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Kitty disdains dish to suck on dog legs

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I adopted two littermate male kittens May 10th (not quite three weeks ago as of this writing). They are mixed breeds, faux maine coon type - love children of some shady illicite feline affaire. They are from a litter of six. There were 10 kittens in the household from two mothers that all kind of intermingled - the other mother would be my kitten's older half sister. They were about six weeks when they came home -so about nine weeks now.

Rocko was the dominant kitten of either/both litter(s) and Hermes is his littermate joe average, neither the runt nor the dominant, just your basic lost in the crowd middle child type.

At first neither kitten showed any distinguishing behaviors - Rocko is the explorer but Hermes is the first on the toys. Rocko was slightly stronger and more aggressive but the difference was so slight it was inconsequential. Hermes ate like it was going out of style but Rocko likes his food too. Both were on the thin side but they are going into the lanky three month old stage and had alot to compete against before coming here.

In only the past few days I notice Hermes has gained a great deal of mass and is quite a bit noticabley larger, heavier and stronger than Rocko. Rocko is acting normal except he has started trying to nurse off any furry individual he gets near. Poor Mr. Phufoo the Bischipoo says he is too old to be a mother and JJ the evil fat cat says things just unprintable on an all ages forum such as this. I wake up in the moring with kitties sucking on my stomach and Rocko falls asleep at night "nursing" off his littermate Hermes.

This is not a big problem except that I wonder if it is related to lower gain of Rocko. It kind of seems like "failure to thrive syndrome". He is active and normal except for the low gain and the obsession with finding a momma. I have tried to give him a baby pet bottle but he says it makes him feel like an isolation monkey and goes off to suck on the dogs leg. I tried to stick the bottle between the dogs legs but the dog said "enough is enough" and stomped off. I try to give Rocko extra attention but he stays less bonded to me than Hermes, who says "what the hell, I never got a turn at cat- mom anyhow, fancy feast fits me fine".

Ao I guess I am wondering if this degree of difficulty adjusting and weaning is normal, and if it could be related to the lower weight gain in Rocko. Unfortunately I didnt weight them when we got them, but I will try to find the baby scale tomorrow. The difference between the two kittens is obvious though, with Hermes gaining way more than his brother.

Well that is long but I tried to put in any information that might be relevant. Wondering what your (pl) experience is in similiar situations.

pictures: http://www.geocities.com/vavs_soror/kitties.html

Thank you,
post #2 of 7
eeek.. most likely he is not really "regressing" but is going back to the suckling habbit because he was taken from his mommy too soon. THe earliest you should ever get a kitten is 8 weeks, and really not until 12 weeks. Thats really all I have to say, I cant really think of anything to say for advice, but the experts will be on tommorrow and will help you out .
post #3 of 7
"love children of some shady illicite feline affaire."

Yeah, we got some of those here, too. Have they had their vet checks yet?
post #4 of 7
Hey Laurette....I adopted my pair 6 years ago from a friend whose cat had an uncanny ability at escaping right before her spay appt. I swear my little girl is the product of some travelling sales feral....who knows what he trying to offer...but I swear my Habenaro (yes, she's a spicy pepper) was a result of that encounter.

But that wasn't the reason for my reply....have you looked at this page regarding weaning:


and this page:


There may be some advice on how to work with getting your smaller one to stop suckling the dog's leg.

As far as the weight difference....I have 2 foster kittens right now that are about 4 weeks of and one is definately bigger than the other. I believe it is due to 2 things....1. the bigger one was definately the champion when it came to finding the best nipple and 2. the smaller one is more active.

Kittens definately grow into their personalities over time....I didn't know the full extent of my 2 until they were at least 6 months of age. That means you have many months to discover your 2 kittens personalities.

Congratulations on your adoption.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi-thanks everyone for the input. Yes, in retrospect I can see the kittens shouldnt have been taken from their mother. At the same time, I had to do all I could to talk the person that I delt with into taking the rest to the SPCA instead of dropping them off at a farm like she planned to do-and spaying the females ASAP. It is a very rural-farm country area in which many still think of cats as just living alongside farm life. I keep trying to find a good word to describe the state of most cats here - neither ferel nor stray fits. More like independant agents. Education has a long ways to go here. Perhaps for me too in some ways for taking them, but with ten kittens, three adult cats (more living alongside the family than with them) and several children between two and eleven, I can understand the young human mom's frustration and give her credit for doing as much as she did with the knowledge and resources she has. Anyhow, it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

I weighed the kittens today and Hermes is 2#10 and Rocko is 2#2. Both were thin when I got them so I think part is that Hermes has gained a real lot. They both were eating dry food when I got them and are now eating a combination of fancy feast canned and purina kitten chow dry, as well as Whiskas cat milk from a dish. Both eat well but I notice Rocko is distractable and if something catches his attention he goes running off, while Hermes is much more into his meal. I am going to talk to my vet, and also ask him if I should change the cat milk to KMR. I have also been redirecting Rocko if he wanders off before eating much by giving him alittle off my fingers and it seems to help.

post #6 of 7
I would give them both some kitten glop full strength with all the ingredients. The problem with suckling is that it is usually done by the kitten(s) that were removed early from mom, or the kitten that was constantly pushed away from the milk bar by its siblings. It is extremely hard to break the cycle of suckling once it has started. Sometimes by feeding the kitten or cat a better type of diet it satisfies the kitten to stop them from suckling. Snugglekitties come in handy for kittens or cats who suckle-

Kitten glop can be found at www.kitten-rescue.com
post #7 of 7
Yep, agree with Hissy.... the one who is suckling odd things may simply be lacking certain nutrients, and the kitten glop would help satisfy that need.
Perhaps to break the habit, keep him separated for a bit, but with lots and lots of human love and companionship, as he doesn't need anymore anxiety than he must be feeling already.
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