I have three 4 month old kittens. I have bottle raised them from a week old, and they are wonderful, friendly, happy kitties.
However, we have one small problem. Four weeks ago, they started nursing on each other and on their own tails. They aren't hurting anything, but it is the worlds most annoying sound in the middle of the night, and wakes me up out of a sound sleep. I bought bitter apple and put it on the kittens. Two of the kittens quit nursing on it's tail and each other. The third one is persistant. She particularly goes after her own tail, and bitter apple doesn't make her stop.
My sleeping habit requires that she stop doing this. Any suggestions? I'm going to try hot sauce next, but I feel that my little tail nursing kitten is going to like hot sauce.
When I was in high school we bottle raised one solo kitten. Sid "sucked his paw" for years afterwords, (thats what we called it, he actually sucked on his lower forearm). To the point that even as a grown cat that area was discolored for a while. He eventually stopped but persisted with grooming us throughout his life, (he'd jump in your lap, put his front legs on your shoulder and lick your hair). He was the best cat ever. Sorry I have no advice, just a story to share.
We've bottle raised other kittens over the years, (generally litters of kittens) and thankfully haven't experienced them nursing on each other, in fact 2 of our house cats now (Calvin and Hobbes) were from the last litter we bottle raised. No nursing issues with them, but I can still remember the sound it made when Sid sucked on his paw!
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done".
I dunno, it would seem reasonable that bottle raised kittens would "nurse" on whatever was available more than kittens raised by momma. However, I bottle raised one that never did that, and had a kitty raised by momma who would suck on (obviously only the very nicest) sweaters and ruin them.
Armando del Fuego, Best Boy Ever (almost always)
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As a bad sleeper, I can sympathize with the problem! How about something that makes white noise? I use an air filter (Walmart, not expensive, has lasted for years) that drowns out most anything, with a backup travel white noise generator (Brookstone, a little more expensive, but has volume control and batteries) that I can crank up when hubby is really committed to snoring.
Thumbs up on getting the kittens to this point! Hopefully they'll outgrow it soon, though I had one years ago who, when comfortable and purring, sucked on his (utterly gnarly) ball of yarn until the day he died.
I have bottle raised many kittens, and your problem is like the good news/bad news. The bad news is if they suck on the male parts, which yours aren't doing. If they do that, they have to be separated because it can cause really serious problems for the boy in question. So, the good news is they aren't doing anything really harmful, unless annoying you is harmful. They may or may not quit doing it if you don't separate them. You could try giving them a wool blanket of some type; cats love to suck on that and maybe it will be a diversion for them.