why does my male cat bite my female cats neck
If some of it happens while they are grooming each other and he is not biting hard but licks a spot and then bites or vice versa, that is a cat way of showing affection. But if what you mean is that he is mounting her and then biting the back of her neck. (or if some of the time that s what he is doing). well, If they re not neutered / spayed then it s mating. but I think you d notice if they went through that whole routine plus she d keep getting pregnant unless one of them is sterile. If they re fixed but he was already mature (and especially if he was sexually experienced) by the time he was neutered then it could still be related to some sexual memories he has -- a few neutered cats do carry on like they think they re studs. It is likely at least in part a dominance behaviour (this is still more common in a male that is not neutered or was neutered late but happens in others too).
If this happens after he has seen you holding her that fits in with this reason. He is letting her know he is top cat, it is HIS territory. (and you are HIS person). Even if he mostly likes her he feels a need to remind her he s really the boss. It does not sound like she is battling him for dominance since you dont mention other fighting (but it could be some subtle challenging behaviour you haven t noticed). But often it is the humans who unintentionally make matters worse by showing extra attention to the lower cat and end up making the dominant cat think he has to do more to prove he is top cat. so it makes the situation harder for both cats. It may help to do whatever you can to reinforce his position.
The humans (everyone and especially you since he s your baby and is jealous of you) should always feed him first, greet him first, pet him first, and YOU should really avoid showing a lot of attention to the other cat when he is watching. I dont mean ignore her totally all the time but don t rub it in his face by starting to pet and hold her right in front of him. You can also make some loud startling sound or even try directling a spray of water at him when you see him biting her (if he s on top you can get him more than her). If this stuff does not work and he is actually biting her hard enough to really injure her you may end up having to separate them. but if it were that bad you would probably have already had to do that years ago.
By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 12 May 2011) Many people find this behaviour (along with the fact that female cats shriek) alarming because it gives the impression of a forced encounter, but neck biting is actually a defensive action on the maleвs part.
Although females choose their mates and mating is voluntary, the male needs to protect himself in case she decides to attack him for some reason while he is in a vulnerable position. Kittens have an instinct to stay still when held by the scruff of the neck, and adult cats maintain this instinct to some degree, so holding the scruff of the neck reduces the likelihood of attack. It was once believed that a female cat shrieks after mating because the spines on a male catвs penis (which induce ovulation in female cats) cause pain upon withdrawal, but experts now think that the shriek is a warning gesture.
The female, in a vulnerable position because the male has his teeth clamped on the back of her neck, lets him know that he d better not take advantage by doing anything aggressive. Given that mating cats often don t know one another beforehand, taking a few precautions is sensible, in case they ve chosen an unusually volatile individual. See the for information on caring for pregnant cats, kitten development week by week, kitten training, kitten care, and more. For a full list of cat articles, see the main page. Morris, D. (1986). Catwatching. Three Rivers Press: Random House. Seidensticker, John, Lumpkin, Susan. (2004). Smithsonian Answer Book: Cats. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books.
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