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Cat Nursing Herself?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi my cat has been doing this ever since I found her last year when she was a kitten. She nurses on herself? I was just wondering if it hurts her ? and why she does it?? She only seems to do this when I am petting her??
post #2 of 6
This tends to happen when the cat is taken from his/her mother too early. It is a way to feel nurtured and secure.
post #3 of 6
How old is she? I agree that maybe it is possible it was taken away from it's mother too soon....I wouldn't discouage it though while she is still very small....
post #4 of 6
Hi I am Peter from Australia.

I have purchased two Bengals (both "girls" now aged about 20 weeks who I am sure were with their mother for about 17 weeks, we (meaning my wife and I) have had them for 3 weeks. One is nursing herself a lot, sometimes when being petted and sometimes the other joins in as well. It is not a particularly pleasant habit to view but the question is it particularly harmful? Will this habit be one which will disappear, if not what can be done about it. I have tried applying vaseline and salt water to the nipple but our cat hates that treatment. They have a lot of room to move and receive plenty of TLC. Apart from this problem, they are whacky quirky fantastic cats, and talk about being mobile and atheletic. Help!
post #5 of 6
When they are nursing on themselves, it can become a really bad habit and they can start sucking the fur off and creating sores etc...Some experts look on this behavior as feline OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and prescribe mild mood altering drugs for the cat. Other people say that you should try to give the cat a substitute item to suck- like a small stuffed animal, or add quality food to their diet and see if it is nutritional in nature. My vet believes, and I agree with him, that is a nervous disorder and has nothing to do with being abandoned early. I have had a lot of orphaned kittens under my care over the years and I have only seen this type of sucking behavior a few times with the kittens that come through here. I would try the substitute object, and add some quality canned food to the kitty's diet to see if that helps. You can also use feliway plug in room mister to help if it is a nervous disorder, it might.

But please don't use vaseline or salt water on the area, it will exacerbate the skin, and cause more problems in the long run.
post #6 of 6
Hi, thanks for taking the trouble to respond.


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