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Weird post traumatic stress reactions!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Has anyone had a cat that was taken away from its mom to young and had them find strange ways to self soothe themselves when they are stressed or before they go to bed. My cat Weeble`s mom abandoned them when he was around four weeks, so I took them and bottle fed them and cared for them. Right after his mom left him he started doing the strangest thing that he still does to this day. He sucks on his own nipples!! He does it much less now but I still find when he is stressed like when I have people over or after he goes to the vet and sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up to him laying on the pillow next to my head and hear a strange sucking noise. I look over and he is laying on his back with his little muzzle buried in his own chest hair just sucking away!
This is him in action!

Closer view

Wet belly after he is done!

I don`t know if he will ever stop doing it but everyone around here thinks he is so strange and he creeps them out when they catch him doing it. I used to worry cause he would do it so much that his poor little nipples would be completely raw, so I started taking a mandarin orange peel and squeezing some of the oils out and rubbing that on his belly so he wouldn`t want to suck on it. Personally I feel bad for the poor little guy. He had a bad trauma as a baby and this is his way of coping!

Has anyone else encountered a cat that does something weird like this
post #2 of 7
I have never heard of this before, but I have seen kittens single out one other kitten from the litter and suck its nipples until they come off. Or they will suck the nipples from any other larger cat, male or female, just to do the nursing activity.

I wonder if you can find something to substitute? I realize that nothing makes up for the "real thing" but just a thought. Maybe whenever you see him doing it, you can keep handy/try giving him a tiny cloth catnip pillow that he can lick on?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have tried giving him something else but he won't take the switch unless what I give him is my hand and then he almost tries to lick my hand raw. I just try to get him to stop doing it but he is three now and nothing seems to work!
post #4 of 7
Is he hurting the nipples or making them raw? If not, I say let him do it, since he's causing no harm and it makes him happy. He may do it less and less as he matures and becomes more confident and contented in his home.

A female adult cat's nipples are made to withstand sucking; I imagine even a male cat's nipples can.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Sometimes like around the holidays or if we have family or friends staying with us, he gets extra overwhelmed and does it more, and to the point that his nipples are raw. I do pretty much normally just let him do it cause he doesn't do it that often. When he does get really bad I put a bit of herbal ointment for healing, then a bit of vaseline and then top it off with a tiny bit of orange peel oil just over hair around his nipples so he will leave them alone and they can heal. I was just wondering if anyone else has heard of a cat that does this because neither of my vets or anyone else for that matter I have talked to has heard of it.

Thanks for your input though! It helps a lot since everyone in my family just screams at me to come and rmove my creepy cat from there presence whenever he does it!
post #6 of 7
Personally, I would worry that this is how he de-stresses himself. Can you put him in his own room when company is coming and play a CD quietly of harp music? It is not a behavior to allow as it can cause major skin issues if allowed to continue. The citrus juice will irritate the skin- I would use something like bag balm on him. Also invest in a few comfort zone room diffusers and start those in the house.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
That is exactly what I use is a herbal bag balm but he likes to lick it off so I put orange oil just on the hair around it, never directly on his skin and then 15mins later I take a cloth and wash his belly off after the urge for him to suck goes away! I would lock him in a quiet room by himself but He loves company! He begs for food, tries to entice people in to play with a toy, and sings his creepy ewok noises for all to hear. I think it is just all the excitement makes him want to suckle. When he is really happy he does it too, so if I give them catnip he goes bug nut racing all over the house for 30mins and then crashes on the couch and sucks on his nipples before taking a nap! Just using the bag balm doesn't stop him from doing it he while suck even with it on. Today I tried coconut oil on his belly hair around his nipples instead of orange and it seemed to do the trick just as well. I am hoping with age it will go away more and more till he eventually doesn't do it anymore!

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