My 12 weeks old kittens are still nursing....

R McDonaldR McDonald Fresno, CAMember Posts: 4
edited 3 September, 2009 in Kitten Corner
My Mona is still nursing her kittens (I have kept 2 boys out of the litter. They only latch on to her when they want to go to sleep. (kind of like a pacifier) I've heard from one vet that I must make them stop and another that it's OK and Mama will stop when she's ready. Any opinions or advice..... She doesn't seem like she's in any pain but I know the little buggers teeth are sharp.


  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 23 August, 2009
    I am only guessing here, and the others can prob give you better info. :D In relating this to horses, the mare will start kicking at the foal, about the time, he can be weaned, she does not let him nurse. So the mare has started the process of weaning, even tho the foal still wants to nurse. Humans actually seperate the mare and foal at weaning time, put in different stall and pasture, and so they can't see each other. If room permits it, if one has a large farm, they can't even hear each other. For the foal, its not the milk he is asking for, by this time he has been given a creep feeder and all the grain he wants, so its not hunger. It is the security of nursing that he is missing. Months later, you can put the mare and foal together, if its a filly, a colt you would not, and the foal won't try and nurse and barely remembers his mother. So I am thinking, its the security of nursing, the kittens want. If you are able to, I would seperate the momma and kittens. The momma's milk needs to dry up, and it is taking alot out of her, and health issues could develope, for her to continue to produce milk. Its this way with horses. When I picked up my kittens at 8 weeks, the momma cat was still in the room with them, as well as a big bowl of food, which the kittens were eating, and didn't see any kitten try and nurse her. The momma cat had pretty much weaned them. But when I brought them home, the very first thing they did was try and nurse Bumpurr. He lay there and let them, but obviously they weren't getting any milk from him, mol, so I think it was more of a security thing for them, scaredy boys in their new home. They stopped doing it after a few days, as they became more secure in their new home. Not sure if this helped, or even if it is right, mol, just trying to relate it to horses. Best of luck, the others can prob give better info. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • Lisa DaversLisa Davers SacramentoMember Posts: 3,642
    edited 23 August, 2009
    When I took in Sassy she had 4 kittens and we kept one of them, Xena. Sasssy spoiled Xena and suckled her til she was 7 months old and nearly as big as she was. I think if she'd have had all 4 kittens she would have pushed then away but with just one she kept letting Xena suckle. We eventually had to stop Xena from suckling otherwise I don't know if she'd have ever stopped. I wouldn't worry as it sounds like they're not taking much milk and Mona will push them away if it gets too much. If they are still doing it in a couple of months then maybe you should step in and stop them, in case Mona is like Sassy!
  • N AN A Member Posts: 2
    edited 24 August, 2009
    I'm sure it's fine. If mom is acting agitated, I wouldn't allow them to nurse. But I imagine mom would put a stop to it herself if that was the case.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 2 September, 2009
    Cat breeding manuals usually say to let the kittens nurse as long as they want to and as long as Momcat allows it (although I have to admit that 7 months seems a bit extreme...). Meanwhile, by three months they should also be eating real food--wet food, kitten kibble, kitten kibble with KMR to soften it, etc. When Leila had her 7 kittens, she was extremely efficient about the whole thing, and stopped nursing right on schedule. Then her younger sister Chibi, who had never been pregnant, stepped in and nursed them for another month. The kittens were happy and I thought it was best to leave it up to instinct, but later I learned that having a cat who is not presently nursing start to nurse another cat's kittens can mess up the substitute's hormones. With the real mother, I don't think this happens, but you might call your vet and ask. Ideally, kittens should stay with Momcat until they are three months old--this is said to lead to a better adjusted and socialized kitten. Kittens taken away from their mother too early often suck on things like blankets (the brother of my brother/sister duo used to suckle on his sister's stomach; I adopted them when they were two months old). One word of caution: those little teeth are sharp, but so are those tiny nails. If you're not in the habit of trimming their nails (you can buy a cat nail clipper at any pet store), get them used to the process now. Since kittens massage the mammary glands to help the milk come out, it's possible for them to inadvertantly scratch the Momcat and cause an infection, which will have to be treated with antibiotics from your vet. Halfway through her nursing period, Leila got listless (well, 7 kittens are quite a burden), and the vet suspected some sort of infection, perhaps caused by those teeny tiny nails, and after three days of antibiotics, Leila was her old self again.
  • ericka deciutiisericka deciutiis los angelesMember Posts: 193
    edited 3 September, 2009
    my cats have never tried to suckle each other, but 2 of them suckle me! :))! Kizmet, who is 8, likes my earlobes, and Baby Ben favors my armpit. (my clothed armpit, mind you.) i let them, not for a long period of time, though. and if Ben decides he wants to actually SUCK my shirts, well, that's not happening. :)
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