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Kitten 11 weeks old Sucking Eyelids

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My 11 week old ragdoll kitten has taken to sucking on my eyelids, while I am trying to sleep, she's keeping me awake all night, does anyone have any advice on why she's doing this or how to stop her!
post #2 of 13
She's gotta be doing this because (I've heard) that kittens that do this didnt get enough much needed mommy attention when they were little, and it's comforting to them. She just thinks your her new mommy, and she wants to use you for comfort.

As for teaching her how to NOT do this...I have no advice. But my kitten did this for about 3 weeks after I brought him home, and he stopped once he got to about 15 weeks old.
post #3 of 13
Wool suckling, hair licking, towel suckling etc usually are displacement anxieties that kitten exhibit when they have been removed from the mother at a young age.
Her licking your eyelids sounds like such a behavior.

This happens often with cats purchased from breeders and some “free to good home” kitties as the breeders are anxious to get their $$$ and people happy to get rid of the unwanted litter.

You can offer her another substitute such as stuffed animal with short non toxic fur. Or something for her to bond with, such as a towel that is knapped. Not woven. You do not want to offer her something that has long strands of fabric that can be chewed off or pulled out and swallowed.

If she wakes you up licking your eyes, you can let her know your displeasure by “hissing” or making throaty sounds at her. Cats know those sounds mean displeasure. Continue until she stops. You may feel foolish, but it works.
Do not yell, hit, toss or push her off your bed. You will confuse, scare her and possibly injure her. Cats do not react to the alpha role model like dogs do, so strong vocal exclamations in the middle of the night, will most likely not work.
You can also close your bedroom door at night to keep her out.
post #4 of 13
Originally Posted by Middletown
This happens often with cats purchased from breeders and some “free to good home†kitties as the breeders are anxious to get their $$$ and people happy to get rid of the unwanted litter.
I'm not sure the above is an accurate statement in that some cats are just more needy than others regardless of how old they were when they came to us, some are lap cats, some are not - it's basically just the personality of each individual cat.

Our two are full brother and sister but each is very different. We got Mika at almost 4 mos. old and Bijou at 14 weeks. Bijou needed to suckle on my neck before he would settle down to sleep every night for almost a year and a half. Mika is very independent and has never needed to suckle. Bijou no longer suckles but he does have to lick my neck in the spot he used to suckle and he sometimes licks my eyelids before laying his beautiful head down on my pillow to go to sleep.

The above poster was right though about giving your kitty a substitute item to suckle on that is safe.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks guys for your advice, I will try and get her a substitute Eyelid of some sort.
post #6 of 13
my little over 10 week old kitten does something similar to this but he sniffs at and tries to suck on my neck when I am trying to sleep of course he wakes my up with his little wet nose. we thought that it could be that he still wants to nurse. is this the same thing that coolposco's kitten is doing or wat
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
It sound like it's exactly the same thing, I would much prefer it to be my neck like your boy. She actually sucks my eyelashes. The 1st time I went to bed with make up on, in the morning there was nothing left. I have started taking my make off now before going to bed, as I was worried she might get sick as I don't know how good mascara is for her diet! I do have an eyemask to wear and as soon as I put this on, she moves onto sucking my lips... I am going to try and find something for her to suck on at nights.
post #8 of 13
Garfield is almost 2 years old, and still suckles on a large stuffed horse every night. He and his Momma had distemper, and I have a feeling she was sick for a while, and had quit letting her kittens nurse. And my daughter encourages him to suck! When she goes to bed, she will call him and pat his horse, so he will suckle then cuddle up with her. I doubt he will ever outgrow this habit, since she has reinforced it!

I do see pillows for sale with "fur", which is like Gar's horse. But do be careful because they suck so hard, and you don't want them eating fuzz! Someone needs to invent a kitty pacifier!
post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by Coolposco
thanks guys for your advice, I will try and get her a substitute Eyelid of some sort.

I don't mean to laugh, but that just made my day.
post #10 of 13
Lol...how cute. My Cairo used to suckle continually - on any part of me that was within her reach. She had a terribly traumatic kittenhood until I rescued her - and was found suckling on her dead mother. I thought that this was definitely the cause of her behaviour.

As she grew older and more confident, she stopped doing it. Sunday used to suckle on the back of my neck and hair when I was trying to sleep. She was a rescue, too, that we took in at 5 weeks old. She doesn't do it anymore either.

My purebred Russian Blue and Abyssinians never suckled on me or anything else not their mother. I think that really shows the difference in levels of anxiety with properly raised kittens and rescue kittens that have been either traumatised in some way or weaned too early.
post #11 of 13
Hi can anyone help with some advise please... I have recently adopted two gorgeous tabby kittens they are now 14 weeks old, I got them when they were 12 weeks old. They are called Chilli and Pepper. Pepper (male) has recently started 'suckling' on Chilli (female) just below her neck. Pepper purrs loudly whilst doing this and only seems to do this when he has just woken from a nap or before he settles down for one. Chilli doesnt seem to mind and will walk away when she has had enough. You can really hear Pepper sucking loudly. Do you think it is ok to let them sort it out themselves or should i find him a substitute?
post #12 of 13
Sol used to suck my ears at night and would not stop, if I shut her out she scratched the door to get back in which was just as disturbing.

Eventually she did stop doing it and is now a happy well adjusted cat. Tommy who was hand reared has never suckled and Charlie neither.

However my black Tom cat is england used to suck the end of his tail. He did it from when he was a tiny kitten and still did it when he was an adult at 10.

I took him to the vets (he got knocked down by a car which involved an operation, don't ask me how he managed this we lived in the middle of nowhere miles from a road, we think it was the neighbours son who drove up the drive like a maniac), the vetinary nurses were all going in one by one to watch mick sucking his tail. He would hold it between his front paws like a bottle and suck away quite happily. The end of his tail was always brown from doing this.

I really miss mick
post #13 of 13
We don't place any of our kittens before 12-14 weeks old, but a lot of our families write back saying that their kittens are still trying to suckle on them, earlobes being a favorite. I also have adult Ragdolls, that will still suckle on one of us, or the other cats. We have one that likes to nurse on fingers. My stud was 2 years old before he stopped this behavior. I spoke with our vet about it, as well as our mentors, and they said to just let them be and not to prevent the behavior, as it was obviously a source of comfort.
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