Earlobe Sucking In Cats

Earlobe sucking is when a cat either sucks on her owner’s earlobe, or on parts of her own body. It is a variation on wool sucking which is is a behavior that mimics suckling and cats who do it find it comforting. When a kitten is born, she should remain with her mother and littermates until she is eight weeks of age. When a situation arises when this is not possible and she has been removed from her mother too early, she may then suck on her owner’s earlobe, or possibly her own foreleg. Because her nursing may have been cut short by being removed too early, this most often explains the behavior.

Like wool sucking, earlobe sucking is a replacement behavior in many cases when the kitten was not weaned or weaned too early. Some cat owners don’t mind this behavior but it can become disruptive at times, an example being if an owner is awakened by their cat engaging in this behavior in the middle of the night. The best way to put a stop to this behavior is prevention. If your cat is performing this behavior she will be forced to stop if you stand up. For about five minutes pay no attention to her whatsoever, this includes not looking at her. If done with consistency, those cats who are not compulsive earlobe suckers can learn that their behavior will not give them the results they were looking for, either attention or comfort. Try to encourage your cat with chew toys, and if the behavior persists or becomes excessive, consult with your veterinarian.

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