Do you ever wonder why cats bite each other’s necks? It seems like a strange thing for them to do, especially when they’re just cuddling. Well, wonder no more! We’re here to answer that age-old question for you. Turns out, there are several reasons why cats might do this. Some of them are quite simple, while others are a bit more complex. Keep reading to learn more about this interesting kitty behavior!
#1 – Mating Behavior
Mating behavior in cats can be confusing to observe. There are seasonal periods known as estrus when female cats come into heat, making them active and interactive with other nearby felines of the opposite sex. During this period, males may start to follow the females persistently, scent mark their body parts, or even try to bite the female’s neck as a way of attracting their attention. But why do cats bite each other’s necks during mating? The answer is complex, but part of it is partly due to cats’ nature as predators. The male cat bites the nape of a female cat’s neck with the intention of pinning her down for mating purposes – an instinctive gesture inherited from wildcats. Even after a mutual agreement for mating, both cats will keep their claws retracted in order not to harm one another – showing that this behavior comes from practice rather than aggressive intentions.
#2 – Playing & Learning
Playing and learning are closely linked activities, especially when it comes to animals such as cats. For cats, playing is not just a way to amuse themselves and expend excess energy, but also an opportunity for them to learn about their environment and hone their hunting skills. As part of their playtime activities, cats often demonstrate typical behaviors from the wild such as stalking and hunting using pouncing, chasing and biting one another around the neck area. This behavior can seem quite strange, but why do cats bite each other’s necks? In the wild, a mother cat may bite her kitten’s neck in order to show them how to hunt more effectively. By engaging in play with another cat or human, a kitten can continue to practice this important skill without the risk of physical harm. This teaches young cats the necessary skills that they need to survive.
#3 – Fighting & Dominance
When cats fight, they do not simply go for a collective bout of claws and fur flying everywhere. There is structure and order to their battles, as if carefully planned out in advance. One of the most common examples of this is why cats will often bite each other by the neck during a fight. By clamping down on the opponent’s neck with their mouth and jaws, cats are trying to establish dominance over one another, as it was in times long gone when they were wild animals in nature fighting for their own survival. The cat that finds itself in the claws or teeth of their opponent at the end of each bout is perceived as not being dominant enough to win that particular round, making it an important signal between two cats who may live side-by-side yet still compete for dominance within their enclosed environment.
#4 – Hunting Instinct
Every creature has a natural instinct for self-preservation, and cats are no different. This is why cats spend hours honing their hunting techniques, such as stalking and slashing with their claws; why they often pounce on small objects, why they prefer to be solitary and why they bite each other’s necks when playing. That little neck bite is actually an imitation of how cats in the wild attack large game to disable it before consuming it. In fact, cats do not have sharp teeth in front as most predators do; rather, as canids or felines have bendy necks that enable them to grab things better with their molars and premolars. Therefore, in domestic cats, this behavior is part of the predatory sequence even if there is no prey present.
#5 – Increased Aggression Due To A Medical Issue
Aggressive behavior in cats can stem from many different causes, from fear to medical issues. One specific instance where aggressive behavior is caused by medical issues is when cats bite each other’s necks. This species-specific behavior does not mean that the cat is trying to hurt the other cat and has actually been observed as a sign of greeting or affection in some social settings. However, increased neck biting aggression can also be attributed to a medical issue such as hyperthyroidism—a disorder that results in an overactive thyroid gland and tends to be more common in older cats. With this disorder, cats may display uncharacteristic irritability and aggression which can lead to neck biting as well as other outbursts of aggression. If a veterinarian diagnoses a cat with hyperthyroidism, treatment typically involves eliminating the risk of further thyroid gland damage using prescription medications; however, if any signs of aggression are observed along with the diagnosis it is important that owners discuss additional methods of calming their pet with the veterinarian before attempting any at-home solutions.
So, there you have it. We now know that cats bite each other’s necks as part of their natural scavenging behavior. Now that we know this, we can better understand our feline friends and enjoy watching them play without worry. Do you have any other questions about your cat’s behavior? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you.