Kitten sucking his back paw as if nursing

by Katoo
(Canton, Ohio)

I adpoted a 4 month old kitten from a shelter about 1 month ago. He and his 2 brother had been at the shelter since they were 2 monthes old I think. My kitten sucks on his back paw while laying on me , as if he is still nursing. He kneads me while he is sucking on his back paw and won't stop until he falls asleep. He only does this when he jumps up to cuddle on one of us. He doesn't try to nurse off our other 2 male cats who he gets long with quite well. He also doesn't suck on any clothing or fabric. Does he do this because he was seperated from his Mother to early ? Is there anything we should watch out for or do when he is doing this ? Also will he grow out of this behavior more than likely ?

Answer by Kate
Yes it sounds like a learned behavior that he is using as a comforter. It may look cute but it really should be discoraged as it can cause sores and fur loss as well as possible hairballs.

Try stopping him doing it when you see him. If that does not work you may have to put something on the leg that will taste nasty to the cat. a little fresh lemon juice diluted in water perhaps.

Comments for Kitten sucking his back paw as if nursing

Click here to add your own comments

New Kitten
by: Professor Cupcake's Mom

I just adopted a 1-month-old abandoned kitten, Professor Cupcake, who is being syringe-fed plus moist kitten food. She was seriously malnourished when I got her because her mouth was too tiny for the bottles and the person who had her didn't know how to improvise.
She has been here a week and has in the past couple of days begun suckling her paw. Which I find odd, as she is obviously happy, thriving, gaining weight, developing, and she is learning all of the kitten skills that she needs to know; even the things that her other littermates already knew when I took Professor Cupcake home.
At 5 weeks old, should I be concerned about it at this time or should I write it off as never having a Momma Cat and just try to discourage it?

paw sucking
by: Anonymous

my 7 month old male kitten sucks his back paw all the time until he falls asleep i have tried bitter apple spray lemon juice and nothing works what should i do he is dis coloring his fur


Answer by Kate
the only other option I can think of is to ask the vet for one of those small plastic neck collars and put it on him to stop him getting at his leg, hopefully after a few days the habit will be brocken.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Cat Questions Archive two.

I'd love to hear what you think of this page or my site. Let me know if you like what you have read or if it has helped you with a problem.

It's easy to do just leave a comment in the box below and click the like / share or +1 to let others know about my site. Thank You It really is most appreciated.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.