Crazy Cat Sucking?

Crazy Cat Sucking?

by Michael

Crazy cat sucking is not crazy at all. It is totally predicable and normal…if you are a domestic cat kept in a permanent state of kittenhood by your human caretaker.

Whether we know it or not, nearly all of us through caring for our cat, condition him or her to be a permanent kitten.

This is because we feed, groom and generally look after our cats (if we are doing a good job) which is the kind of thing a mother cat does with her kittens before they become independent and leave home.

In the wild, at a certain stage in a young cat’s development he or she will leave home (the natal area) and find his own home range, a place he can call his home.

In the domestic situation the cat never leaves home and therefore undergoes a state of permanent suspended development.

As a consequence you will, on occasion, see domestic cats sucking on jumpers, ears, you name it. The cat believes that he is suckling on mother’s breast. At the same time the cat might knead around the area where he believes he is being nursed by mother to encourage milk flow (obviously there is no milk but the behavior is instinctive).

Here is an example:

And here is another similar example:

It is meant to happen more commonly if the cat has been weaned too early. This can also lead to pica – chewing on anything that comes to hand and eating it.

This behavior begs the question as to whether we should do something to allow our cat to grow up. I am not sure what we can do but it is a thought nonetheless.

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Crazy Cat Sucking?

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Apr 02, 2012
Monty wanted to do this NEW
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

When Monty was very small and still a little bit wild I would spend some time on the floor playing with him every day. As he got used to me he would purr like crazy and climb all over me. He seemed to be looking for something. I remarked to my husband that the last time he’d felt so content was as a tiny kitten with his mom. Part of that experience included suckling. I was convinced he was looking for the nipple– that in his mind it had to be around somewhere. My husband laughed and said, “Your teat days are over, cat!” Monty never sucked on anything as a substitute nipple and eventually gave up looking. He also used to snuggle right up undery chin and lick my face. He doesn’t do that anymore either.

He has been given greater freedom as he’s gotten older. At first he had a large box that was his home, then I would confine him to one room. He was still quite feral and I didn’t want a little wild animal hiding in my home. Eventually he was given the run of the house while I was at work and sometimes even of the basement. At first he was only outside on a leash, then only with me right close by. Now he goes out alone in our fenced yard, but I watch him from inside the back door and check on him frequently. So I do think he has been allowed to grow up a little bit, but he still depends on me for food, water and litter box scooping. He did finally poop outside– I didn’t think he’d ever do that. He climbs trees also and has started to figure out how to get down. He does better getting down if I don’t run out there. If I run out there he meows piteously and waits for me to rescue him. But he can get down if I don’t let him see me.

Apr 02, 2012
Jozef and Blue Mammie NEW
by: Ruth

When Jozef was tiny he loved to lie in my arms and suck the sleeve of an old blue candlewick dressing gown I wore.
We called the dressing gown Blue Mammie
All his life he has slept on her on my bed, although most of her went raggy and she is reduced to just a square now Jozef is 10 years old.
He still sometimes has a little suck on her when I’ve been giving him his goodnight cuddle.
You are right Michael, we keep our cats in perpetual babyhood but I sometimes wonder if they do it to please us because they love us?
Cats who go out enjoy the adult cat’s natural life they were born for too.
Jozef outside is the intrepid fearless hunter, a far different cat to the soppy one lying purring, kneading and sucking on his Blue Mammie.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Mar 31, 2012
Felix did it NEW
by: Barbara

My lovely Felix died in 1997 at 13 years old and all of his life he sucked, mostly on a silky headscarf kept specially for the purpose, in all other ways he was a manly cat, he loved a fight and always bullied the younger cats, but come bedtime he wanted his mammy and his “suck shield” so named because if he sucked on that it saved my nightie getting wet from sucking, I must admit it was always lovely to hold him close while he indulged.

Barbara avatar

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