Ask a Cat Lady with Sarah Donner: Why Does My Cat Suck?

Apr 5th 2012  |   13 Contributions

Catster reader Adam asks: My kitten Lenny (who I adopted from a shelter -- he had been abandoned) has a weird habit of making a nest out of my clothes while I am still wearing them and almost sucking on my t-shirt? What’s up with that?

Sarah Says: When I was in the seventh grade, we adopted a shelter cat named Simba. This was before Lion King, so we were ahead of our time. My dad knows Swahili, so take that Disney! Anyways, Simba’s favorite past time was kneading and suckling my mom’s crotch. Yep. My siblings and I got some good laughs out of this. Crotch jokes are an endless source of entertainment when you are 11.

Don’t be too alarmed, Adam! Suckling is perfectly normal in kitties who were abandoned. Since they were never properly weaned away from their mother, many rescue cats retain infantile behavior as adults. I suspect, like my glass of wine, it’s a pleasant way to zone out and take the edge off a hard day.

If it bothers you, you can try to change your cat's behavior. Disengage every time he wants to suckle on your shirt. Consistently and quickly get up and leave whenever the behavior starts. You can try and substitute more suckable things, like new toys or a blanket. I don’t know, maybe there is a suckable scale out there to gage toys by. Sometimes increasing playtime can distract from the tendency to suckle too. Personally, I think it’s cute. And BONU: If you are single, I think you might be able to use this to your benefit. It’s like a man with a baby!

The Lyrics:

Why Your Cat Sucks By Sarah Donner

Well I was orphaned at the side of the road / With my siblings, but without a hope / But you stepped in and gave me a home

I was taken from my mom too soon / Without a nipple you develop issues /You are my theraputic substitute

I suck because I love you / If you love someone, you suck on them too

Please forgive me if I make a nest / Inside your underwear or in your dress / And if I try to nurse without a breast

It’s compulsive, it’s a comforter / It makes me happy so don’t be disturbed / When I make out with your boxers

I suck because I love you / If you love someone, you suck on them too

Sources: ASPCA, CatChannel

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