Why does my cat suck himself?

Question:

How do you get a young male cat to stop sucking on himself? I suspect he is part Egyptian Mau. His markings are very unique and he will fetch a pet mouse on request. I wake up every morning to him sucking. He is otherwise a wonderful companion.

 

Dr. Nichol:

Most adult cats who suck themselves, their owners, or other cats were weaned too young. Because this annoying habit got built-in to your cat’s hardwiring when his brain was young and adaptive his annoying behavior is essentially incurable. There is no value in reprimands, water blasting, or any other type of punishment. Corrections would only cause him to associate harsh treatment with his favorite person.

 

Your best management would be to put this boy elsewhere to sleep at night. If he sucks when he’s sitting on your lap you won’t want to reward the behavior by talking to him or continuing to pet him. Simply stand up and allow him to drop onto the floor.

 

Finally, I must say that I am impressed with that pet mouse fetching routine. Mice can make good pets for children of all ages but this is the first cat I have known to keep one.