Catfights can happen from time to time, even to the friendliest kitties. However, some cats tend to have repetitive behavior, one of which is biting other felines on the neck. You can’t help but ask, why does my cat bite my other cat’s neck? This is very common in multi-feline households, and lack of socialization is the leading cause. You should also watch out for sexual aggression, dominance, and predatory behavior.
However, neck biting isn’t always serious. Most of the time, kittens will bite the other members of the litter to initiate playtime and establish their predatory instincts. Below, I discussed these possible scenarios and what you can do about them:
Reasons why a cat will bite another cat in the neck
Biting is quite common among cats, but if yours is always targeting the neck, the following might be the reasons why:
1. Playful behavior
Cats, especially kittens, are naturally playful. This can lead to playful bites all over the body, including the neck. This bite shouldn’t draw blood or cause a bite wound. Otherwise, you have to be concerned.
Most cats outgrow this behavior once they turn a year old. But if it persists and becomes invasive, other factors might be at play. Your older cat might be dealing with the next conditions.
A poorly socialized cat will be aloof of other people and pets. So when you introduce another cat, expect the resident feline to react harshly. It could start with a hiss and then a full-on animal bite in the neck. This is aggressive behavior that should be addressed right away.
Biting the other cat is your aggressive cat’s way of driving the newcomer from its territory. This can become a persistent problem if you don’t do anything.
Take note that a cat that doesn’t get enough socialization will also attack other people and animals.
Remember that redirected aggression can occur, which makes an unsocialized cat a risk around children.
3. Resource competition
Cats that share food, water, and litter boxes are prone to resource competition or resource guarding. This can lead to aggressive behavior like biting on the neck or a full-fledged catfight.
Worse, the other kitten will have accidents around the house as it tries to avoid the dominant kitty guarding the litter box.
The solution here is separating each cat’s stuff. You should set up individual corners for them where their toys, bowl, perches, and other belongings are kept. Separating the cats’ environment will help prevent neck biting from happening.
4. Predatory instincts
Cat breeds like Bengal, Sphynx, and Egyptian Mau have stronger predatory instincts. And if they aren’t given outlets to practice this instinct, they will likely vent it to the other cat. This behavior can be dangerous, as some cats go straight to the neck with an intention to kill a prey.
The good thing is that this problem is easy to fix or avoid. Providing interactive toys and playtime will help tone down a kitty’s predatory tendencies.
5. Medical problems
In rare cases, a cat’s neck biting habit might be due to a medical condition. This behavior can be a secondary effect of the pain the cat is feeling. If the other feline is annoying the ailing cat, the former can snap back with a bite in the neck.
Aside from that, some medical conditions can give a cat sudden and uncharacteristic aggressive episodes. Hyperthyroidism, cognitive dysfunction, and hormonal imbalances can make your cat aggressive than it usually is.
Lastly, you should know that rabies will also make a cat aggressive. Unlike the other medical conditions I mentioned, rabies is very dangerous for both the cat, the cat owner, and the other pets/people around. An infected cat should be isolated in a crate and brought to the vet immediately.
The good thing is that vaccinated cats won’t have rabies. It’s also rare for domesticated and well-cared for kitties to contract the deadly infection.
How to stop your cat from biting other cats on the neck
Neck biting is a multi-faceted problem. Once you’ve determined the reason behind it, the following might be suitable solutions:
- Start with socialization. An aggressive kitty is often left in seclusion, which fuels the problem even more. It’s important to introduce the cat to various stimuli slowly. Start by taking it outdoors and let it sniff around. From there, you can take the cat on short walks before introducing another cat.
- Keep the kitty occupied. Bored cats will find ways to keep their selves entertained. Unfortunately, roughhousing the other cat might be one of them. To prevent this, you should supply your pet with toys, perches, scratching posts, and lots of playtime.
- No sharing. If cat items are the root of the biting problem, you should provide each of your cats with their own belongings. It includes toys, beds, litterboxes, perches, and scratching pads. Also, never force your cats to share one feeding bowl. This will just get them toe to toe with each other all the time.
- Introduce them properly. Many cat owners are guilty of forcing the resident cat to meet the new feline. Remember that cats are very sensitive and territorial beings. They will see the newcomer as a threat, and therefore a subject of a potential attack. Separate the two kitties and allow them to warm-up with each other over the weeks.
- No punishments. Punishments and violence will just make the situation worse if you have an aggressive cat. Instead, you should use the reward system to encourage your aggressive cat to be nice to the other feline. For example, give the dominant cat treats and pets when the other kitty is around. This association will help stop the biting behavior. Just make sure that you give the treats separately instead of tossing them on the floor.
What does it mean when a male cat bites a female cat’s neck?
While some pet owners might think that this is a forced encounter, it’s actually a natural response among male cats. They do this as protection in case the female cat tries to attack them. Such an attack can happen as mating causes pain to the female kitty.
Many cats retain their instinct to stay still when held on the scruff. With this, the male cat bites the part to somewhat disarm the female kitty.
Why does my cat bite another cat’s neck while grooming?
Some cats will bite the other cat they are grooming to remove something. It’s usually a harmless bite unless the other kitty cries in pain.
Unlike humans, cats can’t pick dirt with their fingers. They do all these by licking, nibbling, and biting while allogrooming.
Allogrooming directly means grooming another, which is observed on multi-feline households. It’s a sign that the cats are affectionate and protective toward each other.
Why does my cat bite my other cat’s bum?
Similar to biting another cat’s neck, biting another kitty’s bum can be a sign of aggression. Cats do this to show their dominance. However, it can also be an instinct, which is commonly observed on intact felines.
If the biting cat is male and the one being is female, you should consider the possibility of sexual aggression. This behavior will persist until you do something to stop the cat.
Why does my cat bite my other cat’s tail?
It’s no secret that cats are fascinated with other pet’s tails. Kittens, for one, will chase it to no end. However, if biting occurs, the reason could be anything from being playful, bored, or aggressive. It’s important to observe the situation and what happened before the cat bit.
A wagging tail is an invitation for a cat to play or attack. As long as the biting isn’t causing injuries, this is considered harmless behavior.
How do you tell if cats are fighting or playing?
It can be tricky to identify whether your cats are playing or fighting. What you need to do is observe the body language of the felines.
Both fighting and playing cats will hiss, love bite, and chase each other. However, the difference is that fighting cats will hold their ears back and puff their tails. You’ll also see raised fur at the back as a way to intimidate the opponent.
On the other hand, play-fighting cats will pause or take turns attacking. The cats will usually roll around playfully to initiate a response from each other. Unless the encounter is causing injuries on both, it shouldn’t be a cause of concern. This behavior is common among kittens as they learn to establish their predatory nature.
Why does my cat bite my other cat’s neck? It could be due to playfulness, lack of socialization, resource guarding, or sexual aggression. In rare cases, the attacking cat might be suffering from a health problem. Whatever it is, there’s a way to discourage the behavior without using punishments or violence.