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Old June 4th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Question about kneading and suckling

I'm hoping some of you with cats can give me an idea if this is something I should watch.

I got Vlad my going on 4 month old kitten. When I got him from this horrible vet, he wasn't more than 8 weeks old. For a few days after I brought him home he'd lay on my tummy and knead at me, but then stopped for a long time.

Now in the past 3 days or so, I see him sitting on the kitty bed I got for him and Oksana, and I see him kneading at the blanket and going through the motions like he's suckling on his mommy. My friend who has a 10 year old dog says he does that sometimes to, but I'm just wondering if maybe this is something my little one is doing because he might be upset about something and needs comfort.

He and little Oksana get along well, although after nearly a month he still feels the need to try to dominate her. I just don't know if perhaps he might see her as a threat.

He doesn't hurt her, and she does meow and run from him, I have observed them playing together with no problems, and on many occasions he's been the one running from her, so I do believe they are playing. I can only think perhaps he doesn't realize how small she really is and is trying to play with her as though they are both the same size.

But, does anyone elses cats still do this kneading/suckling?
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Old June 4th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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I have three adult cats, and they all knead to some extent. Two will do it for as long as you'll let them, and get all glazey-eyed in the process. They usually do it when they're content and just want to cuddle...they purr their heads off while they're doing it. Neither suckle, but I know that some cat breeds are predisposed (siamese come to mind). I personally wouldn't worry too much as long as your kitty seems happy in all other ways (playing, active, eating, pooping/peeing etc.)
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Old June 4th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Yeah, I know quite a few adult cats who still do it. I've heard several theories, including that the cat was taken away from his mother too soon, that the kneading releases endorphins and it just "feels good", that it's a stress reliever, and so on.

As long as he's not doing it constantly, I don't see any problem with it.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Thank you, both of you. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything wrong. He is quite a healthy kitten, and very active. I make sure to give him plenty of love and when HE wants to cuddle, I never turn him away. Knowing other's cats do the same makes me feel better.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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One of my adult cats is a sucker. He sucks on my other male cat's neck while purring crazily and kneading. The vet said not to worry about it . . . Fortunately my other cat doesn't mind being the suckee.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Both of mine (adult females) knead but no suckling. One of them also drools while she's kneading They both like to knead in blankets and my long hair. Not sure why, they seem to find comfort in doing so, so I let them unless my hair starts to get knots in it!
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Old June 4th, 2007, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LM1313 View Post
One of my adult cats is a sucker. He sucks on my other male cat's neck while purring crazily and kneading. The vet said not to worry about it . . . Fortunately my other cat doesn't mind being the suckee.
LOL, that's actually kind of cute.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Kristin7 View Post
Both of mine (adult females) knead but no suckling. One of them also drools while she's kneading They both like to knead in blankets and my long hair. Not sure why, they seem to find comfort in doing so, so I let them unless my hair starts to get knots in it!
He doesn't seem to be doing any damage to the blanket, and it seems durable enough so it won't fall apart, so I'll just let him as long as its not hurting.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 04:13 PM
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Nothing to worry about,it's a comfort-thing for kitties,all 3 of mine do it and they are 5,9 and 11 yrs old
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Old June 4th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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My kitten does it,she is about 8 months old,did it when we first got her ,stopped for awhile but she does it every night when we go to bed for about 15 minutes,only in bed and only on the white blanket on the bed,purrs and drools up a storm,she seems the most content when she is doing this,i think it is the cutest thing.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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Nothing to worry about,it's a comfort-thing for kitties,all 3 of mine do it and they are 5,9 and 11 yrs old
Wow, now I know my mind is at ease. If yours are adults and still do it...
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Old June 4th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by heidiho View Post
My kitten does it,she is about 8 months old,did it when we first got her ,stopped for awhile but she does it every night when we go to bed for about 15 minutes,only in bed and only on the white blanket on the bed,purrs and drools up a storm,she seems the most content when she is doing this,i think it is the cutest thing.
Vlad was doing it at bedtime too, and I just gave him a bath (because of my allergies) and he did it too when I put him on a warm blanket.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 06:46 PM
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She seems like she is in a trance when she does it,and man sometimes she really gets into it,and you cant even find her face it is so buried in blanket,it is my favorite part of the day,she seems so happy i dont see how it could be wrong.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Yep, many cats do it and it is really nothing to worry about. Unless they start to suckle and eat wool (pica) in which case that is usually an indication they are lonely.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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I had a male that suckled and kneaded until he was about 5 years old. Wonder if it has anything to do with being taken from their mom before they were ready?
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Old June 4th, 2007, 07:10 PM
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Yep, many cats do it and it is really nothing to worry about. Unless they start to suckle and eat wool (pica) in which case that is usually an indication they are lonely.
I hope he doesn't feel lonely. I brought Oksana home so that he would have a playmate.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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HMM! I thought they did it because they were taken away to early,like roxy was from her mom,why would they do it because they are lonely??
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Old June 4th, 2007, 09:03 PM
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I had a himi who did that right up until he died at 18. Only 1 of my 4 cats does it now, but it seems to be when she's getting ready for bed, has a good knead on her favorite pillow and then it's off to sleep.

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Old June 4th, 2007, 09:55 PM
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My Billy is 16 years old, and he still does it about once a day! He'll jump up on my bed, grab the duvet cover in his mouth and kneed and purr for a good 5 minutes before settling down for the night. He gets that trance-like look too, LOL! So yep, perfectly normal!
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Old June 4th, 2007, 11:48 PM
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Out of my six all but Buddy do the kneading (of course he's so beefy it'd be more like deep tissue massage!). Almost like they are making a nest outta my gut. And man is it great if you can get them to do it on your shoulders... like a little massage (just saw a commercial like that).

As for suckling, Windy did that when she was a kitten, but it stopped when we got Smoke, so IMO definitely a lonely thing.

And my first cat Cordelia suckled the fluffy ears right off my stuffed dog "Puppy", while I was sleeping holding him she would lay on my pillow on the other side of him and suck patches of his ears (he is a cocker spaniel)... I had to stop sleeping with him because of it and retire him to the closet :sad: ... of course I was 22 so it was probably time anyhow.
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