Dear Doctor: Sexual aggression even though he is neutered


Q. I have a male cat and a female cat, and normally they get along very well. The female has been spayed and the male neutered, so they kind of get on as brother and sister. Once in a while, though, the male jumps on the back of the female and bites her neck. Hissing and crying ensue, and I often have to break it up. What’s going on?

Gabrielle Claypool

Andover, Massachusetts

Dear Ms. Claypool,

A. Your male cat is definitely displaying aggression, and if we had to guess, we’d say it’s sexual aggression. Sex for cats is a rather violent-looking activity, with the male pouncing and biting the female in the back of the neck. The mating ritual can also include a lot of hissing and screaming, with the female finally batting the male away when it’s over.

How can this happen if your male has been neutered? A cat that is no longer intact may not have all his parts, but he is still a male; the urges don’t completely disappear. But as long as your two cats make up after the male’s unwanted “amorous” moves, all is okay.

If you feel it’s really bothering your female cat — or you — try spraying her rump with male pheromone, available on the Internet. Some people have told us their male soon gets the message that his “ardor” has been misdirected.


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