Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Our 4 month old kitten insists on suckling my husband's chest every time he is near. I don't want it to turn in to an obsessive habit so I tell my husband to gently push him away or blow in his face and my husband thinks it's mean so he always gives in and let's him do it. Will our cat always do this or will he eventually outgrow it? He's been suckling for about a month and he left his mom at 6 weeks. It bothers me that my husband allows it instead of trying to break the habit.
A lot of time this happens because the cat was taken away from his mother too early. Normally it is better to leave the babies with their mom until they are around 8 to 10 weeks old. However, people think it is fine to separate the baby and the mother at 6 weeks old. This is why your kitten is sucking. He needs comfort and will soon outgrow this. I know it bothers you, but your husband seems fine with this. Sooner or later your husband will grow tired of this and make the cat stop.
The orphaned kitty I got about 3 weeks ago loves to suck on me. It doesn't matter if it is my elbow or knee. I am hoping to take care of this matter now so that he doesn't continue it into adulthood. I need all the help I can get because it is hard to give him any lovin' when he is doing this.
By joanne from New Port Richey, FL
This is common. One of my cats used to do the same thing when he was a kitten, but he would suck on my t-shirt, especially at night after going to bed. I designated a special t-shirt for him, which I kept in the bed. Eventually he started going directly to his t-shirt, and then outgrew the habit altogether.
It was weaned too early probably and needs reassurance of love and comfort. I would give it a material with lace on it and it will probably start sucking on that. If you try to discourage it, the kitten will be really nervous and may pick up an even worse habit, get nervous or be miserable. Just love the fact that the kitten is so loving and needs love back. Such sweet little ones. I have a group of foster kittens, they are all about to be vetted and I am not rehoming them until they are over 11 weeks old.
He thinks you are his Mama! He will grow out of it eventually.
Same as other posts :-) Weened too early and will grow out of it :-) Don't force him to stop because it will affect his personality and trust.
Yep, the little guy needs a "kitty pacifier." Anything to redirect him from sucking on you!
I've had 2 kittens that did this (mine & my moms). Enjoy this while you can because they stop when they get a bit older. It's so sweet. If you don't like it you can always buy a kitten bottle from a pet store & put water in it or stop up the nipple with a piece of cotton (it's kitty pacifier).
Like a lot of other people wrote, I have had this happen too. They outgrow it when their need to nurse fades away. It will make them closer to you even when they're grown up. The more a kitten is handled from day one the more friendly they are as adults.
A friend of mine's cat had 8 kittens 9 weeks ago. I helped and watched a couple of them being born. I took two home that were done weaning or would nurse very seldem at 5 weeks. I went to WalMart and they have kitten formula called First Born. I bought a box of that and when I brought them home I would give them a little twice a day and slowly wean them off of that milk. They always had water and dry food out. Now at 9 weeks one still tries to nurse when she's tired but on my neck and diggs into my hair. The other one has never done it.
I have had a kitten(stray) since she was 2 weeks old. Her mother had 5 kittens all together, she took away 3 and left behind 2. Unfortunately one kitten passed away and I decided to keep "Oreo". I took her to the vet and started giving her KMR milk replacement. Now she's 6 weeks, I started giving her wet kitten food (soaking Whiskas chunks till they become soft enough to mash up). A week ago I stopped the bottle completely, but she still tries to suckle on her food.
How do I stop my cat sucking my ear?
By Bianca P
Tabasco or tea tree oil
Editor's Note: Because of the concerns that have been addressed about this suggestion, we have reviewed the health concerns with these products.
Tea tree oil is considered very toxic at full strength and should not be used. Here is a link with more information.
Tabasco, however is considered safe for cats in small quantities. If they are actually eating quantities of it, it can be unhealthy because of the high sodium content. This link discusses tabasco and other substances to use as a deterrent.
Is it a kitten? If so, he/she will outgrow it.
Some a cats will do that for their entire life. The main reason they do that is because they were taken away from their mama too soon so instead of trying to get your fur baby to stop doing it just accept it as a gift that he/she considers you to be it's mama and you give him/her comfort. :-)
As for the advice shirlgrif gave I feel this must be written in all caps:
PLEASE DO NOT BE CRUEL TO ANY ANIMAL BY PUTTING TABASCO IN ITS MOUTH AND TEA TREE OIL IS POISONOUS TO BOTH CATS AND DOGS!
OMG! Are you kidding me! Tabasco or tree oil. I hope you did not give this to your cat, how cruel is that! I don't like to sound rude but I think you need to learn more about caring for your cat.
I have multiple cats. One who was a rescue as a tiny kitten is now aged 4 years. He cleaved to me from the beginning. He began sucking on my ear lobe back then and still does it. I'm not a disciplinarian. He only sucks on my ear for a couple of minutes as he drifts off to sleep in my arms. I'm not bitten or harmed. I am not ashamed or sorry, either.
Why does my kitten suck on me?
By kayla from Canada, On
This is typical kitten behavior. Maybe he was taken from his mother too soon. Scroll down to other answers in Archives.
I think kitty was weaned and taken from mama way to early. I don't know answer but, maybe there are temporary substitutes to get through the weeks he missed and then maybe another kitty friend may be a good thing.
Hey, it's ok! if your kitten is young, it will think your it's mom, therefor, it will suck on you.
I have a kitten about ten weeks old who is guaranteed to dry nurse me whenever I pick him up. I have tried telling him off firmly and blowing in his face. Even when I put something over my lap, he roots around until he finds an exposed part of my top (if not, he resorts to my bottoms). He will bite my arms if I put them there to block him and sits at my feet shouting if I put him down.
I want him to feel loved, but this is really bothering me. Please help!
This usually happens when a kitten has been taken from its mother too soon. I encourage you to allow the kitten to "substitute suckle" as it will provide some of the comfort he would have received from his mother.
The kitten may never want to stop doing the "dry nursing." I have multiple cats. One, aged 4 years still wants to suck on my ear every time I start to show any affection. Cats always want things to be on their terms. They may very well take discipline as rejection; of course it varies with each individual or circumstance. Be careful, with every good wish.
Some cats will do that for their entire life. The main reason they do that is because they were taken away from their mama too soon so instead of trying to get your fur baby to stop doing it just accept it as a gift that he/she considers you to be it's mama and you give him/her comfort. :-)
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
My kitten won't stop sucking on me and I don't know if I should let him or stop it. He has not been to the vet yet, but I'm trying to find solutions now before I go. Help!
Kittens do that many times when they have been taken away from their mothers too young or were weaned too early. Just let it suck, it will help it feel comfortable. You can give it some cloth like an old t-shirt to suck on also if you get too tired of it. Just put your finger inside the shirt until it starts sucking, then move your finger away. They usually out grow it after a few months, at least mine did.
Susan from ThriftyFun (06/08/2005)
We once had a cat that had its own "comfy toy", a soft stuffed baby toy. It was a source of comfort to him and we saw no harm in him doing it. He purred and "kneaded" it until he fell asleep. I wouldn't worry about it. (06/08/2005)
My kitten, who is now 12 years old, still has this harmless behavior. He is particularly fond of cotton fabrics. Velcro is his name and he definitely clings to me like Velcro. Velcro was abandoned by his mother at the age of 4 weeks and almost died (several of his siblings did). I guess I became his mother at that time. He loves to be near me. He sleeps over my head, on my pillow and kneads and purrs all night long. He is comforted by this so I don't mind. Ask the vet what he or she thinks about the behavior. But I wouldn't be too concerned. (06/08/2005)
My cat Mariah did that also when tiny, but he'd been taken from his mum too early, the vet told me. He did grow out of it. He's now the most affectionate of all my cats. He luvs snuggling and cuddling and kissing. Don't despair. (06/21/2005)
My cat does the same thing to me! I got my Christian, long haired grey/brown tabby back in September of 05 when he was 8 weeks old. He started the day I brought him home. He would lay in bed with my boyfriend and I and immediately start kneading my head and suckling my hair while purring loudly. My boyfriend couldn't stand it and I was a little nervous at first because I had never seen this behavior before. People told me that he would probably stop when he got older, but this has yet to happen.
He is now 15lbs and 9 months old and he is still kneading and suckling. My vet told me that I am "mommy" and this is why he does it. He was probably (most definitely) taken from his mom too early. Kittens knead their mothers while suckling milk, it helps release the milk. Take it as a compliment, he loves you very much and is content with you. You are mommy.
My vet also informed me that this behavior is never to be punished. It does hurt, I know. Sometimes I feel like his claw is going to get stuck in my head, lol. It can be very annoying, especially right before bed and early in the morning. My cat does it at all hours of the day if I am in bed! But, I continue to let him do it and he purrs and purrs. Hope this helps. (04/05/2006)
I have found a catsifier (pacifier for kittens and cats). It's a pillow with a fake fur cat cut out sewn in the pillow and on the belly of the cat are 4 pacifier nipples. The action is a soothing action for them like a child sucking their thumb. The catsifier gives them a safe area and it's not harassing you or your children or ruining any of your blankets. Go to catsifier.com (01/04/2007)
My kitten sucks on my lips, my ears, my fingers, my toes, etc. I find he gets deterred if I blow on his face whenever he gets near. Or if you give him a tiny nip on the ear. (06/17/2007)
I also have a kitten that does this. I am curious, how many of these cats are male and how many female? Ozzy would suck on anyone or thing he could get his mouth on when we first got him. Me, my kids, and my cat. Now, the other cat is 5 years old and was a bit spooked at first, since he is a male, but he has even accepted it.
Ozzy no longer sucks on me, since I gently but firmly pushed him away and said no in a firm voice. The kids did the same and now he doesn't do it any more to us. It took awhile, but it worked, and it didn't hurt him at all. Pain is never the answer with animals, any more than it is with children, and those who use it against them are cruel and should be punished! (08/10/2007)
WARNING: My cat died of cancer of the stomach pipe caused by sucking clothes containing traces of washing powder and fabric softener. Sucking behavour over time means that your car is ingesting the residue. In the case of your skin it sucks moisturisers and soap chemicals.
Kittens only "grow out of it" in cases where the cat was old enough to leave its mother's milk. Kittens taken from mothers young will be usually be addicted for life so one must gradually cut down.
Photo: Chequie ill and dying from suckling clothes. (06/30/2008)
My kitten was doing this to my earlobe and I stopped him when I noticed my earlobe was red and swollen. The sucking became quite aggressive as each month passed. What I did to stop it was put Ozonol on my earlobe. The smell drove him away. I imagine you could use vapor rub ointment too. They hate that smell. Just rub a bit on and eventually the cat will stop bothering your ear and you won't need the ointment anymore. (02/23/2009)
Rory does this as well. Though it's not because it was taken from him mom too early. He was very sick at 3 weeks old, and I nursed him with milk replacement, for a week and a half until he started nursing from mom again.
I'll be giving the Catifier a try. (06/30/2010)