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My cat sucks his "nublets"

July 29th, 2006, 01:00 AM
Hi all, I'm kinda new, but I have a question!

My kitty, Fitzy, sucks his, um, well, nublets? I don't know how to describe this. On his front legs, he has this little nub or bump on the inside of his leg that is behind his carpal pad and all of his paw pads. Do you know what I'm talking about? There are usually a few whiskers coming out of this little nub, and if you run your hand down the front leg of a cat, you can feel this tiny bump on their leg, right before you hit their wrist (carpal pad) and then their "thumbs" and paw pads.

What is this part of their body? Does it have a function? And should I be worried if he's sucking them? He sucks them for comfort, it seems. He's been tested for allergies and our vet says there's nothing "wrong" with it, it's just a bit disconcerting, as it looks like he's sucking his thumb or something, and all of the hair around the nublet is gone. He has no open wounds or sores or scabs, just a little bald spot around the nublet, and he's eaten off the little whiskers that come out of the nub.

I'm so confused...I don't even know what part of his body this is, if it's supposed to be there, what it's for, etc.

Has anyone heard of this before? I know Fitzy is a bit...well...special, he's kind of an odd kitty, but I just find this SO odd that he sucks his nubs for comfort. He's like a little baby! When he curls up at night, he sucks his nubs before he falls asleep. Does that seem weird to you, too? I know this post must sound so bizarre, but I really, honestly would love some insight on this. His littermate Daisy also has these nubs, so I don't think it's anomalous, but she leaves hers alone.

Please excuse my use of the word "nub" and "nublet," I just don't know what else to call it.


July 29th, 2006, 01:01 PM
After doing some quick research on google the "nub" that you speak of would probably be the carpal pad.
I've never had a cat suck on this before, but I have had a few cats that suck their "thumb" while trying to go to sleep. I've also seen this a lot in newborn kittens, so maybe some cats just keep on doing it as they get older.

July 29th, 2006, 01:11 PM
As far as it's purpose, this is the best information I could find (from )

14. At the back of a cat's foot is a single carpal pad that doesn't touch the ground. It is thought to act as a brake when the cat leaps forward or stops from speeds that can reach up to 31 mph.

A few other sites said it hasn't been proven to serve any purpose, but I couldn't find much info on it.

July 29th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Thank you so much for your response!

That's originally what I thought it was...but it's behind the carpal pad. It's like a little bump under the fur, further up the arm. You can't see it, but you can feel it if you run your hand up their leg.

Like in this picture, they show the carpal pad, but it's much further behind that pad; he leaves his carpal pad alone, but sucks on his nub, which is further up.

The nub isn't in that picture, it's much further back.

I think Fitzy may be weirder than I though!

July 29th, 2006, 03:55 PM
I don't know then, let me go catch one of my cats and see if they have this! lol

July 29th, 2006, 03:56 PM
Ooooh, tell me if they have nublets, too! I hope Fitzy and Daisy aren't the only ones!

My husband wants to take a picture of Fitzy's nubs and post it you can see what I mean. I'll do that today.

July 29th, 2006, 04:06 PM
Ok, I know what you mean now. My cats have one of these but I have NO idea what it is, lol.
All I can guess is it's there to sense different things (since there's whiskers on it), but other than that I couldn't say definitively. Maybe someone else who knows will come along and post, lol.

July 29th, 2006, 04:14 PM
I just checked my cats and they only have one little"nub"higher on the leg,I am not really sure if that is what you mean.:confused:
A picture would help..
As for the sucking,I don't think it's a big deal,unless he is sucking himself raw and it causes a problem.
They all have their comfort-quirks and this is obviously Fitzys..:cat:

July 29th, 2006, 04:45 PM
Okay, here are pictures of Fitzy's nublet. You can see it's in the "naked" area where he's missing some fur. It's below the carpal pad, and it looks like a little "nublet" if you will.



What do you think that is? He wasn't too thrilled to get his photo taken...he was asleep all curled up inside the laundry hamper!

July 30th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Yup, that's what my cats have too, I still dunno what they are, lol.
I don't think there's anything wrong with your cat, he's probably just weird like all cats are.

July 30th, 2006, 05:52 PM
I'm glad he's not the only one with nublets! Thanks for checking your kitties!!

Sometimes when he sucks the nub I get frustrated and so I take his paw out of his mouth and just massage the nublet for him. He seems to really like it...he'll close his eyes and go to sleep while I'm doing it, so it must be relaxing, like sucking his thumb or something. It's like it's better if I just rub it for him so he doesn't keep taking all the hair off, but at this point I think the hair around the nublet will never grow back and the whiskers that used to grow out of it are gone forever, too, because he keeps nibbling them off.

Weird, weird kitty!

July 30th, 2006, 11:01 PM
I suppose of it really bothers you, you could try putting something like bitter apple or some kind of other bad tasting deterrent on them, but since the only side effect seems to be hair loss, I guess it's not a huge deal. :)
Also, since it seems to be a comfort thing to him, dettering him from doing it may bother him mentally, so if it were me I'd just leave it alone.