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Question
Posted by: Garfield | 2003/12/15

Snuggling & Licking behaviour

I've got a 2½ month old ginger kitten. He is healthy (active) and had his 1st visit to the Vet. I got him at about 7 weeks. I'm just wondering about his behaviour, especially at night.

He sleeps with me on the bed, and the come and snuggle up to me. Then he starts licking on my hand (+ hy knie ook) - but my hand has to be almost over his face so that it form a little corner. It seems to me that he is licking similar to what he would have done to his mom when he wants to drink.

Is this just his way of "giving" me some loving care or what?
Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Garfield
You are quite right that it is care seeking or giving behaviour and the same as your kitten would have done to his mother. It is comforting to the kitten and his way of giving and receiving attention. Kneading, purring, licking and even sucking are common in pet cats and many never grow out of this behaviour. This is because when they are cared for by humans they never need to grow up. They are fed and protected by us and therefore don't have to hunt and defend themselves in the wild. It is normal although can be excessive when the licking and sucking becomes extreme, so I suggest that when it gets too much you just remove your kitten from your lap, hand or whatever to discourage it. You could give him a toy to suckle on instead. Kittens that were removed from their mothers too early (before 6 or 7 weeks) usually show more extreme signs of this behaviour.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: monty | 2003/12/15


My new SPCA orphan is the same a real little luv bug... IMO he is just being loving , its quite nice realy , most cats dish out love when THEY feel like it, to get so much luv from a kittie is very sweet.

Reply to monty

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