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Old 02-22-2004, 01:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cat sucking her own nipple

We have a kitty that's about 9 months old now and frequently we catch her sucking her own nipple. It's really weird and we've tried to discourage her from doing it- I've never seen a cat do this! Can anyone tell me what's going on with her and what I might be able to do to stop her embarassing behavior?
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Old 02-22-2004, 01:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't say that I know what to do about this problem but I think I know what it comes from. Do you know if this cat was weaned off its mama properly?

I grew up on a farm and when I was a teenager we had a mama kitty that died of distemper. She had a batch of kittens that was only about 1 month old. We found the kittens and bottle fed them until the vet told us they were old enough to learn to drink by themselves. They did eventually learn to drink by themselves but there were 2 cats in particular that I remember having weird habits after going through this.

One of the cats, who is still alive at age 13 and still does this EVERY day, will suck on one of his back feet to put himself to sleep. Another one of the cats would latch onto the shirt being worn by the person holding it and actually suck on the clothing.

Another thing I remember catching the above-mentioned cats (1 male, 1 female) doing was when they were about 2-1/2 months old we caught the female sucking on the male's "cathood," if you know what I mean! Luckily, we just pulled her off of him and that never happened again. My guess is that she thought it was her mama.

Like I said, I really don't know what to do about it. Maybe a veterinarian could give you some advice. Good Luck!
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Old 02-22-2004, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like a weaning thing to me... I could develop into a problem though - possibly making her nipples raw and sore. Any ideas how to stop? Or will she grow out of it?

I've never heard of this before - but a friend who has a cat who had a licking problem (licked herself too much) had to wear one of those elizabethan collars, or whatever they're called.
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Old 02-22-2004, 01:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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She was adopted from the humane society, so it's possible that she has a comfort need of some sort. But we adopted her sister at the same time and she isn't anal in any way. It's just so strange.
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Old 02-28-2004, 01:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We bottle-raised a litter of kittens two years ago. One of the kittens (the one I ended up keeping) started suckling himself "down there" when he was about 9 weeks old- the other four never showed any sign of the behavior. They were raised under nearly identical conditions, aside from the fact that Nicky (my cat) was weaned about a week earlier, as he developed a reaction to the commercial milk supplements and couldn't drink them anymore. He grew out of it on his own about six months ago.

Lots of cats have issues with this sort of thing, and many do eventually outgrow the behavior.. I have a number of articles bookmarked on my other computer.. I'll see if I can find them tomorrow.
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