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Olfactory guidance of nipple attachment and suckling in kittens of the domestic cat: Inborn and learned responses.
Dev Psychobiol. 2009 Dec; 51(8):662-71.DP

Abstract

In 60 kittens (11 litters) from free-ranging domestic cats we investigated the role of chemical cues in facilitating nipple attachment and suckling during the first month of postnatal life when kittens are totally dependent on the mother's milk. Kittens were tested both together and individually on sedated females in different reproductive states. We found (1) that newborn kittens with no suckling experience responded to the ventrum of lactating but not to the ventrum of nonlactating females with search behavior and attached to nipples within minutes; (2) that even in older kittens, nipple attachment depended on females' reproductive state, with virtually no attachments on nonreproducing females, some on pregnant females, the greatest number on early-lactating females, followed by a decline on late-lactating females; and (3) that kittens could locate their particular, most used nipple on their mother but not on a female of similar lactational age, even after eye opening. We suggest that kittens respond from birth with efficient nipple-search behavior to inborn olfactory cues on the mother's ventrum, that emission of these is under hormonal control, but that kittens also quickly learn olfactory cues specific to their own mother and to their own particular nipples.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México AP 70228, CP 04510 Distrito Federal, Mexico. graihanil@gmail.comNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19757456

Citation

Raihani, Gina, et al. "Olfactory Guidance of Nipple Attachment and Suckling in Kittens of the Domestic Cat: Inborn and Learned Responses." Developmental Psychobiology, vol. 51, no. 8, 2009, pp. 662-71.
Raihani G, González D, Arteaga L, et al. Olfactory guidance of nipple attachment and suckling in kittens of the domestic cat: Inborn and learned responses. Dev Psychobiol. 2009;51(8):662-71.
Raihani, G., González, D., Arteaga, L., & Hudson, R. (2009). Olfactory guidance of nipple attachment and suckling in kittens of the domestic cat: Inborn and learned responses. Developmental Psychobiology, 51(8), 662-71. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.20401
Raihani G, et al. Olfactory Guidance of Nipple Attachment and Suckling in Kittens of the Domestic Cat: Inborn and Learned Responses. Dev Psychobiol. 2009;51(8):662-71. PubMed PMID: 19757456.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Olfactory guidance of nipple attachment and suckling in kittens of the domestic cat: Inborn and learned responses. AU - Raihani,Gina, AU - González,Daniel, AU - Arteaga,Lourdes, AU - Hudson,Robyn, PY - 2009/9/17/entrez PY - 2009/9/17/pubmed PY - 2010/2/3/medline SP - 662 EP - 71 JF - Developmental psychobiology JO - Dev Psychobiol VL - 51 IS - 8 N2 - In 60 kittens (11 litters) from free-ranging domestic cats we investigated the role of chemical cues in facilitating nipple attachment and suckling during the first month of postnatal life when kittens are totally dependent on the mother's milk. Kittens were tested both together and individually on sedated females in different reproductive states. We found (1) that newborn kittens with no suckling experience responded to the ventrum of lactating but not to the ventrum of nonlactating females with search behavior and attached to nipples within minutes; (2) that even in older kittens, nipple attachment depended on females' reproductive state, with virtually no attachments on nonreproducing females, some on pregnant females, the greatest number on early-lactating females, followed by a decline on late-lactating females; and (3) that kittens could locate their particular, most used nipple on their mother but not on a female of similar lactational age, even after eye opening. We suggest that kittens respond from birth with efficient nipple-search behavior to inborn olfactory cues on the mother's ventrum, that emission of these is under hormonal control, but that kittens also quickly learn olfactory cues specific to their own mother and to their own particular nipples. SN - 1098-2302 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19757456/Olfactory_guidance_of_nipple_attachment_and_suckling_in_kittens_of_the_domestic_cat:_Inborn_and_learned_responses_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.20401 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -