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Thread: Kittens "suckling" on each other

  1. #1
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    Kittens "suckling" on each other

    I have two rescued Siamese cats, Mimi and Gracie. They are sisters and are approx. 3 mos. old. Problem: at bedtime, Gracie constantly is "suckling" on Mimi's ummm... private areas. Is she trying to nurse because she was separated from her mom too soon? (they were abandoned at about 2 days of age.)

  2. #2
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    Oh dear,

    This can turn into a big problem. It does seem to be caused by early weaning. Often early-weaned kitties will nurse on their owner's fingers, which can be annoying but isn't unhealthy or painful. But kittens who nurse on each other can injure each other's delicate little nipples. (I have two cats, 6 years old, and they both have nursed on my fingers since kittenhood. Thank goodness, they have never shown any interest in nursing on each other.)

    The only way I know of to get Gracie to stop nursing is to consistently pull her off Mimi when she starts. Be consistent ... EVERY time you see it starting, break it up IMMEDIATELY. It will take awhile, but with a little luck Gracie will eventually get the picture that this is a no-no.

    Don't be surprised if Gracie transfers her "affections" to you. You'll have to decide for yourself if you want to let that continue.

    Good luck, and keep me posted ...

    Dianne

    [ September 05, 2001: Message edited by: catwoman ]

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info... I do try to break them up every time by both physically separating them and firmly stating "Gracie, NO!" Hopefully she'll start to get the picture. I'll keep persisting with the breaking-up as that's all that I can do at this point. thanks.

  4. #4
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    I had two cats that used to do this (have pics too of it). I also have a old boss of mine that said her cats do this. My cats were both males and so are hers- don't know whether that matters or not. Anyway, my vet said it was not anything to worry about, and if the cats feel better and more secure, then let them. I know in my case it was not a matter of kittens being separated too young because the one was a few years old and the younger one was at least 3 months old when we got him.
    Kedi, Wylie, Rudy, and the dog Scout!

  5. #5
    Well, mine certainly were not weaned too soon - they didn't start on regular food until about 10 weeks, and regularly nursed beyond six months of age (mom, having been spayed six weeks after giving birth, was long dried up by then)! My vet was amazed that their fully formed teeth did not make Peaches (mom) kick them away, but she actually encouraged them to nurse! They all nursed each other's "privates" also. They have also all outgrown any suckling compulsions, and virtually never do it anymore (they are now 2 years old). I wouldn't worry about it at their tender young age.

  6. #6
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    I used to have a siamese cat that nursed
    on herself - I attributed it to insecurity
    so I gave her lots of love and attention
    and it eventually stopped. I wouldn't worry
    about this - It will pass as they become
    more mature and secure.

  7. #7
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    Nursed on herself? That's a new one to me....
    Kedi, Wylie, Rudy, and the dog Scout!

  8. #8
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    I wonder also if they will stop after they get spayed. We'll have them spayed about a month from now.

    Almost forgot, here's a pic from the beginning of August. Mimi's the longhair one on the left.

  9. #9
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    ELF2588,

    How are Mimi and Gracie doing? Have they stopped suckling yet?

    Catwoman

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by catwoman:
    <STRONG>ELF2588,

    How are Mimi and Gracie doing? Have they stopped suckling yet?

    Catwoman</STRONG>
    No.. in fact Gracie regularly wakes us up in the night making those noises! :-( I'm just grabbing her and saying NO each time... hoping she gets the hint!

  11. #11
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    ELF2588, here's an idea for you. (Call your vet first and get his/her okay!)

    How about brushing something on Mimi's nipples that Gracie doesn't like. Citrus juice might be a good choice. Not toxic, but lots of cats don't like the smell. It might be enough to deter Gracie ... though I know those suckling instincts are very powerful.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

    Dianne

  12. #12
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    On second thought, "basting" Mimi with citrus juice might make her quit grooming her tummy.

    How about a little kitty T-shirt for her to wear at night? If nothing else, it would be darn cute!

    I can't seem to view either your or Spencer's postings of Mimi & Gracie's picture. Too bad ... I'm dying to know what they look like!

    [ October 03, 2001: Message edited by: catwoman ]

  13. #13
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    Yeah, I noticed the broken link. Weird, anyways...
    Here is a link to the most recent kittie pics http://www.geocities.com/elf2588/kittens_09-10-01/

    Mimi is the long hair, Gracie the shorter hair lynx point.

    [ October 03, 2001: Message edited by: ELF2588 ]

  14. #14
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    Such little cuties they are! I still don't think it's a bad thing that they are 'suckling' on each other. I am sure it gives them a lot of comfort that they seem to need. It is really quite common (well, not uncommom anyway) that kitties who are very close to each other will do that. I am wondering why you are concerned about it....not trying to be disagreeable, just curious. Or to anyone else out there, is there something I am missing or don't understand about why this is a bad thing? I certainly don't claim to know everything. They are not physically hurting each other are they? What does your vet say?
    Kedi, Wylie, Rudy, and the dog Scout!

  15. #15
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    Oh ELF, they are precious!!! Thanks for posting the link!

    Yorkster, you may be right ... I may be overreacting and worrying ELF unneccessarily. I have just heard that kittens can hurt each other's nipples, and even rub the skin raw in some cases. If Gracie isn't that compulsive about it, it may not be such a big deal.

    Dianne

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