Question re: 12 week old kitten nursing on his sister

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Frank 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    Hello everyone-

    My wife and I recently adopted two 9 week old kittens — a brother and sister, from the same litter.

    We have had them for about 3 weeks now, and we noticed that the boy very frequently tries to nurse on his sister. They have both been fixed, and although her surgery stitches are gone, it looks like her stitches were pulled too tight. As a result of her stitches being pulled too tight, it left a little “bump” in the skin at the site of her surgery. It is that bump that the boy kitty constantly tries to nurse on, and he tries to massage her stomach to cause the flow of milk. If we try to separate them, he has a one track mind and constantly goes back. We have pulled him away a dozen times in a row, and he just constantly goes back.

    The girl kitty actually seems to enjoy it, and often purrs while he does this. Because he didn’t seem to be hurting her, at first we didn’t worry about it too much. But, they are 12 weeks old now, and the fact that he’s not stopping is really starting to worry us.

    As with most things on the internet, our research has revealed very conflicting opinions. Some say it can be a horrible problem that will never go away, and that you should separate the kitties for an extended period of time. Other people seem to say it’s nothing to worry about unless we notice sores or unless they seem to be in pain.

    We really don’t want to separate them. They clearly love each other, and play and cuddle with each other all the time. Separating them would be very traumatic to them, and would be painful for us to have to do it.

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone on this forum has experiencing this, and if they have any specific advice.

    I have read about using apple bitters, but my concern with using apple bitters is that if I spray the apple bitters on her stomach to stop him from nursing, I will probably also teach her to stop grooming her own stomach.

    Any advice???

    Thanks in advance.


    1 question were they taken from their mum before 6 weeks?

    this is usually when they start sucking people or blankets, but this may have a connection to your problem.

    it may not go away, but you can try to divert his attention with toys, and other stimulation. hope this helps! – nirmal



    Not before 6 weeks, no. It was closer to 9 weeks, pretty much right before we adopted them at an adoption fair.

    We do try to distract him, and it works a little, but he always seems to want to go back and try to nurse.

    Thanks for that article.


    welcome! hmm maybe he was a slow weaner….or has some other issue. keep trying to distract him, maybe give him some other treats or activities. does it bother u guys or the other cat?



    Honestly I wouldn’t be concerned in the slightest… 🙂

    My little girl Nutini does it to her brother (from another mother :D) Buttons

    He will grow out of it after about a year or so and then only do it occasionally I would think most infant behaviour usually disapates after this time unless kitten is taken away from mother at an extremely young age which isn’t your case..

    Now her stitches have healed there is absolutely no danger of her being hurt in any way and believe me she’ll be the first to put a stop to it if she becomes uncomfortable.. Cats never do anything they don’t wanna do!

    It might be an idea to substitute this behaviour by giving him an extra soft blanket a very plush material and then he can “wool suckle” off that instead of sis but it won’t do either of them any harm at all it just a comforting reminder of mommy and it also acts as a stress releiver.. I’m very surprised anyone would see this as negitive behaviour..



    We recently brought home a 10 week old kitten (now 12 weeks) who started “nursing” on our older male (neutered) cat! I was very worried at first but over time he has stopped trying to nurse as often so I think it was just a comfort thing while he was settling in. He still does it now and again, usually when he’s very sleepy. Our other cat doesn’t seem to mind, but I check his nipples regularly to make sure they’re not sore. I don’t think it’s anything to worry about, but maybe mention it to your vet on your next visit and see what they think.



    It can cause bruising and problems (blood blisters and then infections), especially if he starts nipping when he suckles, so keep an eye on them. Maybe tuck a rolled towel inbetween them when they are sleeping. If you notice a sore patch or bruise starting, you will have to take it more seriously so just keep a watchful eye out.


    John Rallis

    Happy new year to all.

    Brett i am having exactly the same problem as you did with my kittens and was wondering how yours are doing after all this time. did they stop nursing? how long did it take?




    Oh, my. That’s really an affecting story, but I am not sure about your question.

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