Adult cat likes to "nurse" his human mum.

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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Tommy Dodge

I have a real- home now!
Purred: Sat Feb 2, '08 8:24am PST 
I just adopted tommy a few days ago and he is exactly what I've wanted in a cat. He has finally started eating and grooming himself again and is settling into a routine. He is a very affectionate and snuggly cat and does alot of "making biscuits" or kneading his paws which is adorable. About 30-50% of the time this is accompanied by his desire to "nurse" usually my arm or (!) my neck. While this is kindof cute and somewhat endearing, it is also a little strange and hard to read or watch tv with him doing this particularly when he makes a stubborn go for my neck. How should I deal with this behavior? He's not doing anything wrong and I don't want to discourage him from cuddling on my lap so I'm hesitant to give a reprimand but I'd also like A little more control over this tendency.


kaya skye

not fighting my- demons-we joined- forces
Purred: Sat Feb 2, '08 8:47am PST 
my three month old kitten is a little sucker...i hit upon a sort of solution in self defense. she would suck my hair and head at night...which i found disturbing, to say the least. like you, i didn't want to discourage natural, friendly behavior...and she's a baby. so i threw a blanket over my head and let her suck on that instead...over time, she has gradually shifted her affections to the blanket, and i have been able to come out from under. she bunches it against me and nurses it, occasionally licking my face, then goes to sleep curled up to my cheek...so, a transition object? (warning: my kitten is very very weird, what works with her might not work with anything else except possibly a lefthanded dragon off his ritalin with the hiccups...)

Tethys- Fluffkins

Size matters if- it comes to- whiskers!
Purred: Sat Feb 2, '08 8:06pm PST 
Kneading is usually a sign of contentment. It's a good thing! cloud 9cloud 9cloud 9

Even though it is a hold-over from baby-hood, it doesn't mean anyone is trying to suckle your arm or whatever. Many cats knead their favorite blanket or their bed. Sammy kneads her bed or the sheep fleece if she's happy. I knead the bedspread every night because I am ready to go to bed and Meommy is there too! Bob and TJ knead their meommy's face or hair or lap or tummy or whatever. And they drool sometimes too. They are both 16 years old!

It's natural, it's normal, it's a very, very good sign. If you aren't comfortable with it, gently put the kitty where he can knead and feel good about it. But don't stop it. Enjoy it for what it is.cheer

kaya skye

not fighting my- demons-we joined- forces
Purred: Sat Feb 2, '08 8:18pm PST 
well, not sure about tommy, but kaya doesn't just knead...she suckles. she was soaking my hair, until i substituted the blanket, and there is something a little creepy about a cat sucking on your head or neck, however nicely you know they mean it...the catula thing was disturbing my rest even through the blanket...like being attacked by a two pound succubus...until i was finally able to lower the blanket...which, by the way, she soaks. sucks, and sucks, and sucks, until it's soaked. which, until i switched her to the blankie, was the nightly fate of my hair...


2 cute
Purred: Sat Feb 2, '08 10:41pm PST 
milo kneads his favorite blanket it is a sign of contentment

Member Since
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '08 7:45am PST 
It means the cat was taken from his/her mom to early as a kitten... its a sign of pre weaning trama frown

Sadly at this point there's really nothing you can do about it cry


Rub my belly!
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '08 7:53am PST 
Like the guest said, it is a sign of a kitten being separated too early from his Mom. My parents had a cat that would "nurse" off of herself and our dog for the first 2-3 years we had her. Eventually she grew out of it. My hope is that the more secure he feels and the longer he is with you, the more this behavior will fade away. You could maybe spray your arm/neck with sour apple when you think he's going to do this or you could try and redirect his attention. Maybe get him some sort of stuffed animals (no little parts he can swallow like eyes, etc) and rub it with catnip. If you can get him to develop a special relationship with some sort of comfort object like this, then you can just substitute it when he goes for your neck. These aren't things I've tried, just things I might try if my kitties were doing this so I can't make any promises.


tie-tie boo
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '08 9:32am PST 
My Tiger tries to nurse on my short or arm... I think it is for secutiy... but oh does he ever purr when he does it..... So to me it's normal.. cause he's done it for about 2 yrs.....

Love Tiger's Mommy


Little boy in a- cat suit
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '08 10:31am PST 
Tommy, first of all, I'd like to welcome you to your new home. I know your mommy is so happy to have you, especially as she just lost her precious dog (we looked at her profile and know for a fact how beautiful and loved she was). You are helping your mommy's heart heal and she is showing you what it feels like to be loved and safe for the rest of your life.

Now, back to the subject: nursing on the human. Mommy said she had a cat when she was a child, a siamese kitten that she rescued at a very young age from a construction site where she had been trapped in a portable generator. Jasmine was the sweetest little thing, even though she was completely covered in tar and not discovered to be a siamese until after several baths. But she suckled mommy and maybe mommy's parents, too. She would try to suckle mommy's underarms, which felt very funny. When they asked the vet, he said the kitten had been taken from it's mommy too soon and would probably always do that. She did. The humans just got used to it!


I'm kneady
Purred: Sun Feb 3, '08 2:29pm PST 
I just finished kneadin' on my mama! I like to knead on her arm and her neck/shoulder. It makes me feel warm and safe and loved. A lot of us kitties do it. There's even a group devoted to us kneady kitties. http://www.catster.com/group/I_knead_you-1373. I would do the link, but i lost my instructions.red face

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