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Kitty Problems - Suckling Excessively

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by CrazyCatLady22740, Apr 14, 2011.


  1. CrazyCatLady22740

    CrazyCatLady22740 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all i am in need of some advice,

    I have had cats all my life but this has me stumped. I have 2 female cats and one male cat at the moment. The females are indoor cats and the problem i have is this:-

    My younger cat (Gabriel) who is almost a year old keeps suckling my older cat (Frodo) who is nearly 8. This has been ongoing since we got Gabriel and i thought she would grow out of it or Frodo would tell her off but this is not the case. Now Frodo has a very enlarged nipple which when pressed feels like a swelling/lump inside and is purple and swollen on the nipple itself. Her abdominal also looks like its drooping now from the side or back when she is walking due to this. To be honest from looking at the nipple if it was me id be hitting the roof with pain but she doesnt seem to care at all.

    Is this due to the suckling or could it be something more serious? Frodo doesnt seem any different (normal behaviour and is eating ok etc) and i dont want to take her to the vets if its nothing i cant handle myself. I have tried to prevent Gabriel from doing this by coaxing her off and taking her away from Frodo but it isnt working.
    I have been reading other forums which say what Gabriel is doing is like a comfort or that she wasnt weaned enough when she was a kitten and i actually believe this to have some sort of truth behind it as she was extremely young when she was given to me (only just weaned) but its obviously affecting Frodo..... How can i effectively stop Gabriel suckling Frodo? as if it can be done for like a month or so and i keep an eye on the swelling and it goes down etc then there would be no need for the expense of a vet.
    Obviously the same side of the coin suggests if it is something more serious i may loose Frodo in the time it takes for me to realise this but i noticed it a few months ago and has not increased or reduced in size and Frodos behaviour has not changed in the slightest.

    If there is anyone else out there that has cats that have done this and they have taken them to the vets etc then what did the vet suggest to them?
     
  2. Aurelia

    Aurelia PetForums VIP

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    :(

    My suggestion would be:

    1) separate them, with a view to keeping them completely separate, or only allowing them to see each other for short periods each day. Though you must make sure she doesn't even get the chance to suckle.

    2) You really must get Frodo to the vets for a check over. Not only for the possibility that something else could be going on, but also because that can't be good to have been suckled continuously for almost a year :eek: the poor thing :( You want to be sure there are no lasting effects.

    It is true that very young kittens separated from their mum and siblings too young suffer with problems like this. That is why responsible breeders never rehome before 12-13 weeks of age. Even kittens of that age will still be suckling now and then. A kitten is only completely weaned when they stop suckling, not when they start eating solids. Not only that but kittens of that ages are better socialised so are also less prone to developing behavioural problems. Some of which include sucking on fabric and their new owners ears and neck.
     
  3. CrazyCatLady22740

    CrazyCatLady22740 PetForums Newbie

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    Cool will try completely seperating them.
    I never used to notice it in the beginning... so only realised what Gabriel was doing about 6 months ago give or take as just thought they were just sleeping as Frodo would be sat up i just thought she had got up from lying next to Gabe or something and Gabe was still fast asleep as never heard her sucking :)
    Gabriel doesnt like to be held and molly-coddled so has never suckled my ears or anything and have never seen her do it to anything else to be honest. She does eat plastic though which is wierd. But obv removing plastic bags etc is easy to do.
    Will defo get Frodo to vets for a check but instincts tell me its just because Gabe has been attached to the same nipple for awhile. :(
    Thanx for the suggestion and 2nd opinion regarding Frodo :)
    Much appreciated.
    x
     
  4. Aurelia

    Aurelia PetForums VIP

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    You're welcome and it's nice to see advice taken on board for once :D

    I just hope your Frodo is OK. But only the vet can tell you that! if you can let them see each other a few times a day still it would be a good idea so they keep a bond going. But you have to be extra vigilant to prevent her even trying to suckle. But those meetings could be used for play time so it's not so difficult.

    Have you heard of the Da Bird or similar models? Zooplus sell a lookalike for less than £2.00 and they are fantastic toys to get cats playing together and wearing them out. Have a look for yourself here: Great deals on cat toys at zooplus: Cat Dangler Pole Bird with Genuine Feathers

    Here is a little video of my girls playing with theirs too, to give you an even better idea ;) Though this is quite a sedate clip, it can get pretty mad when they really get going :lol:

    [youtube_browser]RTLxULCf40c?hd=1[/youtube_browser]

    I'm sure with a few different toys like that they will be too busy having fun to think about suckling :)
     
  5. Sparkles87

    Sparkles87 PetForums Senior

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    This.
    I have a kitten who is now 8 months old; he was separated from mum miles too early and has always wanted to suckle on my earlobes, particularly the right one. I allowed this briefly before putting a stop to it, or at least attempting to. To this day he still tries desperately to do it, especially when he is sleepy or I am in bed. This is one of the reasons he can't sleep in our room at night. He's very persistent and has been known to clamp his teeth down on my ear while purring his head off if he gets hold of it, as he knows I'll move him away. He has never shown any interest in doing this to my OH and he wont accept anything else such as a blanket or an old item of my clothing. I sympathise with your poor older cat who has been so patient!

    Hope Frodo is ok and you can put a stop to it for both cats :001_smile:

    Sparkles
    x
     
  6. sharon_gurney

    sharon_gurney PetForums VIP

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    Hi

    I had this problem when Rex first arrived. He was at least 15-16 weeks when he came from the breeder so being too young wasnt the reason.

    I think it was due to insecurity from leaving his letter mates, Vogue just sat there and let him suckle, the noise wasnt the most pleasant and had to nip it in the bud right from the start.

    They had to be supervised when ever they where together and told NO! and prised appart, it did take a few weeks but they both absolutely fine together now.
     
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