|Purred: Sun Jun 14, '09 3:46am PST |
|As you may already know, I am a novice Maine Coon breeder with two intact females. Leila had a litter of seven and went by the book--stopped nursing at the time she was scheduled to. Then Chibi stepped in, and virgin though she was, she provided milk for the kittens for another month--even though they were already eating kibble and cat food. None of my breeder friends had ever heard of this, and it did seem to do something to Chibi's hormonal system--we're trying to get her pregnant, but while she's been "in the clutch," she hasn't gotten pregnant yet. We're pretty sure that any cat who has such a strong maternal drive that she lactates for her sister is able to have kittens of her own--we just need to give her time.
As for my previous cats--brother and sister--they were the results of an oops litter and led a very happy life with Momcat until I adopted them at the orthodox two months. (Breeders prefer three, but two is usually not a problem.) Brother cat used to nurse on sister cat for a while. And after that, the behavior stopped.
Rather than worrying about the behavior--as you realize by now, odd suckling habits are not uncommon--do be sure that your cat is getting a nutritious diet and not ingesting extraneous objects, a habit known as pica. We can almost guarantee that this is not a serious or permanent condition, but, when in doubt, go to your vet.
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