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tail sucking?

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Piper

mommy is cool
 
 
Purred: Thu Jan 25, '07 7:58am PST 
i love to suck my tail a lot but mom thinks it's weird. i'll just suck and suck until my tail's all wet. mom wonders why i do it. does anyone know??
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Aurora

Who me? Rrrr- meh?
 
 
Purred: Thu Jan 25, '07 9:06am PST 
When I was really little my mom said that we had a cat that would nurse on itself. I have heard that this behavior is not really unusual, it is like a human child sucking their thumb. Ariel and Aurora are sucklers too but Aurora grabs a piece of blanket and makes bread. Ariel prefers to make bread on my chest and lick me to death. Was your kitty separated from momma cat early like my girls? That is probably why they exhibit this behavior. I am thinking about getting a special momma pillow with teats called a catsifier for my girls but I am waiting to hear how other kitties like it first since they are a little pricey.
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Piper

mommy is cool
 
 
Purred: Thu Jan 25, '07 11:30am PST 
I don't think Friday was taken away from her mommy at a young age...the people I got her from told me she was a stray that they took and and nursed to health...so I suppose it's possible. But I had a cat before that I got when he was 1 month old from a shelter and he was way too young to be taken from mommy but they did for some reason, and he never did this. He did knead me a lot though. It's just funny to see Friday suck her tail, you really have to yank to get it out of her mouth! I'm afraid she will get hairballs from this.
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Pippin

One handsome- devil
 
 
Purred: Thu Jan 25, '07 4:18pm PST 
Sometimes cats may do that as a nervous habit, but if she is not licking all the hair off I would not worry about it.

I agree with Aurora, it is probably just a quirky kitten trait. My Demi will crawl up at night and knead my collar and chew it till it is good and wet.
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Davinci

Don't rush me,- I'm thinking...
 
 
Purred: Thu Jan 25, '07 7:48pm PST 
Hello from Davinci and his person, Kaelen!

I (Kaelen) was about to post about an issue my Davinci has when I saw your post and read the responses, and I hope you don't mind but it seems like a good place to add his situation because it is virutally the same. Except that he sucks his nipples.

He is a ragdoll, and was with his mother, father, siblings and several other cats for a full 12 weeks. The breeder seems to know what she is doing, and was mentored by a well-known and respected breeder in the midatlantic region (USA) when she started.

Originally he was shaved because when he was neutered at 12 weeks old, the day before we picked him up, his second testicle had not descended, so they had to make an incision in his abdomen to get it. I'm told it was removed successfully. At first he was just licking at the wound, and we watched him VERY closely for about three days and manually stopped him again and again and again because we were afraid he would tear it open he was going at it so vigorously. The stitches were desolvable but I think he tried to pull them out so the vet, at his wellness check, said to put the bitter apple directly on him.

I did this for a couple of days but it made him sneeze and wretch like he had a hair ball and poot some really stinky poots. He hated the way it felt, which was cold and wet (and stinks strongly of alcohol). Anyway...somewhere along the line, while messing with the incision, he discovered his bald nipples. After several days it looked like his incision was doing very well, and the vet had said it was, so I stopped using the bitter apple and he quickly developed a strong habit of nipple sucking instead of incision sucking. His entire tummy is drenched in drool, he gets so into it...purring, kneading the air or his tail, purring loudly. He actually falls asleep doing it, and if he wakes up to change position he does it again. He goes so far into the zone we can vacuum, pick him up and put him down somewhere else and he doesn't even stop to look around. I think we could juggle with him and he wouldn't notice.

I thought putting my post in with yours would keep all the "sucking issues" responses in one spot instead of dividing them with a separate post, since I imagine it is the same thing and maybe the same cure. The vet suggested a baby's "onsie" with the snaps cut off, but I don't think that would deter my boy because he would just push it up until he got to his belly. He sucks so hard, I swear there are little hickies, blue and red spots around the incision and nipples. He doesn't like me messing with his belly at all, which I really wasn't expecting from a 14 month old Ragdoll. Its kind of a bummer because the only time he isn't playing madly, and isn't asleep, is when he is tuckered out and winding down, and while I appreciate that he likes to do his thing on my lap, I would like to share more of that time with him, and also not have his belly sopping wet. He's pretty much oblivious to me when he does it.

Anyway, maybe some garment would work for the tail, or maybe the bitter apple would be enough and wouldn't bother yours the same way. The vet's assistant had a tail sucking Ragdoll and she gave him a soft stuffed animal his size to groom and cuddle with. I've tried that with Davinci, though and he wasn't interested. I would also like to know if the cat pacifier product works well. I don't even know how much it costs because the website didn't work right when I clicked any of the links. Hopefully something will work! I put more bitter apple on him for tonight, anyway.

Kaelen and Davinci
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Thai Pie

My Heart Belongs- to Theo !!
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '07 8:12am PST 
Hi Piper, my name is Thai and I am a one year old Siamese. I suck my tail too. My mom says that it is really a yucky habit but I can't stop. The vet said that it is more common in the Oriental breeds. She did some research and said that a small amount of Prozac might help. Unfortunately it didn't help me at all. My mom has figured out that I only do it when I am happy - like kneading and purring. A few weeks ago I fractured my leg and had surgery to repair it. For 6 weeks I was kept in a small area where I could not run around and re injure the leg. I didn't suck my tail for the whole time. However, as soon as I was well and back on my mom's lap I went back to sucking it again. We are working on breaking the habit by saying no and curling the tail over my back. It is working to some degree. Hope your mom has solved the problem for you.
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VooDoo

Purr and bite
 
 
Purred: Mon Jul 28, '08 12:41pm PST 
Hi my name is VooDoo. I am a tail sucker and I don't care who knows. I only suck my tail when I feel lonely and I want to be held. I lay in mommy's arms when I'm tired and I suck my tail till I fall asleep.
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Callie

815770
 
 
Purred: Mon Jul 28, '08 5:21pm PST 
Callie sucks on blankets or my clothes. She makes biscuits the hardest I have ever seen a kitty do and suckles so loud it will wake you up.....leaves huge wet marks. Before she starts to "nurse" globs of drool just fall out of her mouth like she is anticipating the best thing ever.
It is sweet and I do not mind it unless it is bad for her to do it. All of this cutesy behavior from a kitty who tends to bite without warning when she has had enough petting!
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aurelia- morningstar

800668
 
 
Purred: Tue Jul 29, '08 8:20am PST 
i love to suckle on myself too, mostly in the armpit and belly areas. i do it in while i'm half-asleep or fully napping and make biscuits and purr like crazy the whole time. my mom and dad try to stop me, but i just relocate and start up again. they know i'll grow out of it, but they don't like how loud it can be in the middle of the night!
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Errol

1187745
 
 
Purred: Fri Jul 15, '11 4:32am PST 
My Errol is an 8 month old Siamese. He was adopted with his favorite sister, Audrey, and they didn't come home with us until they were 16 weeks old, so I don't think there are any early separation issues driving his tail sucking. He started this a few weeks before he was neutered, and now he typically sucks his tail when he's happy, on my lap or snuggled on the bed. I've tried bitter apple (Errol thinks that is yummy!), pepper, even lemon, but he just sucks it all right off. Sometimes he even sucks his sister's tail, and she doesn't seem to mind. Although I'm really worried that he'll damage his lovely looooong tail over time. I searched around on line and decided to try the "T-touch." I'm not sure if I'm doing it right, but it seems to distract him somewhat. Is this something he might grow out of? Or do I need to be more consistent and assertive with him? Any other ideas would be appreciated.
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