I have the same type of blanket on all the beds in my house: 100% cotton, a loose, sort of open-weave type of thing, called a “thermal weave” or “thermal knit”. Not wool or synthetic.
One of my cats (female, 18 months old, spayed, adopted from the shelter at 5 months) chews on my blanket, sucking and kneading at it and making little “pulls” in it.
Here’s the weird part: she only does it to the blanket on my bed, and only when I am in it. I could leave the bedspread pulled back all day and she wouldn’t bother it. When I get in bed, suddenly she is right there, burrowing under the bedspread to get at the blanket. I usually fold the sheet back and shove her away so she can’t get at it, but why does she do this? And why to my blanket only?
If she is eating the fabric, you’ve got a problem; some cats (like one of my mom’s) like to eat wool or cotton. It’s almost impossible to break them of this, and you just have to keep spraying or hiding the fabric (Mom has lost several good cashmere sweaters this way).
If the cat is kneading your blanket when you’re under it, it means she LOOOOOVES you. Kneading and burrowing mean she is reverting to happy kittenhood and she feels comfortable and happy with you. Enjoy!
Kittens that are nursing will knead to stimulate milk production. It sounds like the kitten was not properly weaned. She thinks you plus blanket is Mamma. I don’t know what her clues are, but I’d guess it’s a combination of smell (yours and the blanket) and warmth. I don’t know if this information helps, though. Maybe you could try another detergent or another blanket. Sometimes kittens outgrow this behavior. Good luck.
She’s not eating it, but she does bite at it. Like I said, it’s sort of an open weave, and she bites a string and pulls it. She is kneading, yes.
And she is basically, “my” cat. She follows me around, will come if I call her, sleeps with me, attacks only my husband’s feet under the covers, and will sit in my lap, no one else’s.
I kind of figured it was a Mommy cat/Baby cat kind of thing. I am a relatively new cat owner, but I was thinking she was looking at me as her Mommy. We adopted her at five months from the shelter. She had been there just a couple of weeks. She had been part of a litter found in a box on the side of the road, so I have no idea if she was properly weaned.
Most cats knead—I’ve been around cats all my life and have known very few that haven’t. Means they’re happy and secure and having a baby-kitten flashback.
She’s probably tugging at the loose weave 'cause it’s FUN. Remember, cats can’t read or watch TV, so they have very few outlets for amusement. The way my job is going today, pulling loose threads with my teeth would be the height of mental stimulation . . .