Pictures of kittens sucking their thumbs

Here are five pictures of kittens sucking on their thumbs. Thumb sucking in kittens is the same as human babies sucking their thumbs. It is an act which is comforting and which reduces stress. Sometimes human babies suck their thumbs when going to sleep. Seeing it in kittens reminds us how similar domestic cats are in many respects to humans.

Kitten sucking their thumb

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Kitten sucking their thumb
Kitten sucking their thumb
Kitten sucking their thumb
Kitten sucking their thumb

The natural instinct to suckle is very strong in young kittens. They may try to suckle anything soft, warm and fuzzy which resembles a mother cat. And it goes as far as sucking on their thumb. As mentioned, it’s all normal and relaxing for the kitten. After the kitten is weaned they may continue suckling when no milk is present.

Early weaning can sometimes result in excessive suckling behaviour in adult cats such as treating a person’s earlobe as their mother’s breast. Oriental breeds such as Tonkinese, Balinese and Siamese are said to be more prone to adult cat suckling than other cat breeds including random bred cats.

Thumb sucking is common in babies and it makes them feel secure. It is rooted in their sucking reflexes. Apparently babies sometimes put their thumbs or fingers into their mouths before birth.

In July this year, I wrote about wool sucking in cats being based in early weaning and the lanolin in wool. The article referred to Dr Desmond Morris’s book, Cat World, in which he said that wool sucking is the act of feeding on a ghost-nipple and that lanolin acts as a powerful unconscious reminder of their mother’s belly.

Dr Morris calls the behaviour ‘pseudo-infantile’ and it is caused, at least in part, by stress and monotony in a domestic cat’s life. The reference to pseudo-infantile is made because adult domestic cats can behave like kittens towards their human guardians as the human behaves as a mother to them.

Pica, the eating of non-nutritious objects by cats is an extension of wool-sucking, I would argue. There may also be an element an obsessive-compulsive disorder in this feline behavioural problem.

Note: about copyright. I decided a long time ago that Pinterest and Google Images were is gross and mass breach of copyright and by doing so they had destroyed the legal concept of copyright on the internet no matter what they profess to think and say. Therefore these pictures from Pinterest are copyright free and in the public domain as far as I am concerned.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior
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