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New kitten still trying to suckle?

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions - big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Princess- Zelda- Serafina

Nobody puts- Princess in the- corner!
 
 
Purred: Tue Jun 9, '09 11:13am PST 
The rescue said Zelda was 3 months, she acts that old (very active, coordinated, independent), but she's very tiny for that age. So we're just not sure. The other day she began suckling on this blanket I have, and now anytime she's near it she'll try to suckle. Just now she even tried to suckle on the carpet when I took her off the blanket. It's utterly adorable but also pathetic and I'm wondering what I should do about this? Is she missing some essential nutrient or behavior or something? She is also on the bony/skinny side, but all my cats were as kittens so I don't have anything else to compare it with. Thank you!
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Tully

The Tullster
 
 
Purred: Tue Jun 9, '09 9:06pm PST 
Hi Zelda - tell your Mom not to worry about the suckling. Me and my brother Luke suckled intermittently on our blankie until we were almost a year old. We were orphaned as young kittens and our foster Mom told our new Mommy who adopted us that this was normal behavior for pre-weaned kittens that seemed to give us comfort. We are now almost 15 months old and Mom hasn't seen us suckle our blankie in quite some time now.
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Abbie- McFlooferson

I not fat!! I- fluffy!!
 
 
Purred: Sat Jun 13, '09 1:50pm PST 
I have a mother and her kitten. The kitten - Abbie - is now about 1 year old. Until about a month ago, she was still trying to nurse from her mother Heidi! Heidi finally put an end to this. Abbie did suck a little bit on blankets after that but she's stopped it completely now. You certainly can't say she was taken away from her mother too early...she's still with her!

What I'm saying is, this is perfectly normal behaviour for a kitten. Just make sure she doesn't ingest any of the fibres from the blankets.
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Chibi

Proud mother of- the Gang of- Four!
 
 
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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Princess- Zelda- Serafina

Nobody puts- Princess in the- corner!
 
 
Purred: Sun Jun 14, '09 8:59am PST 
Thanks for all the advice! Oddly enough she doesn't put stuff in her mouth, just the blankie. And she's not majorly sucking on it, it's barely wet afterwards. We're looking into getting her her own blankie.
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Trixy

Oooo what's- that! I'm going- to get it!
 
 
Purred: Sun Jun 14, '09 2:30pm PST 
Trixy does this but to everyone in the family. I really wish she would pick an item to do that to. She will start licking you then next thing you know she is sucking on you. She does this when we all are trying to sleep, she actualy will try and burrow under the covers to get to any part of your skin. It drives us crazy. She also trys to do it when you are petting her. I think she does it because she was taken from her mom to soon. If your kitty has picked a blanket to do that to then I would keep that blanket for her so she doesn't try and go to something else. I had a cat growing up and he nursed on a big stuffed bear. It was his bear and he would sleep on it and kneed on it also.
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Junior

We Love You - Return Safely- Jr.!!!!
 
 
Purred: Sun Jun 14, '09 6:21pm PST 
I have had several kittens in the past that did this also and found that if you bottle feed them for a little while they tend to stop (anywhere from a week to 1 month or so) . I don't know why but they seem to eventually lose interest in it especially if you slowly dilute the kitten formula with more and more water each time. I hope this helps - I don't know if it works for all kittens but it worked for mine and a couple of friends who have tried it with their kitties. Good luck !kitty
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Coopurr

I still suck my- thumb...
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 25, '09 8:38am PST 
I actually posted soemthing similar to this a couple of weeks ago! My kitten -- Coopurr -- suckles his paw pad. I was concerned at first, too, but really it seems to be nothing more than a means for comforting himself. And he only does this when he's sitting next to me.

So cute, though, when they do it, isn't it?

big grin
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Tyger

*scratch* DON'T- STOP PETTING- ME!!
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 25, '09 10:37am PST 
My old cat used to try to suckle on my ear, lol. I finally got her to stop but she tried it for 3-5 years before giving up, haha. Some days I would wake up to a sucking sound and find her latched to my ear....very strange...though I really do miss that ol girl frown

Edited by author Thu Jun 25, '09 10:37am PST

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Spitfire

Aren't I- adorable?
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 25, '09 11:56am PST 
I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm almost 2 years old and I still sometimes try to suckle on my human moms blanket. Then again she thinks it has to do with the fact that I was taken away from my cat mom way too early. I was only maybe 3 to 4 weeks old....my little kitten eyes were even still blue.....when I was taken away from my cat mom. My human mom did NOT do that to me it was some kids who used to live in the building next to the one we live in. My human mom fed me kitten milk for a few weeks and then started gradually adding in canned kitten food and then dry kitten food soaked in kitten milk. All that went on until I was almost 6 months old before I could finally eat dry kitten food without kitten milk. Anyways yeah every once in a great while when i'm purring and kneeding my paws on her blanket I will start suckling on it too. It's mostly a comfort thing.....our way of saying "I'm so happy." or something like that.......at least that's what my mom thinks.
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