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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Kitten Suckling?

I think suckling is the right word for it....

I adopted a kitten from a rescue group. They didn't know what happened to the mother, so I'm assuming that she didn't have a mother for very long, and that is what's causing her behavior.

She will snuggle into my neck and try to "feed". She will kneed me and kind of lick and suck at me. It's more annoying than anything, since it always seems to be at 3am, but....I'd like to see if I can stop the behavior somehow.

Any ideas? I wondered if I should get her a little bottle to suck on? She's about 10-11 weeks old now, and is on solid foods and everything.

Is there anything that can be done?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2005, 02:21 PM
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I would agree that she was likely without a mother at an early age. It is a very hard behavior to stop from what I've seen but I am sure it can be done.

I'm not great with cats but I'm sure someone will pop in with more ideas. My first thought would be maybe try spraying some bitter apple on you where she likes to do that at. I can't imagine spraying the stuff on you is a fun thought but it might help. I'd also try scolding her and telling her a firm NO when she does it and out her on the floor away from you.



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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 03:20 PM
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They do that because they feel comfortable and safe around you. I would imagine that the mother thing has something to do with it.
Personally I would just let the kitten do it. I wouldn't want to scold a kitten when it's showing affection. If you really want to get it to stop I think the only way that I'd do it is putting something nasty on me. Most cats don't get rid of that behavior though. Good luck.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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I don't want to scold her or punish her for something that's natural, but I don't her to be a 6 year old cat that's still trying to suckle.

I was just wondering if a bottle or maybe even a stuffed animal might "ween" her off the same way her mother would have. Or at least keep her off of me in the middle of the night!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 03:35 PM
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I used to have a cat that was a whole 4 weeks old when he came home to me... Gawd I miss my little Chuckie. Anyways, he, being seperated from his mom so early needed help with just about everything that she was suppose to do for him. I mean, down to getting him to go poop, I'd have to take a warm washcloth and wipe his bum until he was stimulated to 'go', giving him warm baths in the sink twice daily trying to get all the fleas off of him (since you can't use a treatment on a baby kitten) ... I figure since I was the one taking care of him 24/7 he began to try nursing on me as well. My fingers mostly. Although it was slightly annoying to be woke up in the middle of the night because he had his cold wet nose on me and getting me spitty, for the most part I didn't stop him. I figured it was affectionate and I didn't want to stop him of that. Anyways, he did it as long as I had him. So if you want your cat to stop, I suppose you could try a green apple or lemon spray or cream whereever he likes to try to nurse...

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 12:20 PM
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I also have a cat that I got from the pound, don't know how old he was when he wound up there, but he has ALWAYS done the suckling thing on my hair. I thought it was strange, and I asked my vet about it. She said it doesn't necessarily mean that the kitten was weaned too early, she had a cat that grew up with its mother in the same household, and it nursed up until it was a good 4 months old...some cats just do that with their person (and it's usually just one person, the person he feels most comfortable with).

It's absolutely a compusion, though. My cat, Mac, will snuggle up with me, and as soon as he starts inching toward my head I have to pull him back into my lap immediately, otherwise it's hard to make him stop (I have long hair, and it's gross when it gets all slobbery and tangled...).

Also an interesting thing, I used to have this "cat mat" that was furry that my other cat used to sleep on (made up of fake fur) that I would catch him suckling...strange, I know...
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 02:08 PM
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Maybe let him do it for a small amount of time then, slip a stuffed animal, or your hand in there, then each time he does it keep making the length of time smaller and smaller.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-21-2006, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikarious
I don't want to scold her or punish her for something that's natural, but I don't her to be a 6 year old cat that's still trying to suckle.

I was just wondering if a bottle or maybe even a stuffed animal might "ween" her off the same way her mother would have. Or at least keep her off of me in the middle of the night!
Millie did this when i first got her. I have a big teddy bear I got from my boyfriend for valentines day one year so I would sleep with that and she would be sucking away on that as I fell asleep. I would let her cuddle up under my neck for awhile but when she started so suck i would gently move her to the bear. She loved that bear and still cuddles up around my neck for cuddle time before bed. In fact she yells at me if i get into bed and take too long to cuddle with her. She got ring worm and had to be out of my bedroom for a month so that might have helped her too, but I did catch her suckling on shadow, so I guess she just grew out of it since she doesn't do it anymore. Good Luck with your kitty.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 12:09 PM
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I have 2 that still suckle. One is 8 months old and sucks on the tip of his tail (LOL) and the other is 6 months and sucks on my pinkie every chance he can find to do so.
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