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RE: Nursing kitty

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Posted by: PHCurious at Tue Jul 22 10:26:34 2003  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHCurious ]  
   

One very important point to remember is that this is not a "misbehavior." Your kitten is doing exactly what kittens are meant to do. The sucking reflex is hard-wired into every kitten, and they simply must do it, just as they must eat and sleep.

Madame Alto's recommendation of a kitten nursing bottle is great for a few reasons. The bottle will help satisfy both her suckling and her nutritional needs. She will be rewarded by sucking on the bottle because her empty belly will become full. (Kittens hate hunger pangs. ) Bottle feeding also helps to strenthen the cat-human emotional bond.

I also like Jame's recommendation for a special blanket, but have a cheaper version. Because your kitten seems to like to suck on fabrics, you might find a few dish or hand towels that are extra sturdy and can't be yanked apart by baby kitten teeth. During the day, for example when you're at home watching television or sitting to do some other activity, put a small towel on your lap. At night when you sleep, lay one next to your body or perhaps over your feet. If given the choice, your kitten is going to prefer sucking on something that is placed on or next to you rather than in another room. By doing this, she can feel the warmth of your body while she's suckling, just as she would if her mom-cat were still around. (This is why sucking on your pajamas while you're wearing them is probably more desirable to her than sucking on a piece of clothing in the hamper.) Once she gets used to the idea of sucking on the towel, she will probably chose to suck on that at night while you're sleeping, as long as it's close enough so that she can feel you at the same time.

If she ever starts sucking on your fingers or toes, withdraw them immediately and give her a gentle, "No." Although this is a cute and sweet activity for a very young kitten, you don't want it to become a habit. Adult cat teeth can hurt a lot.

Good luck with this kitten. Please give us an update and let us know how she's doing.
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PHCurious
Cat Chat Host


   

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<< Previous Message:  RE: Nursing kitty - JaimeMarie, Mon Jul 21 23:26:19 2003