Obsessive blanket nursing

Open to all ideas and suggestions. Foster kittens arrived at four weeks and spontaneously at ten weeks one started obsessive blanket nursing. It was always at night but very self soothing and not easily distracted by human touch, toys, or even food. He had a preferred blanket but any soft material would work. Nursing would go on for 15-20 straight. Now, a week later his sibling has started it too. Third sibling has been placed and started the same behavior as well in his new home around the same time as these two but the nursing for kitten one began before the placement.

No change in environment, food, other animals, etc. Both are pretty confident and independent. They seek out the blanket next to me so perhaps I’m bringing some comfort but not enough? I’ve just never had this happen with a foster and then late appearance makes no sense.


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How long were they on the bottle? Sometimes when kittens are weaned too soon, they will start to blanket nurse because the instinct is still there.

OTOH, Hammie did this for a long time after I got him - he was about 6 weeks when he was rescued, and would get in my lap and nurse on my shirt sleeve until he fell asleep. I let him do that until he was about 3 months old, then gently broke him of it. He still gets in my lap and drools all over the place, but doesn’t try to nurse anymore. I think it was just a comfort thing, for him, because he ate independently the entire time I had him.

Four weeks is on the edge for me with bottle feeding. By the book yes but I usually offer wet purée plus KMR on a plate first to gauge response. These dove in head first like the last handful of litters that have come in around that age. Perhaps there has been some covert nursing in the interim and it’s just now at times when it’s really obvious?