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Can Cats Suffocate Under Blankets? Facts & Safety Tips

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By Nicole Cosgrove

furry cat in blanket

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

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It’s a common worry that cats can suffocate under blankets, especially if you have a blanket-loving furball who loves to burrow in the softness. But is this a real concern? Well, you can breathe easy; cats have highly developed senses and will leave if they can’t breathe or get uncomfortable for any reason.

However, it is still important to be aware of the risks posed by too much blanket love, so let’s discuss some safety tips and tricks for keeping your cat safe and sound under the covers.

Can Cats Suffocate Under Blankets?


Please note that this article refers to normal blankets, not weighted blankets. Weighted blankets usually weigh anywhere from 5 – 50 lbs and are designed for healthy adults. Their weight renders them too heavy for cats. Their weighted filling is also a choking hazard for cats. Therefore, weighted blankets are not safe for cats.

If you’ve owned a cat for any length of time, you know just how much they love to snuggle up in a cozy blanket. They’ll happily curl up, purring contently and kneading the fabric with their paws. It’s no surprise that they’re attracted to blankets—they offer warmth, comfort, and privacy when needed.

The good news is that cats are quick to remove themselves from any situation or scenario that they deem uncomfortable or dangerous. And that goes for blankets!

If your cat can borrow themselves deep into a blanket’s comforting confines, you can rest assured that they did so in a manner that still allows sufficient oxygen access. In other words, your cat is quite capable of ensuring their own safety when it comes to blankets!

Moreover, if at any time your cat no longer feels comfortable, they will promptly leave the blanket and seek out more comfortable sleeping quarters.1

It’s important to be aware of how blankets can interfere with your cat’s breathing, as well as certain scenarios in which cats might be prone to suffocating.

scottish cat hiding in fright under the checkered blanket
Image Credit: Koldunov Alexey, Shutterstock

How to Keep Your Cat Safe Around Blankets

It’s true that cats can usually take care of themselves when it comes to blankets, but there are some measures you can take as a pet parent to ensure your furry friend is safe and sound.

Let’s look at some tips and tricks for keeping your cat safe around blankets:

Choose the Right Type of Blanket

Make sure the blankets you use are breathable and made from lightweight, non-toxic materials. You should also avoid heavy fabrics like wool, which can be scratchy and uncomfortable for your kitty.

Additionally, steer clear of blankets with strings or drawstrings that can become tangled in your pet’s fur.

Create a Safe Sleeping Environment

Be sure to provide your cat with plenty of bedding options and create an inviting environment for them to sleep in. Make sure the sleeping area is free from any hazards, such as sharp objects or other looming dangers.

Also, provide a few blankets if your cat prefers to have something to snuggle up in. That way, they can enjoy their blanket time without risking any potential health risks.

Finally, if you notice that your cat is having difficulty breathing or seems uncomfortable when underneath a blanket, remove the blanket and make sure your pet can access plenty of oxygen.

kitten playing under a blanket
Image Credit: Julia Naether, Shutterstock

Signs Your Cat May Be Struggling to Breathe Under a Blanket

It’s important to be aware of signs that your cat may be struggling to breathe underneath a blanket. If you notice any of the following signs, remove the blanket immediately:

  • Wheezing or labored breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Panting
  • Restlessness

If you notice any of these signs, take your cat to the vet right away. While it’s not likely for a cat to suffocate from a blanket, the blanket may cause breathing issues for individuals with respiratory ailments. It’s also possible that there’s another form of stress causing the signs. Therefore, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible for any concerning behavior.


Cats are smart and capable of taking care of themselves when it comes to snuggling underneath blankets. It’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved and take certain safety measures as a pet parent.

Featured Image Credit: Dimhou, Pixabay

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