankets for Cats
Ideal Blanket Materials for Cats and Humans: When choosing a blanket for your cat, consider materials that are gentle on their skin and retain heat. Fleece, cotton, and plush are excellent choices. They are not only soft and warm but also easy to wash, which is essential for maintaining hygiene. Avoid materials like wool or synthetic fibers that can cause overheating or irritation.
Creating the Perfect Blanket Nest: To create a cozy nest, find a quiet and safe corner in your home. Place a soft blanket there, along with a familiar item, like a toy or a piece of your clothing. This helps the cat associate the spot with comfort and security. Some cats appreciate a little privacy, so consider creating a blanket fort or using a cat tent.
Choosing the Right Blanket For Cat: Safety should always be a priority when selecting a blanket for your cat. Ensure there are no loose threads, beads, or embellishments that could be a choking hazard. Regularly inspect the blanket for wear and tear to prevent any accidental ingestion of fabric pieces.
Photographing Your Cat on Their Favorite Blanket: Cats on blankets make for adorable photographs. Use natural light for the best shots, and try to capture your cat in relaxed, candid moments. These photos can be a delightful way to document your cat’s life and share their cuteness with friends and family.
Conclusion: Cats’ love for blankets is a blend of instinct, comfort, and security. By understanding this affection and providing the right type of blanket, you can enhance your cat’s well-being and deepen the bond you share. So, the next time you see your cat curled up on a blanket, know that it’s more than just a nap—it’s a moment of pure contentment and joy.