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Old 05-23-2012, 05:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kitten genital suckling

Hey,

I adopted week old strays three weeks ago. One thing I noticed they do (regardless of if they are fed or not) is suckle each other's genitals.

I just recently lost one of the cats to a bad infection, which I believe was caused by this action. I try to sit there and watch them, but one in particular WILL NOT STOP, he is relentless, and won't sleep until he gets to.

I've tried stuffed animals, rubbing vinegar on the genitals of the kittens, and all other sorts of things.

One of them has a scab on his little penis now, and I am worried sick that he is going to go the way of the other one and get sick and die.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm out of ideas.

Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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They have and instinctual need to suck and the bump of the genitals is the only protrusion they have to suck on. Unless you keep them individually in separate boxes, they are going to suck on one another. My grandmother had the same problem with a litter of abandoned kittens and she ended up putting little diapers on the kitten's nether regions to block them from sucking on one another. This can be really messy because the urine and poop gets in their fur and they need rinsed and dried several times a day; but it does work.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Doran also needed to suckle when he was this age, but had no siblings. I gave him one of the nipples from the kitten bottle set (no hole in it) and he loved it!

If you feel crafty I have a possible solution....a sort of weird one.

You would need:
1 sock (that you don't mind sacrificing)
3 bottle nipples with no holes
Something to stuff the sock with (other socks?)
Glue...maybe duct tape would work.

Flip the sock inside out. Cut three small holes at intervals along one side of the sock. Stick the nipples through the holes. Put the tape behind the nipples to hold it against the sock. Flip the sock back eight side out, stuff until fairly firm. Tada?

Just writing this out I had a thought. You could use a fleece blanket, or pillowcase, instead of the sock and wrap it around a hot water bottle, using the tape to keep it there. That might be a good comforter for them, and help keep them warm.

Like I said, kind of weird, but it might help with them sucking on each other.

If you try it a picture would be neat.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Funny enough. if you google kitten pacifier toys. they make them...complete with nipples. so the idea of making your own isn't far fetched. or you could order one with multiple nipples.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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librarychick's idea sounds great! just another idea- you could fill another sock with rice and microwave it until it is warm. then you can put that sock inside of the sock w/ the nipples on it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think it's worth a try. but I would probably use a piece of fleece instead of a sock. I would be afraid of the knit of the sock unraveling and being ingested.

probably use a hot needle to poke holes around the outer ring of the nipple? then stitch it on the backside of the fleece with the nipple poked through. you could stuff it like everyone said. or make a cover for a water bottle or warm rice bag. you could also make one as a blanket to drape over your shoulder for bonding / socialization time?

And def. use a nipple with no hole
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi I found this fantastic website very helpful

Real Kitten and Cat Pacifiers and Pacifier Toys
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestions all.

To solve the problem I have been staying with the kittens after feeding for the first 30-40 minutes until they get tired and sleep. when they try to suckle I separate them over and over until they stop.

Once they are asleep, I softly move them to their box without waking them up so they aren't tempted to do it again. I'm trying to teach them they can fall asleep without suckling.

Also, one of them has taken a knack to cleaning himself and the others. It's pretty cute. But the role he has taken as the bather stopped his suckling reflex, as he is cleaning until he falls asleep.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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They should all be self grooming in two weeks.
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