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Cat intro issue: neck biting

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I posted this in another thread but want to post again because my problem is getting worse and I'm not sure what to do...

Tigger is my 3 year-old female tabby and Callie is the new female kitten, about 4 months old now and she's been with us for 4 weeks.

We did a one-week separation period. For a few days they couldn't even see each other but we exchanged their blankets each day, and then after that they were separated by a glass door so they could see but not touch. Tigger was jealous right away, and she broke my heart when she started hissing and growling when I went near her. For over a week she wouldn't let me pet her, she couldn't be bribed with treats, she wouldn't sleep on the bed with me, etc. She still has bad mood moments now but not nearly as bad as that first week.

They are still separated at night and when we are not at home because I don't trust them together. When we are home they 'supervised playtime'. They take turns stalking each other around the house. Sometimes when Tigger is chasing Callie, she tramples her, pins her down and starts chewing or biting her neck (sometimes at the back of the neck, but sometimes at the throat area, which to me seems like a cat trying to kill its prey). I've never introduced two cats before so I don't know if this is normal! Some people tell me to let them do their thing, while others suggest I break it up when they get like this - I don't know! Sometimes Callie doesn't seem to care and will get up and chase Tigger, while other times I hear a little yelp and I break it up. Is Tigger playing, or is trying to hurt Callie?!
I'm getting paranoid about it and don't want anyone getting hurt, so I find myself following them wherever they go and breaking them up if they get to close.

So basically my mornings and evenings are full time supervision of the cats, which has me stressed and exhausted. I can't even eat a meal without having to jump up get Tigger off Callie! My husband would rather just lock Callie up while we're eating, watching tv, etc, but she's already locked in her room for 7 hours during the day and again for 7 hours at night.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.... I can't go on like this for much longer!

Cheers, Kathy
post #2 of 13
Isn't neck-biting a show of dominance? Perhaps she's just showing who's boss.
I wouldn't interfere unless they were all puffed up and hissing with claws swiping.
Just IMO.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger's Mum
Isn't neck-biting a show of dominance? Perhaps she's just showing who's boss.
I wouldn't interfere unless they were all puffed up and hissing with claws swiping.
Just IMO.
Thanks for your response. Tigger is often hissing at Callie when she pins her down, and even more so if I go over to break them up. Someone told me that biting the back of another cat's neck is dominance, but biting at the throat area can be intent to hurt. I don't know and I'm not sure how to figure it out, but I'm exhausted and stressed over it. I don't want it to come to bloodshed, for the sake of my kitties, my sanity and my bank account (4 vet visits in 1 month is enough, plus the spay will be soon too).

Cheers, Kathy
post #4 of 13
one of mine also gets bullied by the other 2,at night we have to separete them,poor reggie gets stressed n was losing weight,so now he gets fuss at night (he sleeps on our bed,and im feeding him up with kitten food.
i know whos doing it barnaby the old cat (top cat) but he dont do it in our site,just gives him the occasion swipe when he feels like it,other times hes grooming him and being loving.??
but i wish u luck with your 2 cats it will take time but they will reach a stalemate and live in a harmonias life together.
post #5 of 13
Rosie and Sophie are always playing chase and pinning each other down with bites, only Sophie gets a bit carried away with herself sometimes and makes Rosie let out a whimper now and again. As soon as she does she jumps off her and they walk away from each other, but the next time you see them later on their grooming each other
post #6 of 13
My Tiggy pins down Petals all the time by the neck. I truly don't think he's hurting her and she most of the time just lets him until he lets her up!
post #7 of 13
So basically my mornings and evenings are full time supervision of the cats, which has me stressed and exhausted.

I have had a similar situation and am presently going through it again!! One of my adult Persians, Buster, who is 2-years old would bite my two kittens at the neck area. This would follow with some fierce licking/cleaning. At the time, I spoke to my vet. about this behavior and was assured that if the adult (Buster) wanted to hurt those kittens...he would have done so already. Buster (and your adult female) are showing the "new guy or girl" who's boss in the house...who is "top cat" in the house.

I now have 2 more kittens...little one's about 5 wks. of age. The kittens that Buster used to nibble on are now the nibblers on the new kittens. I don't really interfere unless the kittens start to cry or I see them truly cornered.

Try using a piece of shoelace or string to play with both at the same time. After a minute, I let go of the shoelace and "poof" they are playing tug-of-war together
post #8 of 13
How does one tell the difference between playing and fighting?

My kitten won't stop hissing and biting, but Gremlin (resident) will try to lick her afterwards. I dunno.
post #9 of 13
How does one tell the difference between playing and fighting?
My kitten won't stop hissing and biting, but Gremlin (resident) will try to lick her afterwards. I dunno.


Your kitten hissing and biting isn't surprising...a new home...new smells...new playmate.

You mentioned that the older one licks her. That is very sweet. She is probably giving the little one some reassurance. When my 6 month old kittens play with their little cousins who are only 5-weeks of age, the tiny ones will cry sometimes from rough play. This usually follows with a lick or two from the older ones.

Just my opinion of course, I believe if your older one really wanted to hurt the little one, she would have seriously hurt her by now. Also, if your older one really disliked the little one, I don't believe she would lick her or even bother with her at all. Cats are not confrontational animals. They would rather walk away from one & other than fight.
post #10 of 13
My resident licks her and then bites her, a mixture. I just need to know that I can just leave it be.
post #11 of 13
I would leave it be unless one of them is really crying in pain.
post #12 of 13
Be sure that your older cat knows that YOU recognize that she is "top cat," too. When they are together, greet her first, pet her first, feed her first, try never to hold the younger one so that she is higher than the older cat, etc. And give her praise for playing nicely.
post #13 of 13
Hi, just a reminder... cats ONLY kill their prey from the back of neck (by biting and then shaking to break it), not by the throat, as dogs do.
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