Question re: 12 week old kitten nursing on his sister
I am so glad I found this site. I need some help.
My wife and I recently adopted two 9 week old kittens -- a brother and sister, from the same litter.
We have had them for about 3 weeks now, and we noticed that the boy very frequently tries to nurse on his sister. They have both been fixed, and although her surgery stitches are gone, it looks like her stitches were pulled too tight. As a result of her stitches being pulled too tight, it left a little "bump" in the skin at the site of her surgery. It is that bump that the boy kitty constantly tries to nurse on, and he tries to massage her stomach to cause the flow of milk. If we try to separate them, he has a one track mind and constantly goes back. We have pulled him away a dozen times in a row, and he just constantly goes back.
The girl kitty actually seems to enjoy it, and often purrs while he does this. Because he didn't seem to be hurting her, at first we didn't worry about it too much. But, they are 12 weeks old now, and the fact that he's not stopping is really starting to worry us.
As with most things on the internet, our research has revealed very conflicting opinions. Some say it can be a horrible problem that will never go away, and that you should separate the kitties for an extended period of time. Other people seem to say it's nothing to worry about unless we notice sores or unless they seem to be in pain.
We really don't want to separate them. They clearly love each other, and play and cuddle with each other all the time. Separating them would be very traumatic to them, and would be painful for us to have to do it.
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone on this forum has experiencing this, and if they have any specific advice.
I have read about using apple bitters, but my concern with using apple bitters is that if I spray the apple bitters on her stomach to stop him from nursing, I will probably also teach her to stop grooming her own stomach.
Thanks in advance.
I would not spray apple bitter on the female kitten to made the male stop nursing on her. If the male kitten is not hurting the female kitten and she is all healed up I would let her decide when she had enough of this. Animals are very good at speaking up for their self. I had a kitten that dry nurse on my female dog and the kitten out grew this as he got older.
3 years ago I rescued a pregnant cat, she had her kittens and they nursed on her until they were 3 and half months old, time at which she just 'had enough' and pushed the kittens away.
One of the kittens, Katla, then started to try to nurse on my male cat Elphin. Elphin didn't mind at all and Katla went on with this until she was about 6 months old! Time at which she lost interest in nursing alltogether.
I must say that Elphin and Katla are very bonded and to this day sleep together and groom eachother.
I would not worry about your kitten's behaviour, if both kittens are ok with the situation, it is my experience that it will eventually pass. The only 'side effect' may be that you will have very bonded and inseparable cats.
I personally would not interfeer with what they do, I would just let them be.
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