Cats/Kitten suckling on herself
Hi, thanks for reading my question.
Up until a week ago I had a 1-year-old cat and her 4-month kitten which we didn't give away. My older cat was ran over by a car last week and died. They played all day long, slept together and went out at night. My kitten seems to be doing okay, except she's not going off to the street anymore (but I always got the impression that she just followed her mother around). I did notice last night that after a while of us cuddling she started suckling on one of her own nipples. I'd never seen her do this before and, as far as I know, she was still suckling on her mother, but not so often anymore since we'd recently spayed her and she didn't like being touched in the belly and would growl the kitten away.
I'm just wondering if this is a way in which my kitten is grieving and if there's something I can do about it. I've heard that when kittens lose their mothers too early they may do this (and my older cat, a stray, suckled on clothes until she gave birth at 6-7 months), but 4 months seems too old for this to be the reason.
So Sorry to hear of your loss.
Some kittens will revert back to this nipple suckling for some time after weaning which is between 8 and 12 weeks so 4 months isn't that old.
I would try to discourage her from doing this.
I dont believe it is caused because of the loss of her mother but she may be missing her mother in other ways and so lots of distraction toys and tlc is a good idea for awhile. She will be ok.
Cats do grieve for the loss of other cats but this is a natural process and will eventually ease. I have a web page about this here
best wishes Kate