Can a spayed female cat, who hasn't had a litter, suckle a kitten? Would she produce milk for the kitten? -Danielle

We have 3 adopted female cats - all spayed, all live strictly indoors.
Minnie - 4 years old, never had a litter.
Zoe - 3 years old, had a litter before we adopted her.
Cinnamon - 2 years old, not sure if she had a litter before we adopted her.
Just got Willow (female, 8 weeks old). Willow tries to suckle our neck and ears...
Just today I noticed her trying to suckle on Cinnamon's teat. Can Cinnamon produce milk for her? Willow was obviously taken from her mum too young and not properly weaned. Please help! Any information greatly appreciated!
Cheers, Danielle and Steve - Australia

Asked by Member 807187 on Feb 21st 2009 in Food & Nutrition
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No, she couldn't produce milk because she is spayed and hasn't had a litter recently. She could if she has had a litter within 8 weeks though.

Sunshine answered on 2/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


No, a spayed cat cannot produce milk. If a female cat was lactating at the time she was spayed, she will continue to produce milk for her kittens, but once her milk dries out she won't produce milk again. For Willow, suckling Cinnamon's teat is like sucking a pacifier. She isn't getting any milk, but it provides her some comfort and feelings of security. As long as Willow is eating her food, and Cinnamon isn't getting upset, this is harmless. When I adopted a mother and kitten pair, he continued to suckle on her until he was almost a year -and strange enough, the mother also suckled on herself! Some cats will find other things, such as their tails, your earlobes, or corners of blankets to suckle. Willow will most likely grow out of this behavior but some cats may still do it into their adulthood. I think its cute that Willow is feeling so welcomed and that Cinnamon is feeling protective and motherly over Willow. They should become good friends.

Member 595778 answered on 2/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


The answer is yes! Its happening with mine right now! My neutered male Loki (20 weeks, weaned for 12 wks) has started suckling from my 1yr old speyed queen Isis! They are unrelated and prior to this weren't getting on too famously! Then, the other night, it was suspiciously quiet and i went to find out what was going on and he was latched on to her suckling away and had a big milky face! I couldn't believe it! Neither could the vet (Isis has never had a litter and Loki is weaned)... Vet says its extremely rare but can happen (obviously cause i saw it with my own eyes!) Vet says to seperate them as she may get mastitis as she shouldn't really be lactating. But i guess - there's no defining nature! Hope this reassures you that you are not alone - at least your kitties are 'keeping it in the family' - mine are getting on a bit better now tho! lol! x

Member 814470 answered on 3/11/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer