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Why Is My Mother Cat Biting Her Kittens Neck?

Although almost half the households in North America and Europe have a cat, it is surprisingly rare that cat owners will nationally breed their cats and the majority of kittens that end up producing are unexpected so people often don’t have much experience with how a mother cat will interact with her kittens.

Due to this, we often see people reaching out and asking various questions about how their mother cat is interacting with her kittens.

We have already published an article going over the general biting of a mother cat and her kittens and what the bites can mean but we have noticed people specifically reaching out and asking about their mother cat biting her kittens neck, more specifically the back of the neck.

With so many people reaching out about this behaviour in their cat, we wanted to publish a dedicated article going over the topic to try and help as many of our readers as possible whose cat may have recently given birth to kittens.

There are actually a number of different reasons that a mother cat may bite the neck of her kitten with the different reasons having their own unique meaning.

We will be covering the various reasons in our article below in an attempt to help our readers better understand why their mother cat may be biting the necks of her kittens.

Why Does My Cat Bite My Kitten’s Neck?

The most common reasons that a mother cat will bite her kitten’s neck is to move them from one area to another, to prevent the kitten from wandering off, or to publish the kitten for bad behavior.

In some situations, a mother cat may also bite the neck of her kittens if they keep squabbling and fighting with each other as a way to separate the kittens and stop them fighting.

When your cat is biting kittens for these reasons, she will gently bite the back of their neck and although it is generally harmless, some kittens may be vocal about the situation.

Some cat owners misinteperate the vocal kitten as a kitten in pain but it is often just a kitten in protest who wanted to wonder off or fight with its sibling and it is essentially moaning at its mother with its meows.

It is usually very easy to understand if the kitten is in pain as the majority of kittens will not only be vocal but they will become active and try to get away from their mother as quickly as possible.

When the mother is only gently biting their kitten’s neck to move them from one area to another, it is very common for the kitten to just accept the situation or maybe meow a little but it generally won’t struggle.

Is It Normal For Mom Cats To Bite Their Kittens Necks?

It is totally normal for mother cats to bite their kitten’s necks in some situations as it is generally the quickest and easiest way for a mother cat to move her kittens to where she wants them.

If the kittens are very young then the mother cat may want her kittens as close as possible to her and will keep picking them up by the back of their neck to pull them closer to her if they try to wander off.

This behavior can be common with older kittens too, especially if you have multiple pets in your home as the mother cat may perceive your other pets as a potential thread to her kittens and want to keep her kittens close for as long as possible.

Thankfully, the majority of the time the other pets in your home such as a dog won’t be a thread to the kittens but the mother cats instinct to protect her kittens is strong and may still kick in.

If your cat has already had her kittens then you may realize that she may be stressed, especially if she has had a larger litter as it can be a pain to try and keep a number of different kittens all in one place.

You can help her by getting yourself an indoor pet fence to make it as easy as possible to keep the kittens in one place but the mother cat should easily be able to jump the fence if she wants to wander around the home or just get a break from her kittens.

Should I Discourage My Car From Biting Her Kittens Neck?

If your cat is biting her kittens by the back of the neck it then it is generally just parenting behavior and the mother cat moving her kittens away from potential danger.

There is no need to discourage this type of neck biting as it is totally normal and natural and actually helps keep the kittens safe.

If you ever notice that your cat is biting the front of the kitten’s neck then you should discourage the behavior.

Biting on the front of the neck is generally considered to be an aggressive act and is generally not natural for a mother kitten to do to her kittens.

Depending on the situation, you may have to work physically separate the mother cat from her kitten that she is biting the front of the neck of.

Thankfully, this behavior is extremely rare and the vast majority of mother cats will only ever bite the backs of their kitten’s necks so this should not be a problem for the majority of our readers.

Rather than be aggressive to their kittens, some mother cats who do have aggressive kittens will often just abandon them rather than be aggressive to their kitten too so this further reduces the chances of the mother cat biting the front of the kitten’s neck.


That brings our article going over why a mother cat bites a kittens neck to an end. We hope that we have been able to help our readers understand why their cat may be biting the back of their kittens neck as well as how to identify the normal, natural bites that the majority of cats will do to their kittens. There is usually no need to worry at all as the mother cat is usually just moving a kitten to where she wants it or trying to teach her kitten a lesson rather than harm it.