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Thread: Odd Oral Fixation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Sumter, South Carolina
    Posts
    132

    Odd Oral Fixation

    My cat, Trixie, has the unique habit of nursing my hand (only the soft, fleshy area between the thumb and forefinger.) She has been doing this since she was about 4 months old -- she's now one and a half years old. She'll usually do this several times a day, nursing for 5 to 10 minutes. It's the oddest feeling - a combination of her cold, wet nose with her warm, wet, sandpaper tongue licking and sucking on my skin! The slurpy, sucky sounds are quite loud and my hand gets very wet and slobbery! Of course, Trixie is making biscuits the whole time and purring (pretty much the only time she purrs although she's quite the happy cat!) It doesn't take a psychology degree to figure out that Trixie is regressing back to her kittenhood during these moments - she was 8 weeks old when she came to live with me and eating hard food already but perhaps she was taken from her mother a little too early. I thought she might outgrow this habit but she hasn't so far. Actually, I hope she never does because it's quite endearing - we really have bonding moments.

    I thought Trixie was quite unusual, but yesterday one of my co-workers told me her 4-month-old kitten does the same thing except her Gracie nurses the crook of her arm. She hopes her baby outgrows the habit - not me! I just wish that cat saliva had skin conditioning properties - I'd have the softest hands in town!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    12,713
    Harley, what a sweet thing! I wouldn't mind it either. In fact it does seem to me that she has developed a special bond with you. My cat, Andy, is a drooler. When I am laying down watching TV he will come and lay on my tummy. After a few minutes of cuddling and scritching he will be purring and drooling like crazy. There's nothing like a little cat drool to brighten my day! Aren't cats great!

  3. #3
    One of my mom's snowshoes - who's named Harley, by the way! - sucks the tip of his tail. She had another kitty who's at the rainbow bridge now who used to nurse on her old pink bathrobe! All of my mom's cats are rescues, so who knows their backgrounds, but my vet says some cats just have the "habit", it probably doesn't have anything to do with how and when they were weaned.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    351
    Harley,

    Both my cats (who WERE weaned a little early) nurse on my knuckles. Weezie is particularly insistent at bedtime. She will chase my hands under the bedcovers if I try to hide them. After about five or ten minutes of nursing, kneading and purring ... she will fall asleep! Like you, I think it's sweet and that it reminds them of happy days with their cat-mommy.

    Trixie might not grow out of it. My cats are six now. As long as you let her get away with it, she will probably keep it up!

    Catwoman

    [ August 13, 2001: Message edited by: catwoman ]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Huntsville, AL USA
    Posts
    25
    I also have this same thing going on at my house. Only, Trouble the Tabby gets on my head when I am laying down and makes biscuits in my hair and nurses my hair!! She does it until she falls asleep. I really dont mind her doing it, but sometimes her claws get into my scalp and sometimes she wakes me up several times a night. My husband thinks it is funny to watch her. When she first started doing this, I went out and got her a little bottle and some special milk. I like the fact that she only does it to me and not my husband.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Eastern Kansas
    Posts
    6
    Harley.

    I completely forgot. My cat did the same thing for starting at the same age and for quite awhile. He'll be 9 in May so it was a while ago.

    Since this seems to occur in the same age range,do you think it could have anything to do with TEETHING?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    27,422
    My sweet little Lizzie, Rainbow Bridge, Dec., 2000, sucked on finger tips or earlobes, all the while making bread on my neck and purring for all of her 19 years! It was such a precious, loving time! It never bothered me a bit. Now I miss it, and her so! My "boys" do neither.

    Star,Tigg'r , Mollie and the10 Gallon Gang!

    And my Rainbow Bridge Furangles...Jingles, Cody, Fritz, Chessa, Satin, Buddy, Lizzie, Oliver, Squeaker, Moonbeam, Rosie, Ruby~

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