My cat had kittens who are now 6 months old. We re-homed all but three, and all three are still nursing even though they eat solid food and they catch mice, moles, rabbits and eat them too. I had someone come out and take a look at my cat and he told me that the kittens are taking all her nutrients and will end up killing her if I don't do something soon. I don't want my cat to die and I do what I can to stop them from feeding on her, but I just don't know what to do.

It seems like anything I do doesn't help or stop them. I have tried separating them and punishing them with a water bottle. I make them stop when I can. I have tried to re home them, but no one wants them right now. We have no animal shelter where I am, and I refuse to call animal control because they will just put them down, so what do I do? They are extremely active kittens. They eat A LOT and I hold and pet them and they sleep on me all the time, so I don't understand why they are still nursing.

  • How long did you try to separate mom from the kittens? (If you separate them long enough, perhaps mom will stop producing milk?)
    – user53923
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 12:08
  • So did your cat live? I have a cat who wont stop nursing and its been 5 months. Only one kitten though, the others are gone.
    – Lacey
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 0:44

1 Answer 1


Some thoughts to consider:

Are you giving them special kitten food? There are more calories and more protein in kitten food than in "normal" cat food. If the calories in their food are not enough, they might feel the need to nurse.

Are you sure your cat is still producing milk? I once had a cat that "nursed" on a blanket for comfort. This could be social behavior without any milk involved. Carefully stroke your cats belly or observe the kittens and see if there is milk flowing. If there is none, you shouldn't punish them with a spray bottle.

If she still produces milk and actually lies down to nurse instead of getting up and shaking her kittens off, you could try bitter apple. This is a natural extract from sour / bitter apples that doesn't harm the kittens, but they will loath the taste. It can be found in most pharmacies and sometimes in well-equiped drug stores or pet stores. Wet a cotton ball, squeze out excess water and but a few drops of bitter apple on it. Swipe the mothers teats with the cotton ball and the kittens should stop suckling.

Another solution is to cover the teats of your cat with a flexible bandage. You could even try cutting off the foot of a large sock and pull the remaining sleeve over her stomach. Take care not to move the covering against the direction of her fur or the discomfort will cause her to remove it. This method has the advantage that the kittens can still "dry nurse" on her for comfort.

In any case, I advice you to consult a vet. If mom is still producing milk, medicine could help her more than spray bottles. Maybe she would benefit from some vitamins as well. In any case, a healthy cat will not increase weight in a matter of a week or two. Give her time.

  • she is still producing milk and yes they are getting kitten food. she looks really bad though and it is making me nervous but i will certainly try the bitter apple extract. where do you find it at? also she is on vitamins but the vet that looked at her told me if the kittens dont stop nursing it wont matter what i give her or them it will kill her. thank you so much though.
    – venessa
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 22:00
  • 1
    Another option is to just cover your cat, with a bandage or similar, so that they cannot possibly nurse. I've seen suggestions of using a large sock with the foot cut off for this purpose.
    – Kai
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 23:56
  • 2
    You could ask for bitter apple in pharmaciess or drugstores. The idea of covering her teats seems almost better, because the mom will want to wash herself and lick the bitter apple off herself.
    – Elmy
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 6:37

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