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RE: Nursing kitten??

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Posted by: nannersone at Sat Apr 9 19:35:00 2005  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by nannersone ]  
   

Hi. I have fostered several kittens for an animal shelter. A few of them had similar behaviors. Most of the kittens I fostered were days old when I got them, and I never saw the behavior in those ones. However, now and then I'd get an older kitten (2 to 6 months old) and more than once saw the behavior in them - the kneading and sucking on blankets. One had a thing for my neck! Felt like there was a vampire in the house. Had little kitty hickeys until I convinced him an old sock was better. I always wondered what his adoptive family thought about owning a cat with a "thing" for crew socks! ; p

My guess is that they were removed from their moms before they were psychologically ready. Yes, a kitten can "survive" in the modern world being away from mommy at 8 weeks, but mommy still has a lot to teach them. I always fostered litters together (if they came to our house together) until at least 12 weeks, and would strongly recommend that kittens be left with their moms until 12 weeks so they can learn how to be a cat without becoming neurotic around the edges. Some seem to be ok emotionally with a separation at 8 weeks, but, unless the house is burning down or something, what's another 4 weeks to wait to make sure?

In any event, it's harmless behavior. Just make sure that kitty isn't in any danger of destroying something of value by his/her kneading/chewing/licking/sucking on it.

Good luck!
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