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Why Do Pets Suck? Dog & Cat Nursing Behavior

Why Do Pets Suck? Dog & Cat Nursing Behavior

Do your pets suck? I mean, do your cats nurse on your clothes, or dogs suck toys?

why cats suck

Now you negative-thinking folks out there, just STOP IT! I’m not talking about anything negative about cats, just that some like to–well–use fuzzies as pacifiers. Dogs do it, too, and I’ve addressed that before in a second Ask Amy video, below.


Suckling is natural for kittens. Learn more about how cats eat in this post.

Kittens taken too early from their mom sometimes develop these behaviors and will suck on their own tails or a litter mate’s toes, for example. That can develop into a grooming behavior later in life.

Others target fabric which may develop into a behavior described as “wool sucking” that seems most common in Oriental-heritage cats (Siamese, Burmese, etc) as a part of pica behavior–eating inedible objects. That can lead to choking dangers or swallowed objects blocking the digestive track. 

Many plastic bags are made from petroleum based products. In other words, this oil-derived material tastes good to cats! So when your cat decides to graze on plastic, we must, in turn, become much better housekeepers and pick up and dispose of the dangerous sacks before kitty can get a taste.

Why Cats Suck on Objects; Why Dogs Suck Blankets

The sucking behavior seems to be accompanied by kneading, which makes sense. Kittens knead against the mom-cat’s breasts to stimulate the milk to be released. So in adult cats, the kneading behavior hearkens back to this feeling of safety and well-being, and some cats simply take it a paw-step further and suckle on something at the same time.

Do your cats suck? How do you handle the behavior? Is it a problem for you, or an endearing foible? Does the suck-isity turn you into a better housekeeper to keep woolies out of your cat’s paw-reach?

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!