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Old 10-20-2010, 02:39 PM
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Default Cat Suckling Study Psychological Effects

One of my cats rescued when he was a tiny kitten and is now an adult always jumps on to my chest and suckles my shirt till it is all wet while kneading away at my chest or stomach everytime I lie down on my couch.

I never push him away but continue stroking him, which makes him even happier.

Another cat, also rescued when she was a tiny kitten crying in the drain, will jump on to me, bites and pulls at any part of my shirt, often tearing many beautiful and sexy holes (many of my nice shirts have been killed by her this way! ).

I never push her away either, but continue stroking her, which makes her tug at my shirt even more, shredding even bigger tears.

Out of curiousity (yes, I know curiousity kills the cat, but I was really curious) I found a study on cat suckling on the internet. Here it is:

Summary of the Cat Suckling Study

Age when separated from mother

The pattern for this question was striking; nearly all kittens were separated from their mother at 8 weeks of age or less, with a large concentration at the less than 6 week stage.

This makes a strong case for the concept that a kitten should not be separated from its mother until 10-12 weeks of age whenever possible. Many kittens that are sent to their new homes at age 8-9 weeks are fine, but quite a few are not.

Anyone trying to give away a kitten that is less than eight weeks of age either doesn't know much about kittens or doesn't care -- beware!

Gender of Cat

Gender was split exactly down the middle, with an equal number of males and females. There appears to be no gender correlation whatsoever.

What did/does the cat suckle -- skin, clothing, or something else?

This varied widely.

Did the cat ever stop suckling?

Most cats never stopped suckling.

If so, at what age? If not, how old is the cat now and does he/she suckle less than before?

Cats typicially suckled throughout their lives. Many of them suckled less as they got older, but some suckled just as much.

Did you let the cat suckle, or did you discourage it?

Most people discouraged their cats from suckling. Whether the cat was allowed to suckle or was discouraged did not seem to matter in relation to whether or not the cat stopped suckling.

If you discouraged suckling, please explain how.

Most people simply removed their cats from their laps to discourage suckling.

Well, any of you guys game to share your own experiences with your precious furballs?
"We organized in the past to make Trap-Neuter-Return possible. Today, we organize to make Trap-Neuter-Return the norm and to end the unnecessary killing of cats in animal shelters across the country and provide humane care." - Alley Cat Allies
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