Merry showed a strong suckling reflex when he arrived in our care.  During the first three weeks of life, this is a normal behavior where the kitten can nurse on his mother whenever he wants. Unfortunately, without a momma cat, this behavior is directed towards siblings in approximately 50 % of kittens orphaned before they are two weeks of age.  Kittens can damage the tissue of the kitten being suckled on which can be life threatening if the genital area is damaged and they are unable to pee. This necessitated his separation from his siblings by clear plastic panels until the outgrew  he outgrew this behavior.  We gave him supervised play/cuddle time, and a stuffed animal with a heart beat to ensure his comfort.

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