A cat sucking on a blanket.
A cat sucking on a blanket. Photography ©ElenaBoronina | Thinkstock.

Kitten Suckling — Is It a Bad Thing?

Kitten suckling can be a sign of stress, compulsive behavior, or even just happiness or contentment — so why do cats and kittens suckle? Should you worry?
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About a week into our kitten Norton’s life at our house, we noticed that he was suckling himself, using one of his own nipples. He’d go at it in a really focused way, and knead his paws at the same time, purring loudly. Having no experience with this, we took him to the vet, who reassured us that the behavior was nothing to worry about. She noted that the nipple was not inflamed or infected. The vet said that kittens may outgrow this kitten suckling behavior, and that sometimes kitten suckling happens when a kitten has been orphaned too young. The latter had been something I wondered about.

Still, I wanted to find out more. Would this kitten suckling behavior go away? Did it mean he was stressed or just contented? If I distracted him, would he stop? (When Norton suckles, which now seems to be occurring less and less, nothing can distract him.)

Kitten suckling — what is it?

Kitten Suckling
Cats or kittens may suckle on things like blankets. Photography © zlyka2008 | Thinkstock.

Kitten suckling can occur when cats suck on their nipples, other areas of skin and other objects. Cats might suckle on rugs, your skin tags, your ears or your fingers. Jamie Bluebell came to us as a kitten and for a very brief time, she would suckle on a skin tag on my husband’s armpit. She also liked to suck on the frames of his glasses. But Jamie got over it fairly quickly, and from what we know, we think that Jamie was not orphaned as young as Norton.

The causes of cat or kitten suckling

The causes of kitten suckling can include being separated from mom too early. Ideally, kittens should not be weaned from mom earlier than six weeks. But according to ASPCA information online, cat or kitten suckling can also be a sign of stress, compulsive behavior, or even just happiness or contentment. It’s a hard behavior to nail down.

Is kitten suckling bad for kitties?

Sometimes kittens suckling is harmless. But sometimes, according to this Catster article, cats or kittens can do damage to each other or themselves if they suckle too hard or for too long. The article refers to what is probably a high-stress situation — kittens in a Humane Society who are motherless and suckling each other to the point of damage.

Should you do anything about kitten suckling?

My vet proposed no solution. She saw no reason to be concerned in Norton’s case.

If you’re not concerned about suckling and your cat continues, you can try to make the situation a little safer. For example, if your cat loves to suckle blankets, make sure that the blanket fabric doesn’t pill or have loose threads that your cat could swallow.

Obviously, trying to physically stop your cat from suckling (in the moment) or yelling at your cat when he’s suckling are not good solutions. If your cat is suckling from stress, this will only stress him more.

Here’s what I’m going to do about kitten suckling

Most of what I’ve read (and observed at home) say to me that kitten suckling is not a bad thing. It seems that Norton is getting comfort, and he’s not acting like he’s doing it from stress. The site is not infected, as my vet pointed out, and we’re keeping an eye on that. The frequency of suckling gradually seems to be diminishing. And if we’re playing with Norton, or snuggling, suckling seems to be far from his mind. So I’ll wait it out, and see what happens. In my situation, I’m not worried. Norton seems happy and not stressed or compulsive.

In short — and the ASPCA article worded this in a helpful way — if the kitten suckling is interfering with your cat’s quality of life, then it’s time to seek help. If your cat is damaging his skin, or the skin of another, or seems to be suckling as a kind of stress response, seek help. Get the help of a certified cat behaviorist or your veterinarian.

Tell us: Have you ever had a suckling cat or suckling kitten? What did you do about kitten suckling? Let us know in the comments!

Thumbnail: Photography ©ElenaBoronina | Thinkstock.

About the author

About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of a short story collection about people and place. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

Read more on similar cat behaviors on Catster.com:

164 thoughts on “Kitten Suckling — Is It a Bad Thing?”

  1. My kitty is sucking on my neck as we speak he is 4 months old and we got him about 2 months ago. It’s a comfort thing for him.. he snuggles in the warmest part of my neck and it usually puts him to sleep. I set boundaries, I dont let him suck as much as he tries but he does give up after ive made the point I’m not in the mood. He loves doing it while snuggling and I think it’s the cutest thing ever! He wont do it to my kids or hubby.. only mama so it’s a special little bond I have with him.

  2. Wow! Now I don’t feel so alone. I adopted two kittens at 7 wks. old. They are now 6 months old. While my girl kitty is very confident, cuddly, and independent, her brother is much more skittish and needy. He has been suckling my t-shirt since he was two months old. He also used to try suckling on my hubs’ shirt, but that option was immediately shut down.

    Junior has not shown any signs of stress, so I attribute it to him being ripped from his Mother at such a young age. Redirecting him to another piece of cloth (something…ANYTHING that I’m not wearing) is not working. He’s so precious when he suckles, I don’t mind him doing it if I’m reading or watching t.v., but inevitably he wakes me up throughout the night. THAT is not at all endearing. Any suggestions on how to successfully redirect would be most appreciated. I’m totally exhausted most of the time.

  3. I have a 2 and a half month old female kitten who suckles on my ear lobes and she seeks me out to do it.. As soon as i walk in the door from work she cries for me to allow her to climb up me to do this.. Im worried and haven’t been able to find any answers in regards to her doing this and not really eating her cat food as often? Do u think that if I continue to allow her to do this she may stop eating all together?? Whats ur thoughts??

    1. Mine too!! I know her mom was killed right after birth. I’m going to let her do it for a little while. I’m trying a few options like a blanket,kitten bottle

    2. My 4 month old kitten is suckling my finger he has been doing it since I got him at 8 weeks old from the breeder

    3. You are so lucky!! I once took in an orphaned 1 week old kitten to foster “just until it’s old enough to find it a home”. That ugly little kitten quickly decided I was her mama, and she was a voracious ear sucker from day one. :’) My 6 year old daughter named her Bubbles & I quickly gave up the pretense that I would ever ‘find her a home’. Like your little one, Bubbles would meet me at the door when I came home from work and follow me around the house until I’d sit down to nurse her for a few minutes. Bubbles eventually gave up her need to nurse my ear at about 2 years old, but she never gave up her need to be as close to me as humanly possible. I was hers and she was mine, and that was that. She was the sweetest little soul I have ever known. It’s been 10 years since she died in my arms and I stillnmiss her every single day. I’ve often thought it was her nursing that fostered our close relationship.

      In September we got a new kitten… when she started sucking my shirt on the first day my heart smiled. She’s now 5 months old, and she’s a voracious shirt sucker. Her name is Georgie, but every now and then I catch myself calling her Bubbs….

  4. We had recently taken in a baby kitten who is now 5 weeks old. We have notices that he is now sucking or trying to nurse on my 1 year old female cat who has never had a litter. Is this normal? Should i stop it? Will he stop himself? Can this hurt her? Please help

  5. yes I had the same problem
    my kitten is 6 weeks and she continuously licks and suckling me before she sleeps
    she literally does it until the spot that been licked is full of her saliva

    1. Mine is a bit older than that, but he still wants to do this. He’s leaving little kitten hickey’s on my neck. I’m going to have to direct him to my arm or find something else.

      1. My two and a half old kitten is suckling on my neck too. The skin is actually quite bruised. I was thinking about getting him something like a kitten bottle to let him suckle on. He doesn’t seem stressed. It’s more like bonding.

    2. This is happening to my lil guy he is 3 months old tho and suckles every night before sleep. He purrs really loudly and kneeds the blanket…. nothing can stop him from doing this. I think it’s cuz he misses his mommy and litter. He purrs so loudly while suckling. Kinda cute lol. But annoying while my blanket becomes wet with saliva. Hope he grows out of it soon… hope you can find answers too.
      From Erin

  6. Barnum ( Cats name no one needs to know mine)

    My kitten is a 2 month old male who suckles my legs and arms u til he falls asleep then he will wake up and start again. While reading the resent comments it seems like All the kittens that do this are males. Does anyone have a female that does this?

    1. We have a 14 week old female that will still suckle. She is absolutely not stressed in the least, and this is just something that she does when she is relaxed or sleepy. She was not weaned too early, 7 weeks, and was completely on kitten food.

    2. Tink and Toki’s Mommy

      My 14 week old female suckles but her brother doesn’t. She will suckle on fingers, chins, and knuckles. She even like to try and suckles noses and mouths but ewww lol

    3. I have 2 sisters, 3 months old that suckle.
      One is larger and suckles the smaller one as the smaller one suckles on herself too.

  7. We got a kitten at 8 weeks but they were really small so we did not believe they were 8 Weeks, but anyway he is now about 3 months and he will jump up in my lap and start to suckle until he falls asleep. This is very odd because he has a sister the same age and she does not do it. Is this like a male kitten thing?and is there a way to stop it?

    1. My little female kitten was supposedly 2 1/2 months old but as her eyes hadn’t finished changing colors yet and she was tiny, I’m guessing she was 6 weeks. She would suckle the end of her tail or into the crook of my arm but now she’s 8 weeks and its decreasing significantly. She still does it a bit in her sleep. I have been giving her fresh goats milk as I figured she actually wasn’t weaned when I got her and that seems to have really helped. Her fur is a lot softer and shinier as well. Her brother hasn’t had the same suckling issues.

  8. I had 2 Male kittens that suckled and one onto the other while one suckled a blanket. When it got bad I dabbed a little bitter apple only on the spot I didnt want then suckling but gave then each something to suckle. A blanket specific for each of them and used kitten milk dabbed on the blanket to draw them to suckle only that item. The behavior decreases but took a couple months. No harm to either and they are happiest critters now.

  9. Hi I have just adopted a ginger male kitten. He has been living with us now for approx a month, an has started suckling on my tee-shirts…I am not sure if this is normal??? He seems very happy here an not stressed.

    1. That is similar to what my cat is doing I want to believe that this is normal because so many other cats do it.

    2. Be glad it’s just inanimate objects. Our little Chloe (14 weeks) tried to nurse on one of my wife’s nipples this morning! That didn’t go over well, to say the least!

    3. Hi I have a 4 month old simese kitten who is a male and he’s doing the very Same thing he’s not stressed at all and is very cuddly and lovable on me at all times! I just want to make sure him suckling on me or my shirts isn’t gonna harm him

  10. Elizabeth Ferguson

    I brought home a small male black kitten (about 8 weeks old I’d guess) and after a few days of the older (about 10 years old) neutered male cat hissing and getting used to the newcomer, the kitten began to nurse on the right-side collarbone of the older male cat. He would lick and lick that one spot, knead, drool, etc. until the older cat got tired of it and just walked away. Three years later, every day, at least a time or two, Nospurratu cuddles up and ‘nurses’ on the old man’s neck.

  11. I adopted two kittens from a shelter around 14 weeks old. They were born in a foster home and brought to the shelter just one week before we adopted them. Their mother was only 7 months when she had the litter, so I don’t know if that someway attributed to the behavior. Anyway, one of them suckles on himself all the time especially when he is content, so I don’t think it is a sign of stress but rather comfort. Either way it is compulsive. Even when we are petting him and he is purring he feels happy and starts suckling. Rather than waning as he gets older it seems to becoming more prevalent. Everything I’ve read seems to say this is not a problem and they will outgrown it, but I believe it is getting worse, and is becoming a problem that will only become harder to break, and continue to be more enforced, as he gets older. He is 6 months old now. I don’t see him outgrowing it. Aside from my concern about his compulsivity, it is also gross. His body is covered in saliva, and the sound is like nails on a chalk board. Is there something topical we could use perhaps to discourage it?

    1. The same thing is happening with my 7-month-old cat. I work from home and she sucks on her nipple all throughout the day and wants to be lying right next to me when she does it. I can’t take the sound of it. I’ve tried to interrupt the behavior by telling her to stop and adjusting her position so she snaps out of her orgasmic state. She stops sometimes and then goes right back to it. After everything I’ve read, it seems like there’s nothing to worry about and that it’s healthy and she’s happy. My next attempt will be to pick her up and put her in a different room and close the door so she can suck in private. It is really distracting to me.

      1. My kitty does the same . She starts sucking her nipples when I pet her. So I take her and put her to her bed next to the window. She eventually goes to sleep.

    2. I have the same issue with my 16 week year old female. She started doing this after her spay surgery healed when she was 10 weeks and hasn’t stopped. She suckles herself when i pet her and purrs and kneads. There is saliva allover and I dont like the way it sounds or looks either. Not very ladylike. Sometimes she will sit straight up and bend over and do it. I started putting an e-collar on her when she starts to do it but I feel bad b.c she does seem content when she does it. And she still purs in the ecollar at least. Though ill take it off and the next time we sit together and I pet her she does the same thing. If you find a permanent solution i would love to know!

  12. My cat sucks on a blanket but she does until she puts herself to sleep and it’s the same blanket every time and I don’t mind she hardly does it at all but At first she was doing it constantly finding different spots on the blanket but now she does it at night mostly. she doesn’t do it very long and then she’s out like a light she’s very affectionate when she does.

  13. My husband and I rescued 4 kittens from out from under a house 12 years ago. They were 8 to 9 weeks old at the time according to our vet. The only boy, Magic, still to this day suckles on any blanket I have on me or next to me. He doesn’t suckle unless he’s on me. My vet said he does it because he’s happy and very content with me. When he doesn’t have a blanket and I’m petting him, he drools all over me. It’s nice to know it’s not just my baby who does this.

  14. I have a three (3) year old cat that still suckles on her favorite blanket. While she is suckling, she also kneeds the blanket with her paws. I’m sure it reminds her of nursing on her mother since it is emulating the same motions. I think it makes her feel good and that’s why she does it. I actually encourage it.

  15. I have 2 rescue kittens. I was told they were 2 months old, taking them to my vet, she said more like 4 weeks, barely. They started suckling on my blanket immediately, no one else’s. They’re about 6 months old now and still suck on just my blanket, not as much now. If I let someone else use it, they won’t touch it, lay on me and stare at it or run around playing. I stopped seeing a lot of stress or frantic behavior after about 3 – 4 months, now more of comfort and relaxation. It doesn’t bother me, just the constant stopping to give me noise kisses. Lol

  16. I rescued my kitten “Pickles” at a very young age, his mama was killed, the kittens were born in a barn and he was in terrible shape. I tried to bottle feed him but he literally tore the nipple apart trying to feed. I took him to my vet a week later and she estimated him to be 5-6 weeks old, he weighed less than a pound. He nursed on himself which my vet said was common for orphaned kittens and was a comfort to him. He just recently stopped at 1 year old. He would knead me and purr loudly, I just let him do his thing. He is a huge and very happy cat now at 16 months.

  17. I recently was given 2 kittens at just over 5 weeks. I think that’s too early but what’s done is done. I supplemented them with KMR mixed with wet food and they now eat dry kibble and drink water, no problem. At about 6 1/2 weeks My female kitten, not the male, started suckling on my lips and I didn’t discourage because they were taken too early. It’s always just before a long nap and she purrs and sometimes falls asleep still attached to me. I can tell my hubby doesn’t agree but I can’t bring myself to stop her as it seems like a sweet bonding time. I’ve read all the older comments and other information as well and if it’s not hurting my kittens, do I need to stop? I really appreciate it myself and if she ever stops then I’ll make her as happy as I can elsewhere. I Love my furkids.

  18. I got Pixie after she was 9 weeks old. She likes to suckle on my skin at times. I’ve never had a kitten to act like this so I’m surprised! She’s definitely not stressed Cruz she’s dearly loved. When I distract her with toys, she stops and doesn’t do it again until she seems hungry.. I feed her a soft hard mix and no problem again until she seems hungry again. To me it’s seeming to be her way of telling me it’s good time. I’ve just not had a cat to do this and it’s all new. However, I also have a dog and she’s not tried to suckle on her and they’re best buddies. It’s just me.

  19. My 6 month old cat still sucks on my cheek but mostly the tops of my fingers. I found this little cat when she was tiny, tiny in my flower bed.
    I brought her inside and bottle fed her til she was six weeks old.
    I have bottle fed other kittens I have found and kept. They always seem to be extra close to me. My mother always said they didn’t get to nurse the mother enough. I have had many cats and they all knead with their paws on soft furry blankets, but only the ones I have bottle fed seem to want to suckle more, be it a blanket or a finger. My cheek is soft as a momma cats tit, so no wonder! Ha!

  20. I have an 8 month old cat that still tries to suckle on me. I rescued her when she was 2 months old, and her 2 back legs were broken. We’ve tried to train her to stop, but it hasn’t worked.

    1. Since she has obviously been through a traumatic time, I would not stop her from something that gives her comfort. I would try to substitute a stuffed animal for her to suckle instead. As she gets older at times I would try to tempt her into playing instead to try to gradually decrease the frequency of suckling.

  21. My kitten is 10 months old and he has been suckling on my cloths since he was a baby and he suckles on my partner’s clothes too when I’m not available for him. When I’m sleeping he suckles on me and when I’m awake.When he suckles on me he purrs & kneads. If I pull him away from me he will keep coming back a few more times and then he goes storming in the other room upset. He is neutered but It doesn’t stop his hormones if you know what I mean. If I’m laying or sitting down, no matter what I’m doing even while I’m working out..he will jump on my lap and he will suckle on me. If I try to get him down he doesn’t like it and he will bite me with a tight clench and won’t let go until I pull him away. I dont know what to do. Desperately seeking answers.

    1. Find a nice silky soft stuffed animal or bunched up blanket and try to put it between yourself and him when he suckles so that he can be trained to suckle on it instead. Make sure that the stuffed animal or blanket has no loose threads, buttons, or anything else that he could pull off and choke on.

  22. I have a 4 mo old Bengal kitten. He suckles on my shirt or my throw, which is poly Cotten. I know he wasn’t taken too early. I read somewhere that you were to try to get them to stop by moving head and saying no sternly, not yelling. I usually put my hand under his mouth and try to guide it somewhere else. I never see him doing unless he is resting on me.
    I have had him about 6 weeks. He seems very happy, especially with his canine sister, Maggie.
    On this web site it says not to worry but I have never had a kitten do this.
    Will it go away as he gets older?
    Thanks

  23. My cat Salem is literally sucking on my chin as j type this… he sucks on my chin, eyes (when I’m asleep) cheeks, neck, shoulders, my chest, my fingers, arms and palms of my hands… yupp… just about everywhere ???? he usually purrs when he does this and then falls asleep… so I’m guessing he does it when he’s happy ? I’m not sure but it does get annoying cause I have to constantly stop him before he makes me a hickey. One morning I woke up with little spots on my shoulder I was like what the! What is this… come to find out it was my cat I had no idea until he started sucking on me while I was awake… another morning I woke up with little spots on my chin… ahhhhhh salem ???? but I love him so I guess I’ll put up with it ????‍♀️????‍♀️

  24. Sounds like my Esmé. She suckles on my fingers and thumb, but only does it when she’s yelling to relax and go to sleep. I figure it’s because she was about 1 1/2 – 2 weeks old when we got called to rescue her. I bottle fed her. She didn’t want to give up her bottle, but I figured 10 weeks was enough. She currently get a quarter scoop of formula in 4 tablespoons of water 4x a day.I’ve formed a deep attachment to her. She’s 12 weeks now.

  25. I found 4 orphaned kitties when they were maybe a couple weeks old. They hadn’t eaten in at least 5 days, so I took them home and bottle fed them and miraculously they survived. They’re around 3 months old now and they constantly suckle on one another when they’re lounging around and napping on the porch. They make a kitty suckling train; backs, nipples, whatever’s available! My wife hates it, but I always figured it was completely harmless and was happening because they didn’t get to nurse like they should’ve.

    I also brought home a couple kittens years ago and I went downstairs and caught my tomcat letting one of the kittens nurse on him! They broke it up immediately and looked so shame faced!!!

  26. Pingback: Kitten Suckling — Is It a Bad Thing? | PetTraining.org

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  29. i found our kitten when he was 4 and a half weeks old he is now 10 weeks old he trys to suck on mine and my daughters fingers my mom also woke up to him sucking on her neck around her chin we simply pull out hands away and change the sitiuation if he starts to try to suck we will get up and leave for a moment or start to play with him with a toy he dose not seem stressed when he dose it im sure it is because he gets cozy and warm when snuggleing and it reminds him of his mom i do hope that he outgrows it though

  30. A small kitten followed us home one day from a bike ride three weeks ago. We’ve since adopted him and called him Albus. We are thinking he’s about 9 weeks old now. Albus has started to sleep on my neck and now he suckles my eyes. I’m guessing I’ve become his surrogate mom. This article is very helpful. I was worried he was too young when he found us. Thanks for the insight!

  31. I was visiting my visiting my fiance’s mother and knew we would be bringing a street kitten back with us. The little girl was just about 2 months old. We brought her in for the night for easier transportation in the morning. The night proved to be quite eventful. Having the little girl on the bed she was happy to be held. She suckled a bit on my eye and quite a bit on my neck. My fiance thought she might be hungry, which turns out was the case.

  32. Our Oscar and his brother Charlie came to us at 8 weeks old, having been fostered after being rescued from VOKRA. Oscar suckles cotton fabrics suchk such as our sheets and clothes, but wool deters him. His brother does not suckle, so it is curious to me that littermates like them are different in this way. It leads me to wonder as they were both taken from their mother at the same time. When Oscar suckles, it is when he’s given calm and affection, usually in our bed and always with my contact/giving scritches and love. So after 6 years now I dont worry about it so much as I think it’s a sign of comfort. I was concerned when he was a kitten considering all of the stress he must have been through, and that his brother had never had the same behaviour, but now it’s just a thing we accept. He does do it when he’s stimulated by affection so I think its probably not that bad a thing as long as the fabric isn’t ingested and as i said he’s deterred by wool blankets. He’s a sweet cub. We’ve come to accept that it’s just his way.

  33. I have a Gray tabby called Tobias.. 3 months old .. who’s taken to suckling on my eye lids.. my neck my ears behind my ears .. purrs really loudly and paws too.. but doesn’t seen to be growing out of it.. anybody any suggestions?

  34. I have a small black kitten that was abandoned by his mom at 3 weeks old. His name is SweetSweet and he answers to it. I bottle fed him then introduced cat food. Well he started suckling on my neck to fall asleep. He would just fall asleep and lay on my chest with a look of contentment, so I don’t think he’s stressed, he thinks I’m mom lol
    He follows me everywhere and comes when I call him. He s such a sweetie and can suckle on my neck as long as he likes if it makes him content.

  35. My kitten seems to like to suck on my 11 year old pitt bulls lip. My dog doesn’t mind this. She just lays there and let’s him. If she does tire of it, she just gets up and moves. My kitten is now 3 months old and is still continuing this behavior. Not sure how to stop him from doing this.

    1. ..and people say pitties are dangerous beasts. That must make for an enchanting scene, your senior pittie girl letting a kitten suckle her lips!

  36. I took in a kitten whose mother had been hit by a car. No one around was sure of it’s age. There were 5 kittens. Nala looked to just have gotten her teeth so we estimated about 3.5 to 4 weeks old. She’s a crazy fun girl. Very smart. Very attached to me. Almost dog line in her devotion. Chases our other cat away anytime she gets too close to me. She has started “nursing” on me. She is determined and hard to push off. She prefers my tee shirt in the right corner near armpit. She doesn’t meow much instead coos like a pigeon. Lol and when she nurses it doesn’t seem stress related. She actually has a routine. Every morning after the alarm, midday and nighttime before bed. She purrs loud as a train. Lol. I’ve accepted it’s her thing and allow her. Yes she’s spoiled. But as I said very attached. She follows me everywhere room to room. Gets in the shower with me. Sits on my lap even when I go to the bathroom. I leave and she sits on Mack of couch by door until I return. Some have said I need to discourage her nursing and some of her attachments to me. Should I? Is it harming her to allow her to do what makes her happy? Or should I just allow her to do what she wants?

    1. What’s the harm in it if you don’t plan to abandon her? It’d be a problem if you planned on giving her up because she wouldn’t know how to handle the detachment, but I say it’s fine.

      If you’re worried, you can try to gently push her to being independent by setting a few boundaries and slowly increasing them over time.

  37. So we had a cat that just showed up and left us her litter of 5 kittens, then disappeared. Our own “granny” cat had to give them suck instead. Now 3 months later, one of the cats is almost obsessed with sucking on one specific sister. They both get enough food (maybe even a little too much sometimes), and I’m worried that she might her sister. She looks very weary after these, and I think I’ve once even seen her shaking while staring at her sister from afar. I have no idea what to do.

  38. We have a three week old kitten that we began fostering at one week old at that point we had five four were males but they didn’t make it due too medical issues my little miracle is her name suck on her paws I just want to know is that harmless I know she was separated from mama cat two early but I love her so much

  39. I’m sitting here with a three-week-old foster kitten suckling on my finger. I’ve been Mom since he was a week old. The suckling is normal and soothing to him. My only worry is that any potential adopter or there other animals will not appreciate being suckled and that he’ll have a hard time finding the right home.

  40. Lydia Janet Kohn

    My husband was walking home from a friends and our now “Prince” was “talking” to my husband. So he said well, come on.. Prince followed him home. Well, I’m a cuddler.. so I got him used to cuddling and out of the blue he starred to suckle on our blankets on our bed. He kneads, purrs like crazy and very LOUD. I love our Prince. He can be our baby 4ever !!!

  41. My almost 5 month old (1/2 Siamese) kitten has been suckling on me since about 9-10 weeks old. He loves the crease of my armpit and inside of the elbow. I got him @ 7 weeks so perhaps a little too young. I am torn between trying to discourage it (gently) and not worrying about it (cause he too seems happy & content, purring and kneading)
    He gets pretty persistent though and likes to do it at bedtime and first thing in the morning (4am) This morning he was nudging hard to get under my covers. Kinda hoping he outgrows it, or at least scales it back. Mama needs her sleep!

  42. My little black kitty, Pepper is almost a year old. He saunters up to me to snuggle, knead, and suckle on my robe when he is feeling relaxed or tired. It is absolutely precious and I hope he never outgrows it. He usually does this several times a day and often falls asleep on me after. It melts my heart. ♡

    1. Ellen Cantarow

      My cat Jamie, a little female, suckles on her inner thigh whenever she is next to me. My interpretation: she has adopted me as her mother. When she is in contact with me her suckling indicates affection, need, and contentment. She also purrs when she does this. Very loudly. I sometimes find it annoying, but since, when I move, she immediately leaves, I just shrug it off. I am told by a fine animal behaviorist that she will not outgrow this; it will continue for the rest of her life. I rescued her from a good animal shelter north of where I live.

  43. I have 3 male kittens, Salvador, 2 Spots and Wendigo.

    Salvador is the one that gets suckled on by 2 Spots and Wendigo.

    The funny thing is, Salvador suckles on himself while the other 2 are going to town on him.

  44. Hi I have a 11 month old Siamese cat (beast) I got him when he was about 3 months old but he started suckling on my other cats (Oreo) stomach as soon as we brought him home and still does it to this day 8 months later but has moved to his neck and Oreo is loosing fur. I noticed that Oreo has been very down and stressed since beast started doing this. is there any way I can stop this.

  45. Sandra Colville

    Hi there, we got a cat (Miles) who’s now 7 months old he was only six weeks old when we got him, he was very playful and seem to fit in quite nicely but when he was around 2 months old he started to suckle on our clothes sometimes he will do on soft fluffy blankets or dressing gowns but he seems pretty happy not stressed at all and he does it more in the morning, my guess is because he missed us as he doesn’t sleep in our rooms, during the day is a monkey and we will choose when he wants cuddles.
    I found this article really useful, thank you very much.

  46. I have 2x 8 week old siblings, 1 girl and 1 boy. The boy (Sebastian) seems to like to suckle when he’s ready for a nap, he’ll go to my 5 year old cat and start suckling on a mouth full of fur. I’m glad to hear that it’s not that uncommon for cats/kittens to suckle and that it’s nothing to stress about unless inflammation starts to happen to the other cats

  47. I have lumiere from feb.2019 she was 2months right now i saw so many times she is sucking her blanket and she is happy but i have so many concern about this matter so i always cover her blanket with an other fabrik to keep her away and its worked

  48. My cat, Selah is 5 years old and was found in the wild at 3 weeks old. She is now an indoor cat and suckles on my blankets before she goes to sleep a lot and this article helps me understand it better so thanks for the help

  49. I adopted two sibling kittens at 8 weeks old about a month ago. (Brother Moss and Sister Minnie ) They both tested positive for FIV at birth and at 7 weeks, but have been very healthy, energetic and eating their wet and dry food on a kitten schedule. They are gaining weight and look great!
    They are extremely close with each other and loving, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have them in my life. But I noticed about a week or so ago that Moss (the brother) is now burrowing his face into his sister’s “nether regions” and suckling voraciously. He also suckles in her nipple area, but of course since she was still healing from being spayed , I worried he was hurting her. Though I must admit , she doesn’t seem to mind it AT ALL. And if she does want him to stop, he does so without a problem. But he will be back for more within seconds. She never suckles on him, or me or on blankets or anything… it’s just him suckling on her. And mostly on her rear end. And I’ve noticed he really only does this when the 3 of us settle in at night to watch “our show” (Animal Planet) when they have finished their dinner, had a treat and are ready to chill after their nightly kitty play session ( they play “catch the baby snake” with my black elastic ponytail holders, and prance these black bands around in their mouths very proudly, as if to show off to me their big catch!! It’s hysterical and super duper cute) But Moss HAS started to lick my nose and he sometimes burrows under my neck and tries to suckle.. Minnie is not a biter at all, and Moss seems to only baby bite like he’s teething, but he will suckle so voraciously on his sister’s rear end, actually pinning her down—that I’ve nicknamed him “Chester “ ( and what rhymes with Chester ?? )
    He is always purring loudly when suckling, and I know my kittens are in the perfect caring home for their needs. They are not left alone for more than a few hours at a time, as I’m retired and almost always home. My concern is that I’ve read articles on suckling ( mostly kittens suckling their owners or a blanket, not many on sibling suckling) the articles seem to say two completely different things.: 1-that this behavior is because kitten is stressed and miserable OR 2- POSSIBLY because they are just happy and content.
    Though Mossy seems and acts happy and healthy , I do worry he misses his mommy and he may get depressed or something. Their mother was very sick when
    they were born,. She was a feral FIV positive mother who had developed other health issues as a feral cat with no home or medical care. And since both kittens are still testing positive for FIV, and may well test positive for life.
    Why do so many articles say that this behavior shows stress , when all I see is contentment? My kittens need that extra TLC and an educated owner , so that I can make the right decisions for their health, happiness, longevity and comfort.
    I just want to know : is this behavior from being STRESSED or just being BLESSED?

    1. I LOVE it when my kitty suckles on me. He is definitely showing contentment and affection. I hope he never outgrows this behavior. Pepper only does this when I’m wearing my robe because be likes the softness. If it’s not on when he comes to suckle, he’ll sniff around, confused, and the either leave or settle for a nearby blanket, lol.

      I adore this kitty and I would tell you there’s nothing wrong with it. Suckling reminds babies of their mama. Therefore, when they engage in this behavior, they are content. Suckling equals happy baby!

      1. Ellen Cantarow

        True. My little, sprightly rescue cat Jamie, suckles on her inner thigh when she lies next to me or my husband. I figure we become her “mothers” and since she purrs loudly while doing this, we also figure she’s happy. We also have a Bengal who was properly weaned and doesn’t do any suckling. Her name is Bella. Jamie and Bella are besties and play with each other all day (and night) long, except during their inactive
        period from around 11 AM to around 9 PM.

        1. Sounds like my Esmé. She suckles on my fingers and thumb, but only does it when she’s yelling to relax and go to sleep. I figure it’s because she was about 1 1/2 – 2 weeks old when we got called to rescue her. I bottle fed her. She didn’t want to give up her bottle, but I figured 10 weeks was enough. She currently get a quarter scoop of formula in 4 tablespoons of water 4x a day.I’ve formed a deep attachment to her. She’s 12 weeks now.

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