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Kitten Self Nursing! PLEASE HELP!!!!

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

My a adopted a kitten and her foster mother.

The kitten was close to being weaned when i got the adorable pair. (8 weeks)

I realized I couldnt handle two, so after my vet said it would be safe, at 11 weeks,

a gave the foster mom to my bestfriend. At first my kitten, (Cleo) was confuzed.

She called to her for at least 3 days. She would howl at the front window.

(The foster mom's favorite spot) I felt terrible, but acording to my friend, the mother cat was fine, and pregnant again.

I felt horrible for Cleo. She ate, and as far as i knew, she was healthy.

Then, I came home one night after work, to find her NURSING ON HERSELF!!!

I tried to make her stop! But she wont, I talked to my vet about reuniting them, but she said it would be too much of a risk since

Kyla (foster mom) was pregnant. Everytime I see Cleo nursing herself, i try to stop her.

But she wont!! To make things worse, her stomach gets dirty, and brown from her suckling herself so offten.

I'm begining to SERIOUSLY worry! Please help me!!!

 

post #2 of 51

This is a behavior and psychological problem.  I don't even know where to begin?  Wow.  Let me see what a couple of others think and I'll get back to you!

post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 

ok. thank u, yes, i know, my baby is messed up. But i luv her.

post #4 of 51

I understand!  bigwink.gif  Have you tried the Calming Collar or Feliway?  I would use them both in combination.  Here are some links....

 

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3446914

 

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2755197

 

I will try to get some more professional perspectives on this issue.  But it can't hurt to look into these products.

post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 

I have tried both, she pulls them off, and nurses.

:( she's nursing on my lap as i type this.

Everyword a have to push her muzzel away from her nipples.

post #6 of 51

Morgan Bartell, Ed.M., is a cat behavior expert and manager of behavior and training for the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. She says it is somewhat common for cats to suck or nurse on things to comfort themselves. That could be themselves, other animals, people or even soft items such as bedding or clothing. She says cats tend to practice this behavior if they are orphaned or weaned early. (Ideally, kittens should stay with their mother and littermates until they are 10 to 12 weeks old. When they're separated earlier, they're likelier to develop this behavior.)

"When cats nurse on themselves, they often purr and knead at the same time," says Bartell. "This is often a self-rewarding behavior (meaning: it feels good for the cat), so it can be hard to stop. It is also something cats tend to do reassure themselves, either in stressful situations or just as a source of comfort, like a child sucking her thumb."

If your cat's suckling is limited to herself and causes no physical harm, there may be no reason to stop it. "While it might be annoying," says Bartell, "if the behavior is not causing any physical problems, it won't hurt your cat to continue. As she ages, your cat may even discontinue the suckling, though many cats continue for life."

However, Bartell warns that for some cats the behavior becomes a very serious habit that may become a response to any stressful situation, at which point it may be compared to human obsessive-compulsive disorder.

If your cat nurses to the point of significant hair loss, open sores or other body trauma, or if the cat starts eating items she sucks, it is time to intervene and you should seek the help of a veterinary behaviorist. These specialists are trained to treat compulsive or anxiety-based behaviors with medication. For less serious cases, you can take some steps that may not stop the behavior completely, but should help limit or discourage it.

First, try to identify what triggers the behavior. This may help determine whether the suckling is stress-related. If you can make a connection, then it may be possible to eliminate or at least manage the stress factor. "For example," says Bartell, "maybe the suckling happens more when children come to visit, or perhaps when another cat in the home is nearby, or when the cat hasn't received a lot of attention."

If the behavior seems stress-related, limit your cat's exposure to the stress. If visitors bother her, make sure she has a safe place to retreat when you have guests. Bartell also says spending more time with your cat, providing alternative activities and offering an enriched environment with interactive toys, climbing surfaces and more are all good ways to relieve kitty stress.

Perhaps most important, "Never punish a cat for this behavior," Bartell warns. "Punishment will only increase stress levels and may even intensify the suckling."

She advises you to evaluate whether or not you could be unknowingly reinforcing your cat's suckling. Do you pay lots of attention to your cat when she's doing this? If so, try ignoring her when she suckles. If she receives no external reinforcement, the cat may show less interest in the behavior.

Bartell says it may also be possible to transition your cat from nursing on herself to suckling on a substitute item, such as a blanket or teddy bear. Make sure you pick an item that won't shed pieces your cat could ingest. While this won't eliminate the behavior, it could prevent your cat from suckling herself to the point of trauma.

Please note, there have been cases of cats that actually eat blankets, socks and other items while suckling. This can be a life-threatening situation, so before you try this method, evaluate the level of your cat's suckling. If your cat is eating her own fur when sucking, do not use this method. Other warning signs to look for are holes starting to appear in blankets or clothing, missing items such as socks, chewed ends to curtains or towels, etc.

Lastly, if your cat tends to nurse on one part of her body, you can put something there that tastes unpleasant. Make sure it is something approved for use on cats! There are anti-chew formulas on the market. Be careful to place it only on the exact spots the cat suckles, so you don't discourage her normal grooming.



Read more: http://www.nctimes.com/lifestyles/columnists/theberge/article_0498ff4a-f0c1-5eba-8af2-4c0e52387c67.html#ixzz1m7y8IKoN

post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 

thank you! I will try this! I am so excited, I am going to Petsmart NOW!!! and i'm taking her with me!

I'll tell you what happens when i get back! Thanks again!

post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 

ok. So.....I am back. The petsmart worker said she had NEVER seen a cat like her,

So she precribed a thing for my babies nipples.

We are home. WE walked in the door, i sat here on my lap.

5 minutes later, she tried to nurse. So i didnt put the stuff on immeadiotly.

i gave her alot of praise when she didnt nurse, but then she started, so i out her down, she jumped back up.

we did this 5 times, and she wanted to snuggle so when she hopped up like the 7th time, she didnt nurse,

i have a fuzzy blanket on, she she kneaded my lap, didnt nurse on it, but snuggled close to my chest.

she is so cute when she is not.....nurseing disturbingly.. thank u. will give u report of the night tommorow.

post #9 of 51

I'm not sure why you're trying to curb this particular behavior? It's fairly common and quite harmless. The one thing you do absolutely have to do is get her spayed, before she goes into heat. Spaying her before her first heat cycle will significantly reduce her risk of cancer down the road.

 

Please take a minute to read this article -

http://www.thecatsite.com/a/spay-and-neuter-your-cats

 

Thank you!

post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne View Post

I'm not sure why you're trying to curb this particular behavior? It's fairly common and quite harmless. The one thing you do absolutely have to do is get her spayed, before she goes into heat. Spaying her before her first heat cycle will significantly reduce her risk of cancer down the road.

Please take a minute to read this article -
http://www.thecatsite.com/a/spay-and-neuter-your-cats

Thank you!

yeah.gif and on that note.... please tell your best friend to spay the mom cat too so she doesn't keep getting pregnant again and again frown.gif
Quote:
She called to her for at least 3 days. She would howl at the front window.
(The foster mom's favorite spot) I felt terrible, but acording to my friend, the mother cat was fine, and pregnant again.
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina View Post


yeah.gif and on that note.... please tell your best friend to spay the mom cat too so she doesn't keep getting pregnant again and again frown.gif
Quote:
She called to her for at least 3 days. She would howl at the front window.
(The foster mom's favorite spot) I felt terrible, but acording to my friend, the mother cat was fine, and pregnant again.


Right!  As you TS didnt noticed anything, so it must be a fresh  pregnancy.  (Did it started at your place?  How? ).

 

So you and your friend may perhaps even consider spaying NOW?   Medically speaking, this is no big deal for a vet.

There are even veterinarian handbooks who do advice to get the cat pregnant and spay, so not to risk sapying when they are in heat...

 

post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post


There are even veterinarian handbooks who do advice to get the cat pregnant and spay, so not to risk sapying when they are in heat...

yeah.gif Hope was caught as a stray, and she was pregnant.... She had a pregnant spay and was just fine..... I am glad she had the procedure and no kittens ended up in the shelter agree.gif
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne View Post

I'm not sure why you're trying to curb this particular behavior? It's fairly common and quite harmless.


Right!  Too much nursing is not so good for the health, so its good you are trying to turn the attention for something else, where she cant hurt herself with excessive self nursing.

. Keep also with the Feliway diffuser.   Sometimes it kicks in firstly after some week.

 

But you seems to revolt against the self though your pretty sweetie pie nurses on herself...  THAT in itself isnt nothing especial, like Anne says.

 

 

Good luck!

post #14 of 51

As you saw from the article I found, most experts agree it's normal and a self gratifying thing.  Don't punish her.  Just ignore it.  There are things you can do to curb it but unless she starts hurting herself, I wouldn't bother wasting your energy or money.  True, it's disturbing but just deal with it is probably the best advice!  Haha!  Get her spayed, if she is not already- you don't need more kittens and she definately couldn't handle it with her stress.  That is most important.  And on the Feliway, if after a month or more of uneffectiveness, I would say it doesn't work for you.  It never has for me and no sense wasting your money hoping it will magically kick in.  I've heard of people using the Calming Collar and Feliway together and them having results when they didn't before but it doesn't work for every cat.  Just and FYI. 

post #15 of 51

My Candy does this,I posted my concerns on here as I had never seen it before but I have since learnt that it is a comfort thing like someone sucking thrir thumb. I wouldn't stop candy from doing it she isn't doing any harm so why would you want to stop this?x

post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 

Well i would spay Cleo, but i want her to have 1 liter before i spay here.

Do u think, her nursing her self, when she's pregnant ALONG with the kits nursing, will be a problem?

 

And i called my friend, and she says she will not spay Kyla.

post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatLover4Ever View Post


And i called my friend, and she says she will not spay Kyla.



Ah so, did she possibly mentioned why not?

 

post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatLover4Ever View Post

Well i would spay Cleo, but i want her to have 1 liter before i spay here.


Aha.  May I ask why?   I can imagine several reasons, but I dont want to guess when you can tell yourself.   :)

 

 

post #19 of 51
Thread Starter 

No. she didnt say why, i would insume bcuz she loves the kittens, but.....

i dont have to wirry about them ending up on the street of anything,

she has raised cat's all her life with her mom who is a sertifyed breeder.

post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 

and i belive every she-cat should have the experiance.

if there is like a liter of 3, i will keep them all.

But over 5, i will only keep one, and find the other's good homes.

 

post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatLover4Ever View Post

and i belive every she-cat should have the experiance.

if there is like a liter of 3, i will keep them all.

But over 5, i will only keep one, and find the other's good homes.

 



You are entitled to do as you please with your own pet.  No one can say you don't... The problem is that it does become a problem after a certain point.  I don't know how many you have but past a certain number is illegal and considered hoarding in most states.  You can lose ALL of your precious babies.  And chances are, a lot will not be adopted and will be put down if that happens.  I am not trying to be mean in any way.  I just want you to consider the health and well being of your babies and yourself first.  This cat is very nervous and stressed.  She would not be a good mother.  This is my opinion, of course.  But I do believe it would do her more harm than good to have babies. 

 

post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatLover4Ever View Post

and i belive every she-cat should have the experiance.


Please reconsider. If you really loved cats, you would spay her before she has even 1 litter.

 

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/why_spay_neuter.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/pets/cat-health/spaying_or_neutering_your_cat_faq.htm

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Q: Why should I have my cat spayed or neutered?

A: Shelter euthanasia is the number one killer of companion animals, and spaying and neutering is the only way to reduce or eliminate that. It's also better for your pet's health. And it's better for you because it will make your life easier if your pet is spayed or neutered.

 

Q: Shouldn't I let my cat have a litter before I spay her?

A: No. You shouldn't for several reasons. It greatly reduces the risk of certain cancers if you have her spayed before the first heat and certainly before she has a litter.

And most places are overrun with kittens, particularly in the south. Overrun. And there is simply no excuse whatsoever to allow your cat to have kittens. There are millions of cats and kittens out there that need homes and millions more that are abandoned or handed out at places like Wal-Mart. There's simply no good argument to have a litter of kittens.

There are shelters in the Atlanta area that can have 40 to 50 moms with litters in their shelters on any given day during the spring and summer. There simply aren't enough homes for all the cats that get born every kitten season. And in the south, kitten season is almost year round. And there's a kitten season everywhere.

 

 

 

post #23 of 51

As much as I love my kitten angel and I know that her babies would be cute,it is just not fair to let her have a litter at all and all kittens are "cute" this is also not a reason. It is your choice but I think you are being unfair.x

post #24 of 51

Cats are not humans. They take no particular pleasure in having a litter of kittens. It's not as if they are missing out on anything if they don't have a litter....well they are actually, missing out on the opportunity to develop cancer later in life but hey, you want some kittens so what's a little cancer for the cat?

 

It is an uneducated and careless attitude to want a litter of kittens. Go to your local shelter, there are plenty of homeless kitties there. I love how everyone says 'I'll find them good homes.....do you have any idea how difficult that is?  Call a local kill shelter and ask them how many kittens they euthanized last week. There aren't enough homes for kittens that are already here, why add to it?

 

 

post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatLover4Ever View Post

and i belive every she-cat should have the experiance.

if there is like a liter of 3, i will keep them all.

But over 5, i will only keep one, and find the other's good homes.

 


If you are that good at finding new homes, you can perhaps instead help some good rescue group or a good shelter, to get  homes to their refugees.

Be a savior instead of producing your own moggies?

 

As RAFM said, this with cats wanting motherhood or fatherhood is ours human feelings.

Cats, once neutered, dont have any such needs.

 

If you still want small kittens, you can cooperate with said rescue group and foster their kittens.

Having a friendly, motherly resident (like yours will hopefully be) is only good.

 

And if your resident will not be this friendly and motherly - you perhaps dont want her to be a mother.

A serious breeder would abstain.

 

 

Good luck!

 

post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatLover4Ever View Post

No. she didnt say why, i would insume bcuz she loves the kittens, but.....

i dont have to wirry about them ending up on the street of anything,

she has raised cat's all her life with her mom who is a sertifyed breeder.



Here I would give the same advice as to you.

 

Why produce more moggies when the world is FULL of homeless moggies desperate for homes.

If she is THAT good at finding good homes, better to help them who already are here, than to produce extras.

It is not even one of her queens planned to breed.  This is a moggie somebody forget to spay in time...

post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatLover4Ever View Post

and i belive every she-cat should have the experiance.

if there is like a liter of 3, i will keep them all.

But over 5, i will only keep one, and find the other's good homes.

 


I really hope you take to your heart everything everyone has been telling you here in your thread. If you would just spend a few days volunteering at a cat shelter, witness the overcrowding conditions, witness the suffering, the fear and anxiety of the cat's, the sickness and illnesses they suffer with and worst of all, the feeling that no one loves and cares for them like they deserve...... they are all alone in such a stressful environment...... then you might reconsider letting your cat have kittens and get her spayed. Most of those cat's in the shelter are also the product of someone such as yourself..... Just wanting their cat to have a litter. Please go and see..... At least then you will be sure if you still want to go through with this. If you want kittens, the shelter will have many for you to choose from and it will be much less expensive getting kittens that way than breeding your own. The costs of raising healthy kittens can be very expensive.

Not all litters are born easily either without complications or without veterinarian assistance. That could potentially be very costly to you or worse....cost you the health of your cat. There are many possible things that could go wrong. It is just not worth the risk IMO.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by RAFM View Post

 Call a local kill shelter and ask them how many kittens they euthanized last week. There aren't enough homes for kittens that are already here, why add to it?

yeah.gif Let's put a number to that..... about 6 million cats and dogs a year in the US alone.... That is not counting the millions that are homeless..... Or spending their lives in a cage in a shelter.... It is very very sad frown.gif
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post


If you are that good at finding new homes, you can perhaps instead help some good rescue group or a good shelter, to get  homes to their refugees.

Be a savior instead of producing your own moggies?

 

 

It dawned on me this though is partly wrong.  If you are really good at finding homes, it is better to cooperate with a high kill shelter.  This way you do save a lot of lives who are worthy saving.

 

Cooperating with a good shelter is important if you are volunteering with them.  It is always better to cooperate with someone who do appreciate you and your work there, and is friendly to you and the cats, then to cooperate with somebody who is just bashing you and sees the cats just as a payment source from the city authorities.

post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 

i said i wonder spay her after 1 liter, after that, NO MORE BABIES!!!!

 

but i dont know hwy my friend spay Kyla...

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