Signs cat was orphaned/taken from mother too soon?

oskarsmommy

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I have an adorable black and white boy named Oskar. I've had him for about a year now.

I adopted him from a shelter. All they could tell me was that he was found living as a stray and sent there. They estimated him to be about 8 months old.

He was sick and very thin when I got him. He was constantly coughing/sneezing and I had to bring him to the vet, where they said he had feline herpes and worms, and the vet believed that he definitely had been a stray for a while before I adopted him based on his behaviors.

He's now better and has meat on his bones and is actually a rather large cat (he looked big for 8 months IMO but he's grown to be be huge, rather built).

Oskar has a tendency to bite. When I first got him it was bad. It was always play aggression but he drew blood quite often. I thought he was just exhibiting kitten behavior, but to this day he still does it.

Recently, I purchased a plush blanket that he's grown attached to. He kneads it, suckles it while purring the loudest I've ever heard him purr. This behavior is somewhat new. It's not a constant thing so I don't think it's anxiety...but ever since I bought that blanket he's been considerably less aggressive and a lot more affectionate toward me. Just tonight I put my hand out toward him and, rather than love biting me, he licked my hand.

I'm now starting to wonder if some of his behaviors may stem from maybe being orphaned or taken from his mother too early...just now that I've seen him perform kneading behaviors. Thoughts?

Also here's a pic of him because he's adorable
 

margd

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You're right - Oskar really is adorable.   What a sweetie pie! 


The biting could have been a sign that he was separated from his mama too soon, but it could also be a sign that he was around people who used their fingers to play with him.   Given that he was a stray, though, it's more likely that he was separated from his mama and siblings before they could teach him about acceptable biting.  

Kneading is common to all cats, so it's not just a sign that a cat was separated from his family when he was too young.  It's a way of expressing affection and happiness as well as a way of making demands.  My Paul kneads me when he wants to be fed but he also kneads less energetically when he is just feeling content.  

Oskar's love for his blanket is very normal. Many cats, especially males, become very attached to a blanket.   Just a word of warning:   He may shock you by becoming sexually aroused by it.  Don't worry.  This too is perfectly normal.  A nice plush blanket can fill a lot of roles in a cat's life.  
 
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