Disturbing Cat Behavior

My mother just shared a frightening story with me.


Her new kitty has woken her up by biting her on her throat! My mother has been a cat owner for most of her life and has never ever experienced this type of behavior. Given that we have arteries in our neck area she is concerned that the kitty may bite her to hard and seriously hurt her.

I am disturbed to say the least!

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Being a baby, perhaps...
by: Kittenclawed

When looking at why an animal did something, it's often useful to look at it in both human terms and animal terms.

This is a young cat who age-wise would be a toddler if they were human. A young toddler might go and wake Grandma up by pulling her hair. A kitten might go and bite their mother on the neck. What this kitten has done would be okay on a cat with fur around the neck to cushion it but not okay on a human. A toddler pulling Grandma's hair isn't okay but wouldn't be seen as disturbing behaviour but they'd probably be told off quickly if they pulled the cat's tail.

I strongly suspect the kitten wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary behaviour-wise. I'd say your mother was just lying in a way that made it possible for the kitten to get enough neck in the mouth to hurt. She might consider wearing a neck warmer for protection until the kitten is old enough to know better.

I've often had kittens attempt or succeed in biting my ear (it sticks out so it MUST be something to play with!) and I've been woken by our two kittens playing on my face and jumped quite considerably one morning when one decided my lips were an interesting place to have a go at with claws out - ouch! My reaction startled the kitten enough that I think she'll be a bit slow to try that one again! But at no time were they being naughty, just babies.

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disturbed
by: Anonymous

Thank you both for your comments. My mother is so in love with her new addition that she just wants to figure out how to fix this problem. For now GG is sleeping on the sofa and not in bed with her mama :) being that she is only 3 months old, we are hoping she will out grow her unusual behavoir. She did come from the local shelter and my mother has promised GG that she will not be returning there. Thank you all again for responding so quickly

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Bite on neck.
by: Jobaputra

Oh my goodness. I think your mother cat has to be out of her bedroom at night. Many people would take their cat back to the shelter if they did that or to the shelter if the cat did not come from there, I do hope your mother does not do that. Cats do not want to be bad or to bite us. But we can not be bitten on neck, I am very much hoping your mother finds an answer.

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Discourage that behavior.
by: Larry (editor)

Hello,

I must confess that I've never heard of someone being bitten on the neck by a cat. I can also understand your worry.

You use the word "kitty," some folks use that word only when they mean a kitten, others use the word to mean either a kitten or a cat.

Kittens bite in play and because they are learning about things. Cats also sometimes bite for a number of reasons. Kitten or cat, your mother has got to discourage that behavior.

It is quite common for a cat to bite the feet of someone in bed, the neck is an even less desirable place to be attacked.

I'm sorry I can;t offer anything as to why the cat is doing this (attracting attention maybe,) but would advise that it is kept out of the bedroom. Biting must be discouraged by rewarding good behavior, not by punishing the bad.

I do hope that other visitors can offer some advise for your mother and thank you for asking your question.

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From Scotchie with love.

by Erin Tarver
(Mesa AZ)


I have a Bengal tabby cross that I bottle fed from a baby since the age of three weeks and he's my only baby.

I love to wrestle with him and play fight and he will respond by locking onto my hand. He lovebites and sometimes he will get a little too carried away with that and actually draw blood.

When he does that I'll find one of his toys and distract him with that if he gets too crazy.

Erin T.
Mesa AZ

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A cat will keep doing it.
by: Anonymous

Brick was about six months old when we took him in, so not exactly a kitten. When he wanted to play he bit your hand, we should have stopped that right there and then.

He was not a nasty cat or anything, his way of saying I want to play the hand biting game was to sink his teeth in. He did it to visitors too if he took a liking to them. When someone called we had to lock Brick away.

If you allow your cat to do that sort of thing he will keep on doing it. It's best to stop it as it starts.

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getting bit.
by: Going For The Best.

I want to say that I would no more allow my cat to play with my hands with her mouth than I would allow my dog to do the same.

You call them love bites. Yes you're cat no dout does love you but a bite is a bite, a cat can hurt and it can't be healthy to get bit. There must be scratches to. Can't be a way for a cat to play with your hands without scratching happening.

Just my two cents thrown in. Your cat, your hands, but I wouldnt do it.

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Lovebites.
by: Larry (editor)

Hi Erin,

Thank you very much for telling us about Scotchie.

Yes cats can get a little too enthusiastic with their lovebites can’t they ☺

All cats deserve a playtime, but it sounds like Scotchie is well used to playing with your hands. All the time he does that there will be the chance of little nips.

Your tactic of distracting him with his toy is good, but wouldn’t you prefer to play with him in a way that you are not likely to get bitten? With a wand type cat toy for example. That way your hands are not the target.

Wearing thick gloves may be another solution, but it is still giving him the message that your hands can be attacked. He may decide to take a bite when you are stroking him.

It’s up too you of course, you say you love to wrestle with him and I can understand that, maybe you don’t mind the odd nip ( if blood is drawn it can be serious though Cat Bite ) But you don’t say how old Scotchie is now, if he is still growing his lovebites are likely to get worse, something to keep in mind.

Anyway thank you once again Erin, for sharing about Scotchie and his photo, he is a great looking cat.

Larry (editor)

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