Why is our kitten suckling from our male cat?

Our very first cat is Azul. He is a male Philippine cat or puspin (pusang pinoy) given to us by my mother-in-law, my wife’s mother. We featured him in one of our blogs. Go to the link below to know his story.  

If you have read the article above, you would know that Azul had sneaked out of our house several times and one time he went back home with a deep wound on his face. Now he is totally well and his wound are fully dried up. I made a cattery for him to prevent him from going out and wandering on the streets.  I have put together two old pens used by our chickens before and made a 2-floor cattery.  The first floor serves as a comfort room while the second floor serves as a sleeping den. Food is on the second floor while drinking water is located between first and second floor.  See pictures below of what I am describing.

Drinking Water
Second Floor
Bottom Part

Our Catttery

To keep Azul company is Adam, a black half Siamese cat.  At home, we separate the male cats from our female cats. The ladies are with us inside our house while the gents are in the cattery outside. We do this because of two primary reasons. One, as I have said to prevent Azul and Adam from sneaking out. Our male cats are adventurous and would definitely not let it pass when an opportunity presents itself such as an open door or an open window.  And two, it is to avoid mating or intercourse, as inbreeding with full siblings have health impacts to the baby cats. In our experience, when our sibling cats Adam and Yuri mated, their three offspring died. The first kitten came out dead, the second died after a week while the third one lived only for a month. It was a very sad experience and we do not want it to happen again.

Adam Yuri

As additional to our home pets, we adopted 2 Persian cats, a male and a female. Their names are Renz and Oreo. We though that Oreo was the male one so we let her join Azul and Adam in the cattery. A few weeks later, I noticed the growing testicles of Renz so we immediately placed him in the cattery and put Oreo inside our house but before that happened, I saw a weird and funny thing that Azul did to Oreo when I was about to feed them. He allowed her to be nursed from his nipples. I was very surprised that I immediately got hold of my phone and filmed the two of them. See the video below. 

Oreo Suckling from Azul

It was a really an interesting sight that I immediately surfed the internet in search for explanation. Unfortunately, I was not able to find an objective article explaining why would a male cat nurse a kitten. Nevertheless, I enumerated my assumptions on why it happened based on my observations.  

From what I have observed, the following are my assumptions.

  1. Azul and Renz are comfortable with each other that Azul allowed Renz to nurse from him. 
  1. Renz is looking for a motherly figure inside the cattery and finding no one he settled for Azul, 
  1. Azul has a fatherly instinct unlike other Toms (male cats) who kill kittens.  
  1. I have a good feeling that Renz uses Azul’s nipples as a pacifier because he fell asleep after sucking. 
  1. Probably, Renz has not yet outgrown the habit of suckling and this behavior is being satisfied by Azul’s nipples. 
  1. Azul is not hurt when Renz nurses from him even if there is no milk being extracted 
  1. Azul did not lactate. This is not an assumption but a truth. 

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3 thoughts on “Why is our kitten suckling from our male cat?”

  1. Haha our cats also used to do this, both are males. Oreo and Nemo. You have interesting observations and I agree probably it’s #4. 🙂

  2. Pingback: What cats really hate? – True Home Joy

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