Suckling Behavior in Kittens

Suckling Behavior in Kittens


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Question from Ashley:

Hello, I have a kitten, well he's a few months old now. He was taken away from his mom a bit too early and he suckles on stuff, like my robe and other soft things, is there a way that I could stop this behaviour?

Answer from Amy:

Your kitten's behavior is a display of affection. Most cats grow out of this behavior, but some may find suckling comforting and soothing, thus continue doing it. You may find your kitten licking you while suckling or even nibbling your elbows or knuckles while he is rubbing you down.

Do not discourage him by using punishment, especially when a young kitten is engaging in a nursing behavior.

Since it is bothering you, you can stop petting, stand up and walk away when he starts suckling on your clothing. He will soon associate suckling with less affection from you.

Another way to keep him away from your clothing, robe or other soft things that you want to make off-limit to your kitten, is to apply a bit of bitter apple on the fabric or near it. Cats strongly dislike the taste. They will soon stop the behavior as a result. Bitter apple is completely harmless to kittens.

Finally, while you are using any of the methods above, in conjunction it is great to prepare a warmed blanket or an expendable shirt and place it somewhere you want your kitten to stay in. He will feel cozy immediately with the warmed blanket. This is a lot more pleasant to your kitten than using a spray bottle.



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