If cats are cute, and babies are cute, cats acting like babies must be just about the cutest thing ever, right?

Some doting pet owners refer to their animal companions as their “babies,” and there’re a lot of similarities between a pet and a human infant. Both require lots of care and attention, but reward their caretakers with adorable cuteness and affection.

But Kabu, a cat owned by Japanese Twitter user @_okayu, takes the “kitten=baby” thing one step further, as he’s got a penchant for sucking on his paw like a human tyke would suck his thumb.

Kabu’s thoroughly relaxed and deeply satisfied expression in the video makes him all the more endearing, and other Twitter users were quick to shower the video with praise for

“I mean, cat paws are just so soft and squishy. I’d want to suck on one too.”
“He’s so cute that I screamed out loud.”

But while many of the people who watched the video (which has been viewed more than 2.3 million times) had never seen a cat do this before, others had, and in their own homes.

“My cat did that too. It’s just sooo cute, isn’t it?”

“I thought my cat was the only one that did this!”


▼ An advanced technique: Sucking on another cat’s paw

“It’s like they’re imitating humans to try to understand their feelings,” mused one commenter, and he’s kind of right, in that the reason cats suck their paws turns out to be the same reason human babies suck their thumbs. They’re recreating the feeling of nursing, which in all mammals is an instinctively comforting sensation. Since Kabu is just a three month-old kitten, it makes sense that he’s still enjoy sucking his paw.

▼ An older video, of a younger Kabu, shows him pretty clearly dreaming about nursing.

▼ He’s also adorable in still photos, by the way.

Not all cats suck their paws, and while some may continue the practice for years, others will grow out of it, much like human kids do with thumb-sucking. We can’t help but wonder, though, if this means cats would also enjoy drinking through McDonald’s Japan’s breast feeding-simulating straws.

Sources: Twitter/@_okayu via IT Media, Love to Know
Featured image: Twitter/@_okayu