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Author Topic:   Neck biting - please help
posted 10-02-2003 04:42 PM           Edit/Delete Message
Hi, I have come across this forum in a desperate search of a solution for my cat problem.
I have 2 male cats, about 1.5 years old. They have been living together since they were kittens an often sleep intertwined and play together.
The problem is that in the past few months I would somtimes hear weird noise coming from the cats direction and when I would go look for them, I would find one lying on top of the other's back and biting his neck. This goes on for minutes if I don't break it up and the bottom cat makes the most horrible and constant noise, as if someone is strangling it but he doesn't seem to fight back.
When I catch them doing it, I give a stern NO to the top cat and chase him way but if I don't remove one of them it just starts again in a few minutes.
The noise is realy horrible and it doesn't seem like a nice thing to do.
Could someone explain why they engage in this behaviour and how I can make them dissist.
Why does the bottom cat make the sort of noise that says he is in discomfort but he just lets it go on?
Personally, I have observed the bottom cat to be of bigger build and more of a hunter type so probably stronger than the one biting him. They are both very loved and get lots of attention and warm beds to sleep on.
Please help!

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Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 10-02-2003 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
Is there an unspayed female anywhere around? That is the only time I have had a problem with that.

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Posts: 83
From:New Zealand
Registered: May 2003

posted 10-02-2003 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greypaw     Edit/Delete Message
The cat doing the biting is trying to dominate the other, and most likily gets some satisfaction out of the other cat's discomfort. The bite shouldn't be damaging, just plain enoying to the bottom cat. The reason he yells but dosn't fight back is that he is being held in the 'achilles heel' of the cat world. It is a reflex that when they are held by the back of the neck a cat will lie down can only complain. Just like when a mother carries a kitten, or a tom cat mounts a queen (you can put clothes pegs on the scruff of the neck to get the same effect when you need a cat to keep still).

The biter may grow out of this behaviour, or the bitten cat might get revenge and teach the biter a lesson. It is a hierarchy problem and they will sort it out themselves. However, if you want to force your own hierarchy on them by all means clap your hands and shout 'NO', but don't hit them or punish anyone after letting go. Also, you can't force your will on them when you're not around so it may make the biter a bit more sly thats all.

Just to be on the safe side make sure you check the neck of the bitten cat. He might have scratches that could get infected if the biting continues. If he does then you will need to impose your will to stop the biter.

One thing you could try is diverting the biter's attention (playing with him) when he is about to bite or when you get him detached. What he might be after is some attention and play from the stronger cat and maybe you could trick them into playing with each other instead.

Good luck.

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Newton the Cat

Posts: 102
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 10-03-2003 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Newton the Cat     Edit/Delete Message
When Newton had his playmate, they used to engage in this behavior frequently. There wasn't much noise, just a lot of agressive play fighting. No claws sheethed or real bites. Newton would actually get up on his hind legs and "body slam" her to the ground and his mouth would be wide open like he was going to bite. He would just put his face into her neck. Sometimes he would hold her down and she would let him know when she had enough by hissing and also vise versa. When Newton had enough he would let her know. Check for bite marks, but it sounds like since they are littermates they are just engaging in play behavior.

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Posts: 1392
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 10-03-2003 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jamiya     Edit/Delete Message
My two cats chase each other through the house and wrestle when one catches the other. I have observed the neck biting thing, although they don't hold on for that long. When one cat steps over the line or the other just doesn't want to play anymore, then the cat who wants to stop hisses at the other. Sometimes the other cat does not stop, at least not right away. If it is annoying me, I clap my hands and chase them away from each other. Then they usually sit down and look at me like I have grown 6 heads, as if to say "What? We weren't doing anything...."


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posted 11-13-2003 10:48 PM           Edit/Delete Message
I too, have a neck biting problem. I have 4 neutered male cats, 4 years old. Lately three of them will neck bite the mellow cat. I don't think it is playing and, strangely, there just is not much on this topic on the internet. I am going to have to try some desperate measures soon as I am not going to put up with it much longer.

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