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Why does my cat suck...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
About a year ago my 90 lb. german shepard walked up with a kitten (maybe a week old) in his mouth. He set her down in front of me and I picked her up, cleaned her off, and took her to my moms house. She fell in love with it and decided to keep her. Later that day we found the rest of the litter and took them into a no-kill shelter down the road.

The thing is, this cat will snuggle up to my mom and suck on the under part of her arm and knead as if she is feeding on her mother still. Does this have something to do with being taken away from her mother too soon or something? My moms arm get sore sometimes because the cat does it late at night while my parents are sleeping!! Whats causing this and how can we break her of it?

Thank you
post #2 of 14
From what I've read on this site it seems to be a bottle fed kitten thing, my girl does it sometimes too. Was suggested to put Lemon juice I think on the sucking spots.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel19
About a year ago my 90 lb. german shepard walked up with a kitten (maybe a week old) in his mouth. He set her down in front of me and I picked her up, cleaned her off, and took her to my moms house. She fell in love with it and decided to keep her. Later that day we found the rest of the litter and took them into a no-kill shelter down the road.

The thing is, this cat will snuggle up to my mom and suck on the under part of her arm and knead as if she is feeding on her mother still. Does this have something to do with being taken away from her mother too soon or something? My moms arm get sore sometimes because the cat does it late at night while my parents are sleeping!! Whats causing this and how can we break her of it?

Thank you
It does have something to do with the kittens being taken away from their mother at a young age.

I'm not sure how you can break her of it.
post #4 of 14
From sharing info with others in this position, some cats will grow out of it, others never seem to. My Ellie has always done it, despite not being taken away from Mom too early. Some will transfer the behaviour to a stuffed toy or blanket, others only want to suck on you.
post #5 of 14
Our third cat Jewel (3rd picture) has the habit of suckling and kneading MommyCat's neck at night. She even did it to me a few times. This, combined with some other behaviors, is a likely sign of a too early separation from the real momma and litter. As Jewel has gotten older she's doing this less aften, it might be a side effect of MommyCat playing with her every night to wear her out.
post #6 of 14
Ginger is currently curled up on my lap sucking my fingertip and purring like mad.
Should I let her do this?
I'm trying to convince her to meow when she's hungry.
post #7 of 14
Our Buddy, the one we found at work was full grown. Vet say about 3 years old or more. Only with me he will need and suck. My hubby has a blue shower rob Buddy loves this, I wear it all the time and buddy will pretty well attack me like a kitten would its mother's belly when he is really hungry and need and suck. Its very cute but I was never sure why he did it. I know he is very content with me and he knows I will protect him from anything..Could that be part of it since he is older?
post #8 of 14
We have a cat who does the same thing. She was about seven months old (by the vet's best guess) when she found us. She had obviously been someone's cat at one time, and I think she had been mistreated and then abandoned, but she was too old to have been as friendly as she was if she had been a feral cat, and she spend a week sitting on our back porch just begging to come in. Like I said, she does the same thing with the suckling and the kneading and usually when she is calm and my boyfriend or I are laying down or sitting still. It is a comfort thing and it stems from being separated from the mother too young, because I know this cat was never bottle fed.

I have come up with a few different solutions that have had some success. One was to get a very soft but not too fuzzy stuffed animal and slowly ease it into the area where she was sucking, but still keeping her on my lap and petting her. Also it is important to keep the claws trimmed so that she doesn't tear me up, and a lot of times I just try to keep the area covered with a blanked, or even a tee-shirt. I have noticed that if I pet her while she is doing this she calms down sooner and will eventually settle down to sleep. While I know how annoying this can be sometimes, on the other hand it is nice to know that she loves you that much.
post #9 of 14
This is very interesting because Diddo, a female who is 11 weeks old now, has started to suck on Pete, a male, near the underside of his right arm (paw). I don't know why this happens, but when KittenKiya came home, Old Pete let him to the same thing, nurse on his chest. I think its cute too, and I hope it is helping with bonding, but Diddo was 8 weeks old when I broght her home, and I thought that would be the right timing. The woman who had the mother and kits, sent all the others out at 6 weeks. I flatly refused to take the kitten at 6 weeks, so she held it for me. I really don't understand this behavior.
post #10 of 14
I have the same situation with my rambo. I got him at 8 weeks old and he kneads and suckles for comfort or before going to sleep. When it first started he would keep me awake all night doing it. I've managed to transfer the behaviour to a pillow with one of my old shirts on it (the more it smells like me the better) and he will go and knead and suckle that till he falls asleep. The vet told me if he hasn't shown any lessening in the behaviour now (he's 4 months old) he probably won't.

I wouldn't try and discourage the behaviour since it seems to be a big comfort to your kitty. But i would encourage slowly trying to redirect it away from you and your body!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
My mom has tried everything to get her to quit, so now she waits until my mom goes to sleep and does it. Its strange because the cat isn't very loving at all, she would rather play really rough, sleep, and then suck on my moms arm.

And someone mentioned bottled fed cats, she was never bottle fed... when my mom got her she started feeding her soft can food and now she eats strictly hard food.
post #12 of 14
My rescued cat Angel does similiar things too. She's on your lap the second you are sitting down. On the couch, toilet, whatever...She'll rub her lips all over you, and the only thing I figure is it stems from being abandoned, like she's making sure I'm still there and I still love her. It is weird...
post #13 of 14
There have been a lot of posts on this subject (two others today alone) and the general sentiment has been that cats do it because they were weaned too early and that there isn't much you can do about it- other than to try to get her to transfer her kneading and suckling to something else. What I do is make sure that when I'm sleeping my arms are under the covers- so when Isabelle starts suckling it doesn't hurt my arm. I think it's cute, my vet says it isn't a problem. She was an abandoned kitten (left in a box at my vet's office) and just weaned way too early. My vet said it comforts the cat and makes her feel secure, like she is your baby and you are the mom.
post #14 of 14
I also have a little black male kitten who seems to need to suck and lick , I dont understand why since he was not removed from his mother too early, He has been doing this behavior for a few weeks now. He does not seem stressed but it gets annoying when you are trying to sleep. And it is whenever i lie down. I dont want to keep him from doing it since i fear that it will traumatize him. And i guess in a way it makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside to be needed and loved so much, also he has nipped me on the lips not being mean or anything any reason why he would be doing this behavior?
nyzki
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