My cat is 9 months old, and she still likes to nurse from her mother. I've been stopping her (also punishing her by removing her from the room we are currently in. Is this a bad way to react?) when I see her do it, but no results come of it.

She eats regular catfood as well. I don't think the mother cat is still producing milk (it's been a few months since she had kittens). I have a feeling it's a bonding thing, because the mother doesn't mind at all (cleans offspring while offspring is feeding).

Although this brings up many other questions (each deserving their own post), my main question is: How can I get my 9 month old cat to stop nursing off its mother?

  • It is normal for queens to drop by and feed their fairly grown offspring.
    – Beo
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 17:30
  • One of my cats is two years old and she still nurses from her mother on occasion. Her mother hasn't had kittens in well over a year and a half. They just both enjoy the bonding experience.
    – user7571
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 13:17
  • 1
    thanks so much for replying. I thought that was what you meant. This post has drawn so much attention - some of it not so good- I protected it to avoid more controversy from people not regular to the site.
    – user6796
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 0:06

5 Answers 5


Kittens nursing on each other can irritate or injure each other, especially if they nurse on the wrong spots. Since this isn't the case here, the only down side would be a similar sore spot on the momma, who is well equipped to beat up the kitten making her hurt.

I don't see why you have to be the enforcer outside of that. Mom will cut off the milk bar when she wants to.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by the first part (my cat is nursing on its mother, not another kitten). But you're saying that I shouldn't care or be worried? This won't have any harmful effects on my cat's health overtime?
    – Dioxin
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 23:40
  • The only bad thing that can happen with nursing is irritation or damage of the cat being sucked on, which is especially bad if a tiny kitten is sucking on his tiny brother in a bad spot - like the anus. No, I don't think there is anything bad about mother's milk.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 23:45

I have the same issue as you, but I haven't stopped them nursing.

My cat has lost so much weight due to the feeding and I'm feeding her almost 6-8 times a day. Her kittens eat too, but it's breaking my heart to see mom so hungry all the time. I overfeed because she is looking thin.

We went to vet today and she too is concerned and said to shoo the kittens away if I see her nursing, so here it goes.

So no I don't think it's cruel or otherwise to stop kittens nursing especially if they are feeding normally too.

Please take care of the cat mommy, too.

  • Kittens reach a point in which they won't benefit from nursing, and the momma just gets all the downsides, like you can see.
    – Just Do It
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 21:42

IMHO I don't think you should punish her. Seriously! Please do not punish her, it is cruel. She's a cat following her instincts. I asked my vet about it as I have two kittens who do the same thing, and she confirmed it's a comforting behavior.

Your kitten's mother will walk away if annoyed--it's up to her. I have a 9 month old kitten who suckles my 4 years old cat on her neck, shoulder, tummy or wherever because it provides her comfort. My cat sometimes gets annoyed and walks away, but usually doesn't care. I do not interfere.

I rescued the kittens' mother whom I found as a pregnant, starving, malnourished stray. She had her litter of six and I kept her and all six until the kittens were 10 weeks old and all were adopted including the sweet mother. I kept two of the kittens and my older two cats, a male and female, immediately took on the role of nurturing them; they still do to this day. Both kittens suckled my cats all the time--obviously they didn't get milk, but did it for comfort.

Actually, yes, it can harm the mother. She can get emaciated if the mother doesn't have the will to push away the kittens even if she doesn't want to feed them. Not all queens are the same. My cat fed her kittens up to 2 years old and she almost died from it because she got so skinny even though I was feeding her own eight times a day. I had to get rid of the two kittens she had (even though they were two years old when I got rid of them they will always be kittens to me.)


It is normal for queens to drop by and feed their fairly grown offspring once in a while. It wont hurt anything and may improve the immune systems of the offspring.

It is similar in concept to a human mother dropping by her child's college dorm room with a pie or some soup. There is no need to stop this behavior: it wont hurt either cat.

If the queen was ill or something you could just gently shoo the offspring away from the queen when you see it happening.


Kittens sucking on their mother at 9 months old isn't normal in the wild. They should be stopped, even if it comforts them.

They shouldn't be relying on their mother to this time. This makes them dependent and cats are independent creatures. They should be seeking YOU for comfort, because you're a human.

Besides, if they keep nursing on her, she'll probably get scratched or bitten mistakenly, and such things cause infections. Try encouraging your kitten by providing more play and less time to go nurse on its mother. Also consider separating the certain kitten from it's mom MOST of the time, but not ALL the time, and make sure you don't separate her from her siblings so she won't feel lonely. Do that for a month or so, and if it continues, add some more time for it.

The reason why you shouldn't separate the kitten from its mother all the time is because the mother may forget her and start trying to kick her out of the house. You want them to like each other but not to depend on each other as a mom and daughter. Your kitten needs to feel secure on her own so she feels she doesn't need her mother, but still likes and respects her (she's becoming a cat in a few months, so it won't hurt to make her more independent).

If you notice your kitten needs comfort, try providing it yourself. Show her affection and love and attention. Providing treats when she does a certain good thing is a good way to encourage her to become more independent.

Thank you and please take my advice.

  • You make a couple interest points. But, you say cats are independent, yet they should depend on humans for their needs (comfort, food, etc). She no longer feeds on her mother, and seems to have an extremely close bond compared to my other 2 cats, who are all siblings. The mother must have cut her off, or maybe she lost interest - didn't seem to be too big of a deal honestly, as if they were able to solve the problem themselves.
    – Dioxin
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 19:47

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