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My kitten is trying to nurse off of my tummy...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My kitten is 10 weeks old. I've had her for four weeks. Her mother was a stray and was killed and I got Rae from the humane society at six weeks. I have cured her of some of her odd behaviors (like eating until the bowl was empty, etc.) This morning, however, I awoke to her trying to nurse off of the shirt I was wearing. It took me a second to figure out what was going on. I thought that she was licking me, but then noticed she would go from spot to spot and she was sucking on my shirt. She was really excited and happy and kneading me with her paws. She has been continuing this behavior all day.

I am flattered that she is comforted enough by me as her new mommy to try and nurse off of me. I think it's sweet and I'm glad that it makes her happy. However, I don't know if, psychologically, I should just let her continue or if I should make her stop. It doesn't bother me (other than getting the bottoms of my shirt wet) at all. I've never seen anything like this before and I don't know what I should do. Any suggestions?

PS: My older cat, Tattoo, who is one year old is very jealous when Rae does this. She tries to knock her over and stop her.
post #2 of 15
What a sweet little thing. Do you bottle feed Rae? I think maybe that might help. I dont know much about very young kittens but I know they should be kept with their mom until 12 weeks and that you're supposed to bottle feed them.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
No, I didn't bottle feed her. She was eating kitten dry food mixed with wet food at the humane society and that's what I have been feeding her. I took her to the vet the day after I got her and they said that was fine as long as she was eating it. I don't know if she would take a bottle. What kind of milk should I give her? Warm condensed milk?

I think it's sweet too. I got a little teary-eyed that she is comforted enough by me that she wants to nurse off of me. It makes me feel like I'm doing my job as a mommy.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
By the way, do you think I could bottle-feed my one year old in small amounts as well so that she doesn't feel as jealous of the baby or will this hurt her?
post #5 of 15
They sell special kitten milk at the pet stores. You could try, I mean it sounds like she would take a bottle if she's trying to feed off of you.

lol I dont know if you could bottle feed a one year old. Maybe someone else can shed some light on this issue

btw do you have pics? Would love to see your kitties.
post #6 of 15
It is common for kittens who have been orphaned early or abandoned by wild moms to suckle. It is a way they gain comfort and is an impulse they cannot control. It is also common for them to eat everything in sight when you set down their food. It is a survival instinct for them. That food may not be there later, then what do they do?

You can stop this feeding behavior by providing meals at scheduled times, feed always in the same place, measured amounts and in the same bowl.

About the suckling, I have a small beanie baby that has endured this type of behavior from many of the kittens that come here. Simply substitute your shirt for the stuffed animal or invest in a Snugglekittie, which is designed to bring comfort to orphaned and otherwise distressed kittens.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Here is Rae (the baby):
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Here is Tattoo (my one year old):
post #9 of 15
Oh they are so cute
post #10 of 15
What sweet kitties!!!
post #11 of 15
so sweet
Tattoo still looks like a little kitten! Adorable!
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yeah, they're my babies!! They're spoiled rotten.
post #13 of 15
My Miss Scarlett, orphaned at 3 weeks old will be turning 2 this weekend. She still suckles on my husbands shirt from time to time. It brings her comfort, bonds her to her "daddy", and only causes a wet spot on his t-shirt. She purrs like crazy and my husband's blood pressure drops from the unconditional love she shows him. She prefers cotton t-shirts for suckling.

Don't let her suckle on anything that loses materials that can be ingested by the kitty. If the only harm is a wet shirt, go for it!
post #14 of 15
When I bottle fed Leo, Fred would wait patiently until Leo was finished, then he would get the bottle and suck on it, empty or not. He was about 9 years old at the time. Maybe Tattoo would do that just to be included in the little ritual.
post #15 of 15
when i'm asleep my kitten pulls my hair from underneath my head (my hair is long) and gently kneeds my head and purrs loudly until she falls asleep in my hair! i used to be concerned thinking she missed her mother but now i just think its cute and i realise that its a nice compliment! it also has its benefits, its feels like i'm getting a head massage!!
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