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Suckling issue.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just adapted a kitten from our local shelter. He is a neutered 9 week old orange tabby named Bogey.
Bogey is very friendly and playful (even with older dog and cat). However, Bogey is a finger fanatic and wants to suckle/bite fingers all the time.
I have tried loudly exclaiming "ouch!", which has fixed problem behavior in previous cats, but does not slow Bogey down. What can I do?
post #2 of 6
Hello, welcome and congrats on your new furbaby!

It is important always to follow a reprimand, "Ouch" or "No" with "Good Kitty" or in your case "Good Bogey" when the behavior stops. Never
punish your kitten by hitting, chasing, or throwing something at her. For a cat, these acts
constitute abuse, and surely this form of punishment causes a cat to become aggressive.
If Bogey is getting too rough in a play session, after saying "Ouch" or "No Biting" or whatever verbal signal you want to use, discontinue the play. A kitten wants to play so badly that after the play is ended a few times because of rough play, she will soon learn to play your way. Keep lots of toys available for energy releasers and use a string or a squeak toy to divert the biting, scratching kitten’s attention.

Hope this helps .....good luck!
post #3 of 6
You can also blow a puff of air gently into his face when he does this. But make sure it is gentle, it startles them out of this behaviour without scaring them. You can also get a small stuffed animal and give it to kitty so he can transfer his suckling to that. He was just taken away from mom and littermates much to early.
post #4 of 6
Our cat Peppurr is 1 and has been suckling his whole life. It is a habit. He suckles on hands and arms. Sometimes he'll sneak up behind my neck when I'm going to sleep, and start suckling. I never told Peppurr no because he never hurts me when he does it. Try to tell your kitty no and spray it with water. Cats mouths are the most bacteria filled, and when or if you get bit and it becomes infected it's a big, nasty, swollen mess!

By The Way,
Congratulations on your new kitty!
post #5 of 6
Your kitten is very likely teething, and therefore needs to chew on things to help sooth his aching gums. The baby teeth take about 8 weeks, give or take a week, to all come in. Then they will fall out and the adult teeth will come in, which are generally all in by about 5 or 6 months old. Like humans, it is uncomfortable for kittens when their teeth are erupting, and they need to chew things. Of course, your finger is not comfortable for you to have chewed on. Provide your kitten with plastic drinking straws to chew on. Keep some all over the house, and when the kitten starts to chew on your fingers, grab a straw to distract the kitten to it. Also, put a shoe box or other low box on the floor for the kitten to chew on. My kittens teethed on the side of a shoe box. They also had fun jumping in and out of it.

Additionally, your kitten is likely still needing some suckling since he is still an infant, and in nature, if he was still with his mother, would still be nursing. Even though by 9 weeks cats in the wild eat some solid food, they do still also nurse. Once again, get out those plastic straws for him to indulge his suckling/chewing needs. There may be other things kittens would like to chew/suck on, but I only know about the straws and boxes.

The water squirting thing is overused, and over rated. I would never squirt an infant kitten for trying to fullfill his needs to suckle for comfort or chew to sooth aching gums due to teething. Even if it was due to rough play, which does not sound like the case, one needs to redirect cats to something they can do when one would like to stop them from doing what you don't want them to do. Just trying to make them stop doing something does not work, as they are doing it to fullfill some need and will keep trying to get that need, whatever it is, fullfilled.
post #6 of 6
We adopted abandoned feral kitties. Vet said they were about 7 - 11 weeks. Whenever they tried to suckle our hands or fingers, one of us would grab a teeny bowl and put a dollop of Whiskas cat milk in it and feed it to them. When they didn't want milk, we played with a piece of cardboard. Same idea as the straws, I guess (which is a great idea, thanks!) We figured the behavior was related either to suckling from Mom, because they were young, or teething. We keep empty kleenex boxes on the floor for them to chew on, and now I think they only try to suck on our fingers when they actually want a treat of cat-milk! Good Luck!
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