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Kitten suckling on herself!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, just looking for some advice.

I found an approximately 11-12 week old kitten that was dumped near my BF's parents cottage. I am going to foster her for my rescue for the next month until she's ready for adoption. She survived a winter storm before I found her nearly freezing the next day. She's a wonderful, loving, purr machine of a kitten. It seems though that she was definitely separated from her mother at too early an age. When she's tired she suckles on herself (on the sides of her tummy). She usually ends up with a huge wet spot the hair there seems to be thinning. I know she's been traumatized by her dumping, but I was hoping to try and re-direct this suckling behaviour.

Any ideas? We've tried inserting a stuffed animal into the mix, or one of my old t-shirts but that hasn't helped. Any suggestions on how to wean her off this behaviour? Or could this be something that will diminsh as she starts feeling more secure??

Here she is...catching up on some lost sleep!
She's been christen Daisy Mae

post #2 of 8
My sister has two full grown cats that are sisters and one of her girls STILL does this and suckles on herself. The only thing she can do is stop her from doing it. But, I would be inclined to think this is a behavior that would continue unless you are able to stop it.

She is adorable, btw!
post #3 of 8
She will most likely grow out of it but if it becomes a big problem, if she starts losing hair or the amount of time she does it doesn't change or it increases, what you can do is what is sometimes done after a spay. Cut the foot part off of a knee sock and put the leg part around the cats midsection.
post #4 of 8
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I remember reading about the catsifier, but i though she commented that it was poorly made.

I've tried redirecting this behaviour to a t-shirt (that's what rambo suckles on now), or a stuffed toy. No go. I was thinking the sock idea might be one to try, and I'm going to the dollar store to try and get a ticking clock, i'll wrap that in a sock and maybe that sound will confort her.

When i picked her up this morning her belly was soaking wet, she must have been suckling on and off all night! poor little girl.

thanks everyone for the suggestions
post #6 of 8
I don't have any answers for you, but I just wanted to say what a beautiful girl she is and how wonderful of you to take her in.
post #7 of 8
Aw, poor thing!

I can't tell you what will happen with your kitten, but I can give you my experience with our rescue kitten who was neglected and removed from mother cat too soon. He also had a suckling problem, he nursed on his tail to the point where there was no fur on the tip of it. I am sure it was a comfort/stress issue with him because he eventually stopped doing it on his own. And I really believe it was because he felt more safe and secure. You can use bitter stuff to discourage this behavior, but it doesn't always work. Worth a try though.

I would keep an eye on it to make sure she doesn't break the skin, which could lead to infection. Other than that, maybe ask your vet what they suggest?

Thank you for rescuing this BEAUTIFUL kitten who had many odds against her survival (being dumped). You know, when I hear about people dumping kittens...it makes me think there is no humanity left in this world. Until I read posts like this and I am reminded that there are many people who really do care.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you poohandwendy for your kind words. I find the stories of kitties being dumped very disheartening too....but the people on this site renew my faith in humanity and human kindness and love.

I'm hoping with time Daisy will feel comfortable (if not here, then when she gets adopted) to stop this behaviour, for now you're right...I'm just going to keep on eye on her skin for any issues.
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