Hiya everyone. I am new to TCS and to being owned by felines as well. About three weeks ago I adopted two boys who are now about 12 weeks old. Am I in love! And was I unprepared!
This site has been my homebase during my frantic search for information regarding these little fellows. I've been more than impressed with the wealth of knowledge and experience here as well as the sense of community. Aren't Mica and Luna lucky I wandered here! But onto the reason for my post...
3 month old Luna has the same habit. He sucks on his leg and gently claws away at whatever he is lying on. He nearly immediately begins when he it petted and falls asleep this way. From what I have gathered, this is called 'dry-nursing' and occurs because the poor little babies miss mom. Having been taken too soon and not weaned; they suckle as if nursing, the pawwing because that is how kittens stimulate milk flow from the mother.
Sometimes Luna's brother Mica will dry-nurse on Luna, just behind his ear. When the whole litter was together, they all piled up on him. I wonder how he got the job of 'mom'? Now with only Mica to contend with, he will sometimes refuse.
Thanks to the assurances I read elsewhere in this site (wish I could remember where but offhand I have no clue), I am not overly worried about this behavior. I am not overly fond of it either. I worry of hairballs and skin conditions. I also once knew an adult cat who held on to the 'clawing you means I love you' idea and it was not pleasant!
I just keep his little nails clipped and pray to the cat gods that he will indeed outgrow it. Luckily he is pretty tolerant of my grooming experiments, nail clipping included.
~Mica and Luna's pet ShanOwl