3 year old cat still suckles. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-04-2007, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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3 year old cat still suckles.

I found Kitty when she could have only been about 6/7 weeks old playing with the traffic on a busy dual carriageway, so I decided to take her in.

She has always been exceptionally loving for a stray, but has presented a few problems for me along the way - such as pooing outside the box. I have managed to resolve everything except for one thing.

At least two or three times a day she gets all babyfied and wants to suckle any part of my skin that is visible - hands, arms, legs. It´s worse at night as she creeps under my bed covers and suckles. I could perhaps tolerate it if her claws weren´t so **** sharp! She is not interested in suckling anything except my bare skin, and she is VERY adamant about it - ie, getting her to stop is more than a simple question of pushing her away. She turned three last year and I keep telling her not to be such a baby but she doesn´t care.

Any thoughts as to
a) why she does this?
b) how I can deter her?

Thanks
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-04-2007, 11:24 AM
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Can't help you...
We also rescued a young kitten (6/7 weeks old) and he became a notorious thumb sucker. He sucked my thumb his entire life. We lost him when he was 10 to an abdominal mass. I learned to sleep with my hands covered under the blankets or the pillows.
He usually only wanted to suckle when he was feeling nervous (new company over).
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I also have to sleep with everything tucked under the covers and the duvet itself has to be tucked under the matress on three sides!

I guess there is no solution - nobody seems to have replied.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 04:01 PM
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She does this because she was separated from her mother too young She may grow out of it eventually, but if she's still doing it at three your best bet would be to find a replacement object for her to suckle. Maybe something with your scent on it would work.

Does she like to knead also?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 08:29 PM
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Agree with the assessment that she left her mommy too soon. Maybe you can try putting some bitter apple and the areas of your body that she tends to suck on and make those areas available to see if getting that nasty taste a couple times will deter future attempts. You can also clip her claws if that would make it more tolerable for you.

What about giving her the nipple off a kitten baby bottle? Maybe glue it to a piece of fuzzy fabric, you could even stuff it so she could knead on it, spray it with some liquid catnip to attract her to it....basically make her a pacifier. (So I was making this up as I went along...feel free to tell me if you think it's too weird )


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal211
^ Yes, that's a good idea - try getting her a stuffed animal or something and see if she would cozy up to it.
Pumpkin uses a stuffed animal to knead. Lol, she loves this giant fuzzy dog from Toys 'R Us and kneads it every night before bed

The pacifier thing could work, too. You could try adding something with your scent on it to the mix, like an old t-shirt.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 10:26 PM
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I guess I don't have this problem since my cat is declawed. Apparently his previous owner didn't like the idea of him having claws... oh well, at least it doesn't hurt when he's kneading on my chest! LOL!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2007, 04:05 AM
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I've had two cats that did this.
Sundance did it his entire life and there was no stopping him. One thing I was able to do though, was get him interested in an old T-shirt of mine. When he'd come to bed and wan't to suck, I'd give him the shirt and, most times, he'd be happy as a clam. I have to say, as annoying as it was at times, it was also terribly sweet and after he died, it was hard getting rid of his "suck-shirt".
Nanook has a thing about ear lobes. For the first year of his life, leaving an exposed ear lobe lying about was an invitation for getting slobbered on! Had to sleep most of the time with my ears covered. He sort of grew out of it but still, every once in a while...
I did try other things with both cats. Even got a "Tigger" baby pasifier. (Thought that was appropriate) but nothing worked, except the suck shirt for Sundance.
The only suggestion I have is to keep her nails clipped (that's a must!) and try to be a good security blanket.

Victoria
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2007, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I guess that is the problem - I don´t know how old she was when I got her, about 6 weeks I guess, so she must have left mummy too young. But she had a pretty irresponsible mother letting her out to play with the traffic at such a tender age!

Some pretty hilarious suggestions! I like the pacifier idea - that never would have occured to me. And I´ve never heard of a kitten bottle nipple - I´ll have to scour the shops.

I already give her a regular manicure otherwise my skin would be in shreds! but if I can get her out of the habit she can keep her claws as long as she likes.

She already has some stuffed animals which she ignores most of the time, but maybe I will try putting catnip on them (or attaching this nipple thingy!).
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2007, 05:44 PM
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The pet stores here sell small bottles for feeding kittens that have been separated from their mothers before they're ready for solid food. I would hope they have them in Spain too. They look like regular baby bottles, just really small. They usually sell extra nipples separately because they tend to get chewed. So I'm thinking if you buy a package of nipples and glue it to a squishy stuffed animal....


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