Male kitten pounces on female cat and bites her neck, what is going on?

BaraBenji

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Hi everyone,

I've posted here before regarding my adopted male kitten, Benji (5-6 months old) and my resident female cat, Bara (3 years old).

I've followed your advice about the introduction steps and everything worked perfectly...until recenty.

In the last few days Benji has started the habit on pouncing on Bara and grabbing her neck and he does this whenever she is sleeping or she's laying on the floor and being playful. She hates this and I can tell by her ears and her growling that she's scared. I try to distract Benji and we have playing sessions in the morning, noon and evening and they do get along when he's tired (Bara washes him), at least most of the time.

It must be really important to mention that BOTH are neutered.

My question is, is he just playing or he is trying to dominate or even attack her? If so, how can I stop it?? My boyfriend says it's only going to get worse since Benji knows that he can overpower Bara.

Thanks!
 

mani

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Kittens play rough, and Benji is of that age, and also big enough to be a bit scary.
You've mentioned in another threat that Bara has been really depressed because of Benji. Do you think things are improving in that way? If so, then I think waiting and watching is the way to go.
It's good that you redirect his attention.
 

ArtNJ

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95% of cat play, heck the play of all animals, is simulating hunting, fighting and defense behaviors they use in the wild. In the wild, cats kill via the neck bite. Its their finishing move. In play fighting between equal opponents, they don't often get to use this move because the other cat will actively wrestle enough to prevent it. However, if one cat is scared, disinterested or for whatever reason just isn't active enough in pay and just lays there, they are very likely to get play bitten. This might be a little uncomfortable depending on how its done, but you'll never find wounds, so the play bite is not a problem. It can, however, be a symptom of a problem since its a lot more common when play is unequal.

Play biting a sleeping cat is a jerky move, and not super common. Its likely a symptom of a very active young cat that is not getting enough play by other means. Its not surprising that its a kitten that is doing this, as kittens through about 1 year old cats are the absolute worst for play drive, not taking no for an answer, and being a bit jerky about it.
 
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BaraBenji

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Kittens play rough, and Benji is of that age, and also big enough to be a bit scary.
You've mentioned in another threat that Bara has been really depressed because of Benji. Do you think things are improving in that way? If so, then I think waiting and watching is the way to go.
It's good that you redirect his attention.
Hi, thank you so much for your feedback, I feel more relieved now! Bara is definitely feeling better, she is basically back to her old self. The only issue is that sometimes when she is just minding her business in the house Benji pounces on her...so it kind of feels that we got over a problem only to find another one. 😩😁
 
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BaraBenji

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95% of cat play, heck the play of all animals, is simulating hunting, fighting and defense behaviors they use in the wild. In the wild, cats kill via the neck bite. Its their finishing move. In play fighting between equal opponents, they don't often get to use this move because the other cat will actively wrestle enough to prevent it. However, if one cat is scared, disinterested or for whatever reason just isn't active enough in pay and just lays there, they are very likely to get play bitten. This might be a little uncomfortable depending on how its done, but you'll never find wounds, so the play bite is not a problem. It can, however, be a symptom of a problem since its a lot more common when play is unequal.

Play biting a sleeping cat is a jerky move, and not super common. Its likely a symptom of a very active young cat that is not getting enough play by other means. Its not surprising that its a kitten that is doing this, as kittens through about 1 year old cats are the absolute worst for play drive, not taking no for an answer, and being a bit jerky about it.
Hi, thank you very much for the detailed explanation, it makes much more sense now. I must have underestimated how much playtime an indoor kitten truly needs, as he is my first kitten. We have playing sessions 3 times per day that end up with him panting and taking a nap. However, I will come up with more activities for him. I'm just scared that he might end up biting Bara and that's terrifying.
 

ArtNJ

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I'm just scared that he might end up biting Bara and that's terrifying.
Na, don't worry about that. I mean, things can always go wrong in a cat relationship, but if something goes wrong, it would be a separate issue.
 
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