Strange behavior for both kittens - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Strange behavior for both kittens

I know its been a longish time since I've posted anything worth while. Moving has been crazy, but we're finally in our new house and I finally have time to ask some questions that have been bothering me for a while concerning the behavior of the kittens.

Riddle- my little boy kitten- nurses on everything and everyone. However, his favorite nursing outlet is the dog. This wouldn't be a huge deal, but showing season is about to commence again because Orchid's finally got her coat back. I can't have him sucking out her fur and chewing on her.

I do crate her during the day to minimize damage, but he still does it when we're not watching to spray him. Poor Orchid, she gets hit with the water, too, and she thinks she's been bad.

Can anyone tell me how to get him to stop this? He gets fed plenty, so I don't get why he's trying to get milk from her.

Rumor- my little pig. Rumor will growl and chase off the other cats when feeding time comes around. She literally will shove the other cats away from their food dishes and eat all of their food. I've had to start feeding her separately from the other cats due to this issue.

Can anyone guess why she does this, or if there is another option then keeping her away from the other cats during feeding time?


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 10:16 PM
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Nursing - might have been removed from mother too early. Should grow out of it. But not in time for the season. Keep him away from the dog and don't spray him. It won't teach him not to suckle.

Food Nazi - dominance behavior most likely. Or could have suffered hunger as a kitten and is now insecure about food. Feeding separately is a good plan.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2007, 11:15 PM
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I suggested this to someone else with the suckling problem but never heard if it about putting something around the dig's a doggie coat to cover the nipples. Maybe take a piece of material and put velcro on each end and just wrap it around. The dog will probably be annoyed, but maybe less than being sucked on.

As far as Rumor's food she getting enough to eat? She's a kitten, she can have pretty much as much as she wants. If she eats hers and then shoves the others out of the dish...just give her more to begin with and be ready to add even more if she shows signs of bullying. I had to do this with Holly and Kobi when they were kittens...neither one had any manners

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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WEll, thanks for the suggestions!

Coaster- Unfortunately, I can't keep the cats/dog separate all the time. Crating Orchid all the time is not something I feel is good for her. I could lock Riddle in a room all by himself, or with Rumor, but I don't feel that's right, either.

All of my animals are very much a part of the family (not saying that you were suggesting otherwise- just explaining my own thoughts) and Riddle suckles so often I'd have to keep him locked away all the time.

I'll keep researching.

As for Rumor's food dominance- yeah, I think that's about right. I'll just keep er away from the others during feeding.

Doodle- unfortunately with Orchid being a heavily coated dog, I can't afford to put something on her that could possibly break her fur or mat it. She has an immense amount of undercoat, and for it to be effective against Riddle's advances, she'd have to wear it all the time because he suckles all the time.

It's kind of icky, really. He does it everywhere, not just nipples. Yesterday, she had a huge wet spot on her forehead where he'd been going at it while we were unpacking and unable to watch.

I thought about dipping her in Bitter Apple- JK JK!

As for Rumor getting enough food- she' will literally eat as much is put down for her, as many times as you put it down, then she pukes it back up. One day to experiment, I put about 12 oz down for her. She ate the whole thing by herself, then thew it up, then ate it again and this time kept it down.

She's pear shaped, now, because she eats so much. I was more worried about over feeding her, to be honest.

She's not a big kitty.

Thanks again for the replies! Im sure that eventually I'll stumble upon the right set of ideas to keep everyone in good shape.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 12:09 PM
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Nothing to do with the kitty problems, but what kind of dog is Orchid? Do you do your own handling when you show her?

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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She's a keeshond and I'm in the process of learning how to handle her, LOL! And yes, I do handle her myself (unfortunately for her )

We've been to a few shows- no points yet, but that's my fault, not her's.

I wish I would have gotten into junior handling when I had the chance. Now, I'm trying to learn this stuff as an adult, and it's very difficult.

Kees are supposed to be a free stack breed, so they're not going to be handled like a Standard Poodle or a German Shepherd. I do use bait with her- many people say to try to teach the "focus" command, but treats work much better IMHO.

So far, we're learning how to "stand" properly. Her front feet do well, but she wants to kick out one back leg further then the other, which really gives her a whole different apperance.

LOL! Bet you didn't think you were going to get a novel, did you?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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I found a cat suckling study on line in case anyone is interested:

This person encourages the use of Bitter Apple if the kitten's owner does not want the kitten to suckle.

I really don't want Riddle to suck Orchid bald in certain spots.

We've tried in the past to get him to suck on a blankie. We did this 7 or 8 times- trying to distract him from Orchid- he went right back.

We've tried getting his attention off of Orchid by offering to play with him. He was only distracted while the play lasted, and went right back to her.

I've tried feeding him more, thinking that maybe it was a hunger thing. It's not- he didn't eat the extra food, and when he was finished eating, he went right back to sucking the dog.
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