How to Stop a Kitten From Sucking on Hands & Fingers

Sure you love her, but you'll have to ignore her once she starts sucking.
Sure you love her, but you'll have to ignore her once she starts sucking. (Image: Robin Jones/Valueline/Getty Images)

As soon as you rest your arm on the edge of the sofa, Gabby prances over and starts sucking on your fingertips. It might be cute for a moment, but then it starts to hurt and gets annoying after a while. With a little training, you’ll turn your nibbling feline into a well-behaved part of your family and stop the nuisance sucking.

Ignore Her

The first step in stopping Gabby’s sucking behavior is ignoring her. When you pet her, move her to your lap or even push her away, she’s getting attention and that’s what she wants. The next time she wanders on over and suckles your hand, slide over to the other side of the sofa or get up and walk away. Don’t say a word, make eye contact or touch her. Just move out of her path. It’ll take some time and everyone in your home has to do this, but eventually she’ll get the hint that when she opens up her mouth, her human family goes away. She doesn’t want that.

Give Her a Toy

Keep a stash of fuzzy mice or other toys that Gabby loves next to the places you sit and relax, as well as near your bed. Before Gabby even gets a chance to start sucking on your fingers, put a toy down in front of her or toss it across the room for her to chase. By averting her attention to something else, she’ll forget all about her urge to nibble your hands.

Offer Treats

Curb Gabby’s need to have your fingers in her mouth by offering her treats. When you lie down for bed in the evening, grab a few kitty snacks to take with you. As soon as Gabby curls up next to your hand and opens up her chompers, plop a munchie down in front of her. She’ll quickly be more interested in the tasty treat, rather than your plain old hand.

Change Your Flavor

One reason kittens suck and lick excessively is simply because you taste good. Your skin is salty and Gabby wants to pull all of that flavor off of you. Start adding products to your skin that taste gross so she won’t want your skin in her mouth anymore. Bitter lotions or hot sauce work perfectly to nix her suckling habit. Before sitting down to watch the evening news, dab a bit of bitters or hot sauce on your fingers and just sit there as you normally would. When Gabby’s tongue snaps out, she’ll get a nasty taste in her mouth. It won’t hurt her; rather, she’ll figure out that humans taste bad and she won’t want to suck ever again.

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