Does anyone know how I can stop my 11 week old kitten from sucking on everything she can get in her mouth? I realize she may have been taken from her mother too soon, but it is a very annoying habit.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
Oh, poor kitty. She probably won't ever completely lose the habit, but it will diminish with time. I have three cats, and the Maine Coon loves to purr and knead and suck while he's falling asleep. I used to wake up to grand wet spots on my duvet from his drool, LOL. Redirecting his behavior worked to manage it. It takes patience and firmness and a sense of humor; but then all cat owners have that, right? :)
I got a cat bed and a piece of old woolen blanket. (Cats preferentially suck on wool.) I put the blanket in the bed, and put the bed in a low-traffic, low-stress location in my house (a corner of my home office). Whenever I caught Smoky sucking on something I didn't want him to, I would quietly say "No, Smoky," pick him up gently and without fuss, and put him down and soothe him in his "special place".
For a few weeks I would at this time feed him a spoonful of cottage cheese (a vet recommended this for a cat who had weaning issues) to simulate a milk snack. I never gave him cottage cheese at any other time. Gradually (after six or seven weeks) he learned to associate the interruption with the "No" and with going to his special place and getting a treat, and he transferred his sucking to the wool blanket, which gets washed every week with unscented soap.
Smoky is four now, and he still makes sucking/kneading motions for a bit when he settles down for a nap, but he doesn't flood the place like he used to.
Or she may get over it. I had two kittens at different times that did this. They both eventually got over the habit. It's a security thing. When your kitten feels more safe, secure, and confident, it will most likely outgrow this. Don't stop loving her! One of my cats washes my face in the middle of every night. That hurts! I gently make him stop. I know he is just trying to show he loves me just as I do when I pet him.
Oh I definitely won't stop loving her! I am hoping she grows out of it though. The purring and the kneading don't bother me at all. For that matter I love it. Years ago I had a cat who would knead my back every night till I fell asleep. Heaven Shassy kneads every so often and I just enjoy it when she does. I've been using a small spray bottle to discourage her now. I spray where she's sucking at.
I will try getting a small wool blanket for her to suck on too. I'll put that down on the dogs' bed because she sleeps there more often than not. Thank you both for your responses and suggestions.
It may be annoying to you but it is very comforting to her Because she was taken from her mother so young. We have an adult male cat that suck's on things too and we love him just the same as it is just in his nature like your eye color is your very own. Accept your cat just the way she is and love her or please find someone that will.
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