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cleaning or suckling...?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by caitlin and lula, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. caitlin and lula

    caitlin and lula PetForums Newbie

    Jan 18, 2021
    Likes Received:
    hi all!

    my little lula, who I adopted in november, does this cute little licking/suckling thing.

    the only way I can describe it is: she sits up but slouched over (a bit like a human) and licks on her tummy and nipple area like she would when she cleans - but then she also kinda rubs and buries her face/mouth into her belly and makes little mouth sounds like she’s suckling maybe?

    usually it’s when she’s happy so it doesn’t concern me, but I worry the way she licks and suckles herself is making her nipples sore - which I don’t want for her!

    I’ve not noticed any bleeding, only a bit of a sore pink colour to them. I just wanted to check if this is normal and should I be worried or even try to deter her from doing it? (which I’m reluctant to do as it seems soothing for her - I just want her to be comfortable and happy!)

    thanks in advance!
    caitlin and lula x
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Hello @caitlin and lula and welcome :)

    One of my adult cats began doing the exact same thing to herself about a year ago. In her case it was the first sign of the severe food allergies she went on to develop. At her worst she had licked her lower abdomen bald and had licked her nipples so much she had broken the skin.

    Her allergies are being well managed now with a special diet, but there are odd days when she licks her abdomen. Fortunately she has stopped licking her nipples.

    Ii is likely a cat behaves this way to comfort themselves. With my cat it was due to her feeling itchy and unwell due to her food allergies. I don't know what Lula is comforting herself for. Do you know any of her history?

    There is a possibility Lula might have food allergies, same as my cat. Does Lula have any other symptoms, apart from licking her abdomen? e.g. does she often scratch her ears or her face or lick the insides of her front or back legs?

    What foods do you feed her?
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