suckle reflex

The hormonally induced desire in newborn kittens to suckle from their mothers nipples. This includes the ability of a the kittens mouth to hold the correct tension, together with the ability to move the tongue correctly. Some premature kittens have difficulty suckling for a period of time due to a poorly developed suckle reflex. A failure or earlier reflexes such as rooting reflex can also inhibit this reflex. Supplement feeding is necessary to get the kitten past this stage. See Rooting Reflex.