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how long until Oliver stops trying to nurse?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all!

Thanks to your wonderful advice, Oliver and Abigail are now getting along marvelously. I couldn't be more thrilled (except they kept me up last night playing hide-and-seek all night, but it was adorable and I'll get over it).

New problem: 3 month old Oliver likes to lick wrinkles and folds on my t-shirts or sheets if I'm in bed. I know it's a dry nursing thing, but... well, as cute as it is, it's kind of annoying.

I've tried distracting him with blankets and such, but he just ignores the alternative material and dives back to whatever fabric is closest to my skin.

He'll do this whenever he's being pet or snuggled. Or really, just whenever I'm staying still long enough that he can.

Is this something that he'll grow out of on his own? In what time frame? Should I be doing something to encourage growing out of this phase? I love cuddling him, but the wet spots on my shirts need to go!

Some new pics:

post #2 of 14
So, I don't really know anything about nursing kittens but I wanted to tell you how cute the pictures are (Oliver is adorable in the first pic). They remind me of my two kitties - Luna is the adult and she's kind big like your tabby and Sherman is the kitten. That top picture reminded me of one I took of my two a few days ago. Anyway, good luck with them!!
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Aww, thank you! Despite the fact that Oliver woke me up at the crack of dawn trying to nurse again, I think they're both pretty cute, too. :P
post #4 of 14
um...if it's something that bothers you I would stop him in the habbit...my friend has a 3 year old cat that still tries to nurse, we think it's cute but that doesn't mean you will
post #5 of 14
I don't know if they stop that behaviour. I'm sure you know by now that its because he was seperated from mom too soon, so he still feels the need to nurse. Poor little guy

I guess trying to break the habit..like maybe get up and stop petting him anytime he does it. He really feels like it comforts him and thats why he does it.
post #6 of 14
Paris is 2.5 years old and still does it. She actually tries to nurse my fingers and knuckles instead of fabric, so we were able to keep her from doing it and now she doesn't do it as often. When I'm asleep though, she'll creep up on me and find my hand even if she has to dig it up from under a pillow.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ugh, so he's not going to grow out of it on his own? NOOOO! Say it isn't so!

It's at the point where I can't have him close to me AT ALL without him doing it. I'm so thrilled to have a kitty that's snuggly (Abigail isn't in the least), but this can't continue! Particularly since he keeps wriggling underneath the covers to do it whenever I'm in bed, and I REALLY don't dig that!!!! Not only does it keep me from falling asleep, but he'll wake me up early, too. And besides... it's just weird! I don't want him under the covers with me trying to suck on me! Ew!

So what tips do you guys have about trying to break him of this habit? Obviously not sleeping (or watching TV, lol) isn't an option...
post #8 of 14
My dog a toy pom is 5 1/2, if she thinks she get away with i,t she will try to suck your fingers.
post #9 of 14
Hello there.

I have a similar problem: my 4-month old tabby is still suckling on her mom. The thing is, mom already has a new litter of kittens! so i'm trying to find ways to get her to stop suckling already.

but i did remember finding something about kittens suckling on wool and fabric. so i hope this helps.


post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Renzie, but I don't think that applies to this particular situation.

Please... anyone... if you have any advice to offer, I'd really appreciate it. I'm ready to cry from lack of sleep. He's woken me up trying to nurse the last three nights in a row, each time about an hour after I've fallen asleep. I've take to blasting him with water from a spray bottle, which makes him jump off the bed but then he'll come right back up and try to get under the covers to nurse again. After three or four times he'll stay down, but then a few hours later he'll come back up again. I'm averaging 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night and I can't do this much longer. If I can't start to get it under control over the weekend I'm going to have to keep him in the bathroom all night, which I really don't want to have to do, both because I know he'll hate it and because it'll be a pain in the ass in terms of having a 2nd litter box, moving his water bowl, etc.
post #11 of 14
I think I would put him in another room, I know it is a pain, but you'll be able to sleep and he might get the hint,
post #12 of 14
Have you ever watched what a mother cat does when she's weaning her kittens? She hisses, growls, and will swat her kittens.
I'm not suggesting that you swat Oliver, but you can try hissing and making upset/growly noises, also push him away from the place he's trying to nurse.
post #13 of 14
When I got my female cat Squeaky she would "suck & knead" for a few minutes (at most 2-3 minutes) in the evening, when I was sitting down, reading or watching TV and then settle down next to me or wander off to settle down elsewhere. She has nearly stopped doing it (at first it was pretty much every single night), and now she might hop up and do it for about 30 seconds and then she'll stop. She just turned 6 years old. At the beginning of June I acquired a sweet little ginger named Jasper who incessantly sucks & kneads, all day and evening and like yours, at night and early in the morning. He likes sucking the inside of my fingers and like your sweet kitty, he'll burrow under the covers or pillow searching for my hand. I let him do it for a few minutes and then I just move my hands to where he can't reach them. Now he'll come up occassionally to suck and knead (purring all the while) and then settle down when I move my hand away. You have to be firm about the prevention. Once kittens get their teeth, Mama kitty will do whatever is necessary to get them weaned, including what the other person mention and even walking off. You may want to try letting him do it for a few minutes but be firm and pull him off and set him down off of the bed. Keep doing it and he'll eventually figure out that it's no longer a comfort option. I pet mine for a few seconds to let him know I still love him but I'm super firm about when it's time to stop. It's extremely sad when this happens and all the more reason to have your cats spayed or neutered.
post #14 of 14
Bijou always had to suckle my neck before bedtime and it had to be the left side only. He has outgrown it now. He does however, still give the spot a little lick before he'll settle down to sleep with me.

I can only echo what the others have already said - hiss at him, please don't spray water at him. If water gets in his ears accidentally it can cause a terrible infection.

If the hissing doesn't work, keep him out of the bedroom so you can sleep. He'll probably cry to get in so maybe put him in a room away from your bedroom with some toys, his litter box, food and water.

I would also suggest you discourage him from suckling during the day as well so that he knows it's not acceptable at any time.
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