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Feeling sad, and hoping this will change

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm new to this and my user name is my German Shepherd Kiva who lived to 13. I hope this isn't too long and thank you for reading it. Anyway, I adopted a very young kitten from a shelter a month ago, and although his tag said he was 9 weeks old at the time, I now realize he was more like 5 or 6 weeks old. Even now, a month later, other 9 week old kittens are bigger than he is. (Although he is growing like a weed now!)

He is so sweet and gets tons of love every day from myself and my 3 teenagers. I work from home so he is not alone during the day very much. He's definitely the prince of our household. But the problem is he won't let me sleep. And I need to because I am the single working mom of three, plus I have an auto-immune problem that acts up when I'm not sleeping. Our kitty, Javier (so romantic, my daughter named him), wants to suck on my neck all night. I understand why, and in the beginning let him because he was so tiny and I felt so sorry for him. I even tried getting a kitty bottle, but he wouldn't suck on the nipple even after dipping in it milk. But now, I can't take it anymore so am just not letting him. I wear scarves around my neck, and turtlenecks, etc. He gets frustrated, but is easily distracted during the day. He just jumps off and goes to play.

But at night, when I'm in bed, he roots around madly trying to find a way inside my neck coverings and when he finally does sleep, he wants to get in there right under my neck stretched out alongside the pillow so I can't move without waking him up and starting the process all over again. Sometimes he will start to suck one of my fingers that I am using to cover my neck on top of the fabric. He's relentless!

I know he wants to get as close to possible and I love him so much, but I need to sleep! So I've been putting him in our bathroom at night with a fuzzy bed, his food and water, a litter box etc. When I'm not around and he's sleepy, he sucks on the edges of his bed. I even tried putting his fuzzy bed on my bed thinking that would work, but it didn't. I wish so much that he could sleep with me, I had a cat previously for 18 years who slept with me every night under the covers curled up next to my stomach. But Javier wants to sleep either across my face, under my neck, or sucking on it - purring like mad. I also tried getting another kitten (twice), but it didn't work because they fought so much, and I don't have the physical space or emotional energy to keep them separate for a week, or however long it will take. Thank goodness I was able to give them back to their original families both times. So I don't even want to try that again.

I have considered putting lemon juice on my neck or something he would hate. But I don't want him to find all of me distasteful! Am I cruel for leaving him in the bathroom all night? He doesn't meow anymore, I actually think he might sleep most of the night in his little bed. But in the morning, he is frantic, wanting to suck more than ever. I try to distract him by showing him what's outside the window, feeding him, etc. But he runs back to me for his "morning suck." Which I'm not allowing. He is SO intent.

What if he doesn't outgrow this? I hate the idea of keeping him in the bathroom for the rest of his life. And, if I let him have the whole house, he meows and bangs on my door or the door of my kids who also need their sleep. We even tried to put a kiddy door across the bottom of the stairs that we used at one time for our dog, but it has holes in it and he crawled right over it. HELP! And thanks so much for reading all this.
Kiva 13
post #2 of 7
First off he will probably grow out of the need to do this so often. It might still happen occationally, two of mine will occationally suck on my earlobe or nose when I am sleeping which of course wakes me up since it hurts a bit.

Right now he needs a substitute for the suckling. I would buy him a large stuffed animal. Even go to a thrift store for one. But large and soft and so he can nestle up in between the arms or in the stomach area. Maybe even two large stuffed animals so he can snuggle in between.

You might also want to look into a buddy for him that is his age. This is the best age to introduce new kitties and I think it would help him a lot to have a living being to snuggle with.

That is all I can really help with right now. I think a buddy might be really important. Would the shelter you got him from have another close to the same age? Two cats really isn't a lot more work then one, plus they will keep each other entertained when you are not around.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi Jen,
Thanks for your quick response. I just can't do this again with another kitty. I tried twice and it was so stressful. They would really fight both times, with my kitty being the instigator. (It definitely wasn't playing. I found out later that I need to take many days to get them exposed to each other, etc, and I don't have the space to keep them separate but not alone.) The last kitten was weird though, growled viciously and took posession of all the toys and wouldn't let my cat get near them. When my son tried to take a toy away, he bit him and broke the skin. He was about 3 months old. I have spent the past month trying to find another kitty, but both times it didn't work out. So I give up on that.
My kids have what seems like 10,000 stuffed animals put away in boxes from their younger years. I'll try that. Thanks for the advice.
post #4 of 7
Just a thought - he IS getting all the food he needs now, 3-4 times a day?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I thought that was it too, so I started feeding him more. He eats 3-4 times a day wet food, with dry food in another bowl that he munches on now and then. So he's not hungry. But that's a good thought. Thanks
post #6 of 7
I am praying for you, too. I think the stuffed animal idea sounds good. You are a wonderful mama to this cat, but you do need sleep.
post #7 of 7
If you gently push your thumb against his head at the bridge of his nose (tween eyes) when he does that he will stop. This is the way the mother stops them from excessive sucking on her teets. He will start again, but will soon learn not to do it. No need to yell ( not that you did), just push his head away, and he should get the hint.
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