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Kitten suckling on me and getting over excited!

13 replies

LtheWife · 18/08/2013 12:53

My 15 week old male kitten won't stop suckling on me. I think he was taken from his mum a little too young to be honest but the owner was doing other things to put the litter at risk (like letting them out in the garden at 6 weeks old, not seeking treatment for an upper respiratory infection etc) and as they were eating and drinking well taking him home early seemed like the lesser of two evils.

The suckling behaviour in itself isn't too much of a problem, he tends to stick to suckling my wrists rather than clothing etc. but in the last week he's started straddling my arm and getting a little erm, excited whilst he's doing it.

I've tried a firm 'No!', hissing at him, trying to distract him with toys, putting him on the floor. If I try to physically stop him he ends up somewhat frenzied and attacking with bites and scratches only to go straight back to humping me.

I've spoken to the vet about castration but he recommends waiting until 6 months minimum and says there are benefits to waiting even longer than that. He seems to think the behaviour won't go away until he's castrated though. Does anyone have any ideas for discouraging this behaviour whilst we wait?

OP posts:
VeganCow · 18/08/2013 14:58

Get him neutered!

Cats Protection now say to neuter at 4 months of age or younger, i know a shelter that does them at 3 months. read this statement from Cats Protection. Also pn this p[age is a register where you put your postcode in and it will come up with vets in your area that do early neutering:

LtheWife · 18/08/2013 21:48

I'd come across that page previously and our vet is the only one listed in the area as offering early neutering hence asking his advice and being surprised that he advised waiting. One thing is for sure I won't be letting him out until he's been done. Both him and our older cat are being kept in at the moment anyway as the upper respiratory infection he came with has spread to our older cat, the vet suspects it's chlamydia. Once the swabs come back it's going to be at least 4 weeks of antibiotics for both of them and I won't let them out until they're no longer contagious.

OP posts:
MumnGran · 18/08/2013 22:20

May be worth changing your soap/body wash. I had a foster who was like this with anyone who used Camay.
And another who went into a nuzzling frenzy leading to biting, over the smell of deodorant in armpits ....and some hairsprays.
Worth a try.

Otherwise, I suggest keeping a small pot of pepper next to you, and sprinkling it on the arm he starts attaching to. Make sure it goes onto the arm he is nuzzling though (to make him sneeze) not in his eyes!
Waterspray also works.

cozietoesie · 18/08/2013 22:21

Any chance you're sending out some changes to hormone signals over the past week ?

Lonecatwithkitten · 18/08/2013 22:42

I suspect your vet is wanting to wait until the upper respiratory tract infection is cleared as this is an increased risk factor for anaesthetic.
Personally I think the whole early neutering needs some independent studies done currently all the studies have been done in shelters and by rescue organisations. Independent studies may find it's okay, but currently all the evidence comes from parties who have reasons to push early neutering.

cozietoesie · 18/08/2013 22:46

But could there be, theoretically, any contra indications if the kitten is healthy and of an appropriate weight and size?

emmelinelucas · 18/08/2013 22:46

I used to foster cats and kittens, and it was common for kittens to suckle if I was wearing something made of wool.
When I was mid-cycle some Toms were all over me, nuzzling, being extra purry, etc basically wouldn't leave me alone.
They were all neutered, but some behaviour never abated.
The pepper works, also waving an open jar of mustard under the nose when pesky kit gets near.
Pepper is easier, but once I didnt have any !

LtheWife · 19/08/2013 00:07

Yes, we would wait until the URI had been treated but it was the increased risk of urolithiasis with early castration the vet was concerned about. Something I was aware of in general so already avoid a dry food only diet and have a water fountain to encourage water intake as a preventative measure. He still advised waiting as far past 6 months as we could put up with though.

I am around mid cycle at the moment so that might have something to do with it. I suspect it's more down to his hormones though tbh, he's a very 'big' boy, if his bits grow much more he's going to have trouble sitting down! And when he's not bothering me he's refusing to leave our female cat alone. She's not best pleased, especially as she's feeling very sorry for herself because of the conjunctivitis etc.!

I'll definitely try changing my body wash etc. and keeping some pepper to hand, he became immune to the spray bottle during his frenzied, vicious, attack anything that moves stage though (my scars are still healing).

OP posts:
MumnGran · 19/08/2013 09:24

Cozie - there was a study out of the US in the 90's (might have been the Winn Foundation?) which indicated some effect on long bones in heavy breeds.
Years since I did the research, so wouldn't rely on info without trawling all the available info again. Many vets are reluctant.

cozietoesie · 19/08/2013 09:48

Thanks Mum. Interesting, and I'll have a look see.

Lonecatwithkitten · 19/08/2013 10:14

Cozie there is some lack of clarity in the studies over anaesthetic losses and as these studies are carried out on unowned animals there is a little bit of an attitude of that some losses are acceptable for the greater good. However, this is unacceptable in owned animals.
There are definitely increased anaesthetic risks the smaller you are and there are no studies on the use of anaesthetics in animals as young as 14 weeks which is when some of the neutering a maybe carried out.
There maybe no problem, but at the moment without good independent studies it is difficult to tell.
As I say all the current studies have been carried out by large shelters who understandably have reasons to push early neutering, but this may bias the way the study is designed and carried out.

moonbells · 19/08/2013 10:36

We just had our kitten done at 17 weeks and he's fine. Didn't even notice anything missing, can sit down no problem. He was weighed at 1.7kg the week before.

Have to admit I am a bit Confused as to how he will grow, but will keep you posted. I did do a fair bit of research first and was not too worried about the conclusions.

I just wonder irreverently if he'll always have a very high pitched mew as a result! Grin

cozietoesie · 19/08/2013 10:40

Thanks Lone. Anaesthetic is always a concern to me, particularly having an older boy, so that is something that would give me pause for thought with regard to an elective procedure.

As I said to MumnGran. I'll have a look see - probably this afternoon.

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