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Suckling on earlobes and kneeding

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My little Frodo (not so little anymore ) is now over 9 months old and he still jumps on your chest and kneeds your neck and suckles and licks your earlobes. Is this normal behaviour? Will it stop? Should this behaviour be discouraged?
post #2 of 16
at what age was he seperated from momma and littermates?
post #3 of 16
Mine outgrew it. Charcoal is almost 9 months old now. He stopped doing it after a month or so after he came home.
post #4 of 16
This is normally a problem that results after the kitten was taken away from his mother too soon.
post #5 of 16
We got Bijou just over 8 weeks old and he is a suckler. He was 1 yr. old in February and he still likes to have a little suckle on my neck and kneads my face and neck before bed every night. Then he puts his shoulders and head on the pillow facing me with his paws usually on my face and goes to sleep. He didn't outgrow it but I don't mind.
post #6 of 16
At one year old Ellie still does this and she left her mom at 11 weeks. I have tried discouraging her, but nothing (that I am prepared to try) seems to work. My brother came to visit and she tried it on him under the duvet! He called her my French-kissing cat after that.
post #7 of 16
I've got a bit of the same problem. When Mithril gets really relaxed before going to sleep he wants to grab a bit of Narsil's fur and suckle. These boys left at 11 weeks also. I keep expecting Narsil to rear back and swat him a good one, but he just puts up with it. I've also tried re-directing him toward a blankie, a fuzzy animal, or even one of the fur-covered mice but he's not having it. Hopefully he'll grow out of it before he gets too big or Narsil will rear back and swat him a good one!
post #8 of 16
Chesty is a kneader. He does it during petting "sessions." He also sometimes does it when he wants to be petted--he'll jump up on the bed while I'm sleeping or just lazing around, then stand on my pillow and start kneading. He has never suckled, though he definitely drools when he gets really into it! He'll knead if he's lying on my stomach or lap, which is sometimes painful because he is a big boy, and his nails...usually I just take the pain, because I love the kneading. If it's getting bad, though, I'll put him on a pillow and continue petting.

I wouldn't discourage the behavior. It can be symptomatic of a cat who was removed from his/her mother too soon, but I also see it as an expression of love and comfort from cat to human. If it's getting to be painful, distracting, or otherwise uncomfortable, redirection seems to be the best strategy. On an earlier thread, one poster said that she dedicated a stuffed animal to be her cats kneading/suckling toy. It probably took a while to do so, but the cat continued to use the toy for years, as I remember.
post #9 of 16
Thank you. I was about to start a thread like this because Aristotle, 3 months, is doing the same - kneading (bare skin) and suckling anything in reach - usually my neck. It was cute the first time, but it gets annoying when I'm on the computer or he starts it at 4AM! I've threatened to get him a bottle!

Anyway, it looks like I'm going to have to learn to put up with it until he hopefully grows out of it.

Anybody else search for this topic in this forum?
post #10 of 16
With my kitten, it was like having a baby and having to nurse every two hours throughout the night. Ugh! Now that she's older, it's less frequent. But always at night (and sometimes after a nap).

I tried to discourage her at first, but since her nursing sessions were the only time she ever purred as a kitten, it was hard to push her away. Plus cats are so persistent, I couldn't decide which was worse. Putting her on the floor with a firm "No" umpteen times in a row, or just letting her do it and suffering just one interruption (or so I'd hoped) in my night's sleep.

Now that it's been 6 yrs, and she purrs all the time, I wish I had been firm. Six years is a long time to go without a solid night's sleep. But I'm not sure it would have made a difference. My mom had a cat who suckled on a blanket for 18 yrs. My uncle had a cat who did the same it's whole life, too.

So, my advice? If Frodo is causing sleep deprivation, then for your sanity, you may want to try to discourage him. Otherwise, just let him be and enjoy the bond the two of you have.
post #11 of 16
Sturgis turned 2 years old in May and he still does it, he wraps his front feet aroung your neck and sucks on your earlobe. I don't discourage it because I like it, it make me feel that he still needs his momma. One night we had company for dinner and Sturgis came up and gave me "the look" that said he needed me, so I put my arms out and up he jumped, he sucked for about 10 seconds and then left again. My company was just starting at me and I just explained that Sturgis needs to "check in" with momma somtimes.
post #12 of 16
My 5 year old, Floyd, does the same thing. I don't mind though...I think it's cute. He and his brother were actually found as orphans though at 5 weeks...so that may be why. I think people were the only family he's ever really known.
post #13 of 16
Loki does it. but he does it to blankets and pillows. usually when he is really happy and relaxed with a pet session
post #14 of 16
Thank you for this forum. I have gone to numerous websites and this is the only one that I found that spoke of this "suckeling" problem. I just found my kitten (or more like she found me), I think that she is about 5 or 6 weeks old now, and has been away from her mom for about 2 weeks, which I believe is why she sucks.
The problem is that she sucks on my neck, which is really tickilish. I am trying to deter her, but it does not seem to be working. I want to stop the behavior because I have read that it is like a child sucking thier thumb.
I have tried to get her to suck on a stuffed animal, which didn't work. And now I am having to lock her out of my bedroom, which I hate. I am only doing on nights when I need my compleate sleep.......so does anyone have any other suggestions????
Thank you,
post #15 of 16
I think you have 2 choices. Try to stop the behavior entirely, or try to modify it so that the kitten doesn't have to do it on your neck.

The lady we got our kittens from, who is a professional breeder, advised us to put the kitten on the floor with a firm NO and, above all, be consistent. I was not consistent, because I loved the fact that Mocha needed me to be her surrogate mother, but I've paid the price for it. The only solid night's sleep I've gotten was when I was on vacation. And then I miss the cats so much, it's hard to sleep anyway.

Someone else mentioned trying to transition their cat away from their neck by sticking a stuffed animal b/n them. I might give that a try.
post #16 of 16
thank you, i will just keep being persistant with her, and hope that it works!
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