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Suckling kitty is it normal?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My kitten Nymeria is very affectionate and loves to snuggle, however I have been noticing that after she gets settled she likes to start kneeding her paws in the crook of my elbow and then start suckling as if she is trying to suckle from her mama. I don't mind the behavior its kind of cute honestly, but I want to make sure if its okay to let her continue the behavior or if I should stop her when she does this. Her mom was a feral, and I am not sure if the kitten was properly weened or not. Thanks!
post #2 of 10
How old is your kitten?

I have a friend that has a cat that suckles. That cat is an adult (brought home as a kitten at 14 weeks old). The cat was weaned properly and stayed with momma cat and siblings until kitty went to new owner. But that cat still suckles. Seems to be a habit
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
they said she was about 12-13 weeks. I as told she was the runt of the little as well, but very healthy. She is very clingy and always seems starved for attention and cries if there are no humans or other cats in a room, she doesn't like to be left totally alone. She is very sweet and sociable, I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing for her, I have never had a kitten do this particular behavior before.
post #4 of 10
It's normal. Both of my boys came home at 13 weeks, and had been with mom and littermates up until that time. Ares will rarely suckle my neck, but suckles my Hubby's neck when he is really relaxed in bed. Hypnos tries to suckle on Ares, much to his displeasure. He typically waits until Ares is dead asleep to do it Both are loving and well-adjusted kitties. I would look at it as a compliment.
post #5 of 10
My Scarlett is 6 years old and still suckles. She's also the biggest snuggler in the house. She was orphaned at 3 weeks and not properly weaned (we bottle fed her when her feral mom died). We've never discouraged her from doing this - the only damage she does is the occassional hole in a tshirt. If we're wearing good clothes, we stop her.
post #6 of 10
Mi-ke's always done it. She did it to her siblings at the shelter, and she's been doing it to me. Just this morning, in fact, she got in bed and suckled me.

"They" say it's because the cat was taken away from its mother before it was ready. But I don't think that necessarily means it was too young from a health and development perspective. Mi-ke was 12 weeks old when I got her, and I'm sure she was ready in the sense that she was eating solid food and taking care of herself. But just like people, cats can vary when it comes to their emotional readiness to cut the apron strings and stop nursing. We used to take care of some free-range cats, and one of them was still trying to get lovey-dovey with his mother when he was several months old. She didn't go for it, of course.
post #7 of 10
i have 3 cats and 2 of them suckle to when they are happy i think it is a sign of affection so i dont think there is anything to worry about! Hope this helps
post #8 of 10
If it doesn't hurt and doesn't bother you, there's nothing wrong with it. If it becomes too much, you may want to transfer the behavior to a beanbag toy or something. When our kitties are blissing out, they'll knead. Only one sort of suckles - and that's only when she's on the sheepskin rug. (She's not eating the wool, don't worry).

post #9 of 10
All three of my kitties (eight, eight, and nine years old) knead/milk-tread and suckle. They like it, it calms them and makes them happy, and it makes me feel loved, trusted, and accepted as a member of their "colony."

And that, I suspect, is the crux of the matter. It means that they have accepted you as their surrogate "mother." They love you and trust you, and find you a source of comfort and security.

You should feel highly honored - after all, they could be attacking your toes under the covers at 3am!
post #10 of 10
Considering you "mama" is the highest compliment. Most of my cats who suckle were taken away too soon, but not all. It's like any self-soothing behavior; it depends on if the cat likes it or not.

Most of mine also grew out of it.
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