Getting a new kitten is great! There are always plenty of things to do and you’re never bored. It’s one of the many reasons why owning pets can be so much fun.
But what if your favorite activity isn’t so enjoyable for the rest of the family? I’m often asked about how to get a kitten to stop nursing on her housemates.
In this article, we’ll look at how to get kitten to stop nursing on sibling. We’ll also and find out more about nursing behaviors in general.
Kittens who are separated from their mother too early will not learn the essential skills they need to know on how to feed themselves in a correct manner.
That could likely result in nursing behaviors such as suckling on another cat or human instead.
First, you have to determine if it’s actually nursing or something else. If they’re nursing, they most likely don’t have teeth yet, which means they can’t bite or scratch you.
You can gently pick them up by their scruff and set them down somewhere else; just make sure not to hold them by the tail!
It’s best to start this process when the kitten is still fairly young and hasn’t yet started nursing on the sibling.
If your kitten has been nursing on a sibling for some time, you may need to be more aggressive with the process.
Read Also: Why is Mother Cat Panting While Nursing?
Some Things to Do to Stop Kitten from Nursing on Sibling
- Put a little bit of canned cat food onto your finger and hold it in front of the kitten’s mouth. The kitten will probably lick at the food and won’t have time to latch onto their sibling, so they will eventually give up.
- Increase the amount of time between feeding times. Most kittens feed every few hours, so if you wait a little longer before offering them food again, they will have less time to nurse on their siblings.
- If your kitten is still trying to nurse on their siblings, you may want to confine them separately from their siblings until they can stop nursing.
- A small room or bathroom works well for this purpose. You may also want to separate litter boxes, toys, food bowls and anything else that your kittens might be able to fight over while they are separating themselves from each other.
Why Does My Kitten Try to Nurse on My Male Cat?
The answer is simple; kittens try to nurse on many different things. Depending on the time of day and how hungry they are, your kitty may have different targets.
Teddy bears, blankets, or even your own clothing! This just means your kitty isn’t ready to wean yet and has a few more meals she needs before she’ll be completely self-sufficient.
Don’t worry, it’s not out of the ordinary for a kitten to try to nurse on any soft object, including your male cat’s belly.
At 6 weeks old, kittens begin the weaning process. The mother cat will spend less time nursing the kittens and more time grooming them.
However, at this point in their lives, kittens are still learning how to play properly. When they wrestle with each other or you, they may accidentally take a bite when they think they’re playing with a littermate.
This is why kittens may also try to nurse on your fingers or toes as well as your male cat’s belly. They can’t tell the difference between a soft toy or another animal and their mother’s milk.
The urge to nurse doesn’t last long. You can expect your kitten to wean completely by 8 weeks old.
How To Get Kitten to Stop Nursing on Boy Cat
First thing’s first: is your kitten still nursing? If so, that’s great! You’ll want to try to step up the weaning process. There are plenty of ways you can do this:
Start playing with the cat more often: take it out for more walks, play more games with it, and kitty will get tired sooner
Feed the cat more often: provide it with a steady supply of food throughout the day so baby gets full faster
Start calling no; in a firm voice every time the kitten latches, be sure to mean it! The kitten won’t know what else to do but respond to your tone of voice
More tips on stopping kitten from nursing on male cat
Make sure your kitten is getting enough to eat through other sources. Is she still nursing at all? If so, try offering her a different food.
Maybe wet food? in order to get her off of dry food altogether, which can irritate their stomachs.
Try to provide as many opportunities for play as possible. Cats love toys, so make sure they have plenty of things to chew on and play with when they’re not nursing.
Also, this will help them expend energy and stay busy during the day when they might otherwise look for a place to nurse from another cat in the house.
Provide plenty of space for sleeping and hiding places for both cats in the house so there is no pressure for either one to claim more territory than necessary by sitting or lying in someone else’s bed.
The best way to stop a kitten from continuing to allomaternally nurse is to give him what he’s missing in his life; attention and affection, from YOU!
If you see your kitten trying to nurse on a male cat, gently pick up your kitten and give her some attention or toys in order to distract her from trying to nurse from male cat.
She will soon learn that she does not have to nurse from male cat anymore as she will be kept busy with other things.
How To Stop Kittens from Nursing on Mom
The first thing you have to do is find a way to distract the kittens from their goal of nursing on mom. This can be done by offering the kittens a new toy, a new room for exploring, or even another cat to play with.
This will throw the kittens off-course, so they’ll forget about their original goal of nursing on mom.
Once the kittens are distracted, it is time to separate them from their mother and move them into their own room.
After separating the kittens, it’s important to hand-feed them with a bottle until they are old enough to eat on their own.
This will prevent them from having any food preferences in the future and ensure that they stay healthy and well-fed.
Secondly, you must be patient with the kittens. You’re going to have to wait until they are old enough before they start becoming independent enough to not depend on their mom’s milk. This is normal and will happen around the eight-week mark.
It’s also important that you keep the mother cat away from her kittens while they are nursing. It may seem like she’s already nursing them at this point.
But we guarantee that if you leave the mother alone with her kittens, she will not stop nursing them, even when they don’t need it anymore. She will continue to nurse them until they are too big for her to handle.
Also read: Why is Newborn Kitten Panting?
4-Month-Old Kitten Trying to Nurse
A four-month-old kitten is going to be doing a lot of growing. The demands on the mother cat to feed her kittens become too much for her, and she will no longer take care of them.
You will have to step in at this point and begin feeding from a bottle. It is important that you do so because if you don’t then many of the kittens will die if they are not taken care of.
It’s normal for your kitten to try and nurse from mom after four months of age. However, it’s important that you step in before any harm comes to your kitten.
When you see your kitten trying to nurse from mom, pick up the kitten and place it back into its own carrier or bed.
When you’re not around this will be more difficult, so you may want to purchase a baby gate or use things around your house that won’t hurt your kitten’s paws if it tries climbing over the gate.
Make sure there are plenty of toys in the room with the kitten.
Why Does My Kitten Try to Nurse on Me?
If you’ve ever had a kitten, try to nurse on you, you probably found the experience sweet and funny. But it can also be a little painful, especially if you’re sensitive or the kitten is a biter.
So, what’s going on here? Is there some reason that kittens think humans are their mothers? Or are they just looking for some attention?
Kittens learn how to nurse from their mother by nursing on her nipples. It’s possible that your kitten thinks your fingers or toes are like his mom’s nipples; and it’s also possible that he doesn’t.
Some cats don’t even make the association between nursing and getting food until they’re several weeks old.
So, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for a kitten to do this just because he likes the way it feels on his gums, which become sensitive as his baby teeth come in.
Some kittens will continue trying to nurse after they’ve been separated from their mothers, either because they’re weaning slowly or because they miss the comfort of nursing and suckling.
However, this behavior should stop when they’re around 12 weeks old or so, at which point they can be spayed or neutered.
Read Also: Can Cats Go 12 Hours Without Food?
Reasons Your Kitten Is Trying to Nurse on You
1. Your Kitten Is Nervous
When kittens are nervous or scared, they will often revert to the same behavior they had when they were with their mother, sucking and kneading for comfort.
This is especially true for kittens that have been taken away from their mother before they were weaned or were recently introduced into a new environment.
If this is the case with your kitten, you need to provide comfort until your kitten feels safe in its new environment.
2. Your Kitten Is Just Playing
It could be that your kitten isn’t really nursing at all. Just looking for attention and someone to play with.
She might just be curious about you and wants to know if you’re as soft as one of her litter mates.
3. Orphaned Kitten
If your kitten has lost her mother, she might be trying to nurse on you because she’s hungry and doesn’t know any other way to get food. You should probably get milk replacement formula or wet food for her.
4. Comfort Nursing
A kitten’s mother provides warmth and comfort when she nurses with her body heat and the vibration of her purr.
When your kitten is weaned, she misses that comforting sensation, so she may seek it out by nursing on something else; like you.
While it might seem cute at first, there are some good reasons not to encourage this behavior:
If your kitten is over one year old, this could be a sign of an oral fixation or stress disorder.
If your kitten is nursing on its sibling, you can try to distract and redirect the nursing kitten.
Play with the nursing kitten or pet it to distract it from the other one.
When a kitten sucks on its sibling’s neck, this is a sign that the baby is looking for food. It’s their way of finding the teat.
Don’t try to pull them apart right away. Instead, pick up the smaller kitten and gently act like you are feeding her/him.
You can also put some warm food into her mouth. After a few feedings, they should be getting the picture that they can get their own food and no longer need to suckle on the litter mate.
Slowly separating them is important when they are older and are still suckling because the mother may not accept the kitten back if she sees you taking your kitten away before she is done nursing.