General Question

poofandmook's avatar

Has anyone ever had or seen a cat who sucked its leg?

Asked by poofandmook (17272points) July 22nd, 2008

I’ve read in several places on the internet that a cat can suck for two reasons. Either it was weaned too early, or it’s anxious. My Bo (the cat in the avatar and the “poof” in my name) loves climbing onto me somehow, and sucking her leg (an inch and a half or so above the paw on the right front leg) while kneading hard and purring like a buzzsaw. It’s definitely got nothing to do with anxiety because she’s so happy she can’t contain herself. I can’t see how it has anything to do with being weaned too early, as there is a criteria before she’ll do this: She must be on top of me, I must pet her semi-vigorously, and she must be touching me with one of the paws she’s kneading with.

Any ideas?

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14 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

Purring is also a stress reaction. Does she have some sort of imbedded foreign object?Have you noticed an abscess or an abrasion? Is there a bald patch over the area? If your answer to all of these is no, then I wouldn’t worry, even if he is stressed in some manner, and is other wise okay. I’d see a vet, just to be on the safe side though.

By the way, cute boy. Looks kinda like mine.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

I’ve never heard of such a thing myself, but I have two cats, and they each have their perks. Maybe it’s just something your cat does when she gets really happy?

poofandmook's avatar

@tinyfaery: No, she’s been doing this since she was a kitten. She doesn’t do it for an excessively long period of time, there’s nothing there (she’s three now and been to the vet twice), no hair loss, bruising, discoloration, sores, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I’m pretty paranoid about my girls so I check often. She just does it when she’s INSANELY lovey-dovey. It’s pretty crazy.

marinelife's avatar

Cats do relate to their owners as their parent. It could be mimicking suckling especially with the kneading. She gets on you, because she would be against her mother’s body when she nursed.

tinyfaery's avatar

My boy cat suckles and nibbles my arm, and one of my girls licks and chews my fingers (lightly, of course). Cat quirks, that’s why we love them!!

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: Wow, I didn’t even think of that. So it really could have to do with being weaned early (even though she was 9 weeks when we took her from the mother).

marinelife's avatar

Ah, more data. Well, this confirms for me my long-distance diagnosis. Take a look at this site for future reference:

”“Kittens should leave their homes at a minimum age of twelve weeks,” says Dr. Betsy Arnold, DVM, a veteran Siamese breeder and veterinarian with an all-feline practice in Rochester, New York called Caring for Cats.”

stevenb's avatar

I know a crazy Rottweiler(sp) that bites his own leg if you give him a bone…I will ask him if he knows.

syz's avatar

My hand raised kitten sucks his own foreleg when he’s happy and content.

Seesul's avatar

My husband’s childhod cat (and working ranch cat) was named “SuckSuck” for that reason. Perhaps it’s the same as thumb-sucking in a child.

deaddolly's avatar

it’s like people OCD. My german shepard sucks her foot…it comforts her. Looks psychotic, but it keeps her happy.

A vet once toldme that sucking and kneading done by a cat menas they were taken away fromt heir mom too soon. Sad, eh?

poofandmook's avatar

well, when she does it, she’s ready-to-burst happy and lovey-dovey, so no… I don’t think it’s sad :)

deaddolly's avatar

Well, I had a little kitten who sucked like mad on everything he could get a hold of. It was sad that he was taken away from his mother before he was ready. This was years ago and
it was the last time I ever bought an animal from a pet store. I was young and stupid.

My sheperd sucks because it calms her. She seems in another world. Whatever makes her happy…she’s causing no harm to herself.

jtvoar16's avatar

I have a cat that does the same thing, she sucks on her legs and licks all the air off, we can only assume she has a neuroses because she is inbreed. It creep the heck out of me.

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