Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My Cat Sucks--I Mean Really Sucks!

My cat Sethra, like many other cats, has a habit of sucking on fabric--the fuzzier the better, while "making bread"--flexing her claws. This is a mimicking of the nursing behavior of kittens and usually signifies that the cat was weaned too early. (I don't know why this should be true of Sethra but not Aliera, especially since Aliera was the runt of the litter.) It can be endearing, but it can also be very wet. And it's really hard on the wardrobe and bedding.

What made it worse with Sethra is that her preferred position was on my chest or my shoulder, sucking on my nightgown and planting her paws on my face. This was the primary reason I decided to have my cats declawed--I was afraid she'd get me in the eye one night. She was really determined about this: when I tried moving her paws off my face, she simply put them back.

Does anyone out there know how to cure this behavior? The only advice I've ever gotten is "they grow out of it." Unfortunately, nobody has told Sethra this.

She still does the sucking thing, but no longer puts her paws on my face. Unfortunately, she has learned recreational biting from Aliera.


Callen said...

I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, Tal...unfortunately, I don't. My one cat that used to do it was very selective in his spot and it was my MIL's crocheted afghan that he would work over.

Now one of my two current kitties likes to knead my chest while I'm reading. I definitely know when it's time to trim his nails. :)

Mfitzzz said...

I have had two cats that did this. I was able to get the one to switch to sucking on her own arm. The other did it his whole like. He liked to suck my behind my ears and inside my elbow. If you pushed him away from one he would just move to the other.

KathyK said...

I haven't found cats to be particularly trainable. Sometimes they will humor you (if it pleases them). But this kneading and sucking thing is very hard to extinguish, I hear, and I've never had any success doing it. Sorry for the discouraging word.

dee said...

I read something somewhere that they can sometimes do this if they are taken too soon from mum or it is a insecurity issue I think.