New Kitten questions

azith28azith28 Registered User regular
edited December 2013 in Help / Advice Forum
While visiting family for Christmas, I decided to get my father the gift of Cat. (Yes he wanted one). I got them two little girls.

Holly Pictures/Public/cats/20131228_210130.jpg
Misty Pictures/Public/cats/20131228_210242.jpg

We aren't new to cats, however the yellow one has a habit we haven't seen before.. Shes trying occasionally to nurse on our clothing. Shes the apparent older cat, so this behavior is kind of odd to us. Any suggestions about this? any worries?

Misty apparently wants to be a priest. here she is anointing the head of Holly. Pictures/Public/cats/20131228_210156.jpg

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  • I ZimbraI Zimbra Registered User regular
    Yeah, I had a cat that did that. It's not terribly uncommon, and is usually a sign that they were separated from their mother before being weaned properly. Unfortunately it's one of those things you just have to wait (and hope) that they grow out of. I would recommend getting her a blanket or a stuffed toy that you can transfer her to when she starts to suck on you. That way you at least avoid having kitty slobber spots on your shirts.

  • DelaneyDelaney Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Kittens! I'm glad you got a pair as they can be company for each other. :)

    As far as the nursing on clothes habit, there's nothing to worry about. Many cats do this and one explanation I have heard is that they were weaned too early, either physically or psychologically. I had a cat whom I know wasn't weaned too early physically, but apparently was psychologically as he loved to nurse on fleece blankets. Another thing cats will do as a result of weaning issues is drool when they're happy and being petted. (My cat did that as well.)

    She may well grow out of it; really, she's still pretty young. If it's something that bothers your dad, have him redirect her when she does it, or just put her down and stop petting her. You really can't punish cats effectively, but if you make the outcome of an action something they don't like, such as loss of attention, they will catch on to it.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    Dealt with this with my cat Loki, probably from early weaning (he was at most 4 weeks when I found him and had been hiding alone in a neighbor's yard for at least a week). He did grow out of it for themost part, but a couple times when he's been sick or stressed he's gone back to it. It's actually been a good alarm bell, cats can be notoriously stoic about illness or injury.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I've heard of a lot of kittens doing that from being weaned too early. Heck, my sister's Yorkie used to try to "nurse" our fingers because she wasn't entirely weaned when we got her (at 8 weeks.)

    But it can also develop as a comfort thing. I had a weimaraner who we got at 10 weeks. He was definitely weaned, but he'd 'nurse' the blankets in his crate whenever he was frustrated or anxious. My sister's Yorkie, Wrigley, switched from "nursing" our fingers to attempting to nip us as an "affectionate" greeting. We redirected that behavior into trained "kisses" pretty quickly, and now whenever she feels scared or submissive she'll lick us all over. (Which is okay, because it's way better than biting.)

  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    I have cat that used to do this. He would nurse your shirt, blanket, whatever and knead you and drool heavily while he was at it. He's completely grown out of it now. As long as they eat well and you make sure the clothes/blankets/etc are free from toxic chemicals I wouldn't worry about it.

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  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    Yeah, nothing to worry about; our first cat used to sit on my lap and 'nurse' on the elbow of a bathrobe I wore until it turned threadbare and (for some reason) black at that point. Eventually he stopped and now has completely different cat weirdnesses instead.

    Suggestion: don't wear garments that you want to keep in good condition if she's going to do this..

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