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New female kitten "nursing" on 3yo male?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I can't decide if I find this behavior really weird or somewhat cute. Fate led me to a kitten roughly 2 weeks ago at the local HS - little female already named Winnie. Took it as a sign and brought her home. So glad I did because she's buckets of entertainment. She and Allen are getting on so well, I can't believe my luck. Winnie has total big brother worship and loves Allen, and he tolerates her wonderfully. I've been keeping her locked in the guest room when I am not at home to supervise, but yesterday I took the plunge and left her out with Allen while at work. Came back and both were peachy keen, just howling to be fed :) Decided to let her out overnight to sleep with me and Allen, in my bed, if she chose to. She did, but I saw overnight that she was 'nursing' on Allen. At his midsection, kneading with her paws, and actually sucking his skin/fur into her mouth. The sucking was very loud as it woke me up a few times. Winnie was purring happily as she did this, and I would move her off him only to have her immediately go back and keep at it. Allen, bless my big sweet boy, didn't seem to care at all. I left them alone figuring that if he was irritated, he'd shake her off. So, like I said, I'm half "That's super weird" and half "Aw, cutie patooties." Is this just kitten comfort behavior?
post #2 of 6
Kittens who were separated from momma kitty at a young age frequently do this. I do think it's a comforting behavior. I don't think it's harmful as long as she doesn't pick the same spot on Allen and causes fur loss and/or skin irritation.

I think it's so great that Allen has accepted the young one so well. You hear so many stories of problems when integrating older and younger cats, so it's terrific to hear of a nice and easy integration. They both sound darling together.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
^ I didn't think there'd be too many fireworks, and I was right. I just made sure to do a slow intro - scents on towels, noses/scents under door, intro through baby gate, etc. Allen is an affectionate cat and was fostered with many buddies, so I figured he'd eventually like the companionship. I'll post photos as soon as I can. Most of the ones I have are of snuggle time. Winnie is just a hoot and a half, she's got so much energy. I think the HS lied to me though, I'm pretty sure I adopted a spider monkey disguised as a kitten :)
post #4 of 6

Awwww, how cute! I agree with vball. My Sophie did that with my fingers when I first had her. It means they were taken from momma too soon. They grow out of it. I've never heard of a kitten doing that with a male cat, but it's probably harmless as long as she's not irritating the skin. Allen is one tolerant kitty! :)

post #5 of 6

That is so cute!  It is nice to hear a good intro story!


My mom's cat Olivia suckles and kneads on blankets still at 8 years old.  She always lays with her back legs stretched out behind her when she does it too.  smile.gif

post #6 of 6

Hi Allenboy, your story brings a smile to my face as I can literally see it!  Because it happened here with our new female kitten and our 2.5yrs boy!  


Arent they such gentle lovely boys to allow the kitten to suckle?!!  And aren't our kittens super persistent to keep zeroing back in there!!  


I asked this same question as to if it was something to be concernced about - most people said no.  They also said it has a name 'smurgling', so you can search the threads for that.  As it has turned out over here, Ava has just turned 6 months, and her suckling has become less...Kato has also been discouraging her by gently but persistently kicking her in the head.  So I think the two of them have it in hand.  I did notice it was a behaviour Ava particularly liked after waking, which was similar to some other people's experiences.  I also noted that Kato's nipple (she zeroed in on one) had become rather distended/'sucked out'.  But it has retracted.


Enjoy your new family dynamics!  Sounds lovely!!

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