The cat sucks its neck: why it does it, when to worry and how to make it stop

Has the cat started sucking at the base of your neck? The reason may be related to his childhood, but not only: this is why a cat sucks his neck.

It is well known that cats have their own way of showing affection for their owners. But often some behaviors can have even deeper motivations, which go beyond the relationship that is established with their human being. Of course, an attentive and responsible owner will wonder if this attitude is not an expression of discomfort or a lack on the part of the feline: let’s see what are the reasons that push a cat to suck its owner’s neck.

The master as a mother

From some recent studies it has emerged that dogs see their humans as different beings, of  other  species than theirs, unlike felines who instead behave with us as with their own kind , precisely because they do not notice any difference. In fact, they often go ‘beyond’ the role of the owner: for some cats the human is their mother and, as such, able to provide for their physical needs, such as feeding them. 

The owner is automatically associated with the mother and, as a parent, receives special attention from the felines. The cat asks for love and tries to ‘suck’ the human’s neck as if it were the mother’s breast. Probably the gesture goes beyond not receiving milk from that effort, as it is their way of still feeling puppies and in need of cuddles. 

The cat sucks the master’s neck: the reasons behind it 

So let’s see why a feline could approach the figure of the owner with the intent of sucking his neck. We have already mentioned that humans are often associated with the mother figure also in terms of nourishment. But other reasons can also lead a cat to behave like this: here are what they are. 

  • The mother did not breastfeed him : either for health reasons, or for the premature death of the mother cat or for voluntary removal, it is likely that the cat misses the maternal figure that, for some reason, has been denied. Therefore, if it is an early weaning, the cat may feel the need to suck the owner’s neck as he would have done (spontaneously, if only he had not been prevented) from the mother’s breast. In a certain sense it is a trauma that wants to be compensated by this gesture towards their human. 
  • It needs attention : closely linked to the discourse of early weaning, there is also the need for the feline to receive attention and cuddles. Although he has a reputation as a solitary and independent animal , the cat desires our company, especially if he strongly feels the absence of the mother figure. 
  • It is very tied to the master : the symbiotic relationship that can be created with the human can also lead to such behaviors. The cats seek contact with the owner and reciprocate the affection received by ‘sucking’ his neck. Surely he trusts his human, and from him they feel that they cannot receive any evil or bad deeds. It’s like when a cat lets itself be stroked on its belly: more confidence than that! If on the one hand this feline behavior fills us with joy for the excellent relationship built, on the other hand we must feel a strong responsibility towards our cat: we must not disappoint him, under penalty of the end of his trust in us. 
  • It is  like this : a question of race? Could be! Especially cats of oriental origin, such as the Siamese, are very attached to their owners and are always looking for contact (even physical) with them. They don’t need anything else if they have their human at their disposal. It is likely that this ‘attachment’ is also due to early weaning. 
  • Not well : the fact that a cat sucks the owner’s neck could, on the contrary, be a sign of strong discomfort. Your cat may be stressed and anxious due to trauma, an accident, or some event that has put a strain on their routine. It is well known how much felines are fond of their daily life and even a change can put them in crisis : let’s think about a move. Then they may seek solace by sucking on the master’s neck. Let’s pay attention to the frequency with which the feline carries out this behavior: if it does it often and vehemently it will be the case to contact an expert and see what to do.

How to get a cat to stop sucking its neck 

Since the behavior could be the result of a discomfort and a malaise, or we simply want our cat to stop doing it, it is necessary to contact our trusted veterinarian or, better still, an ethologist. The expert will know how to intervene and understand what is the underlying problem that prompts the feline to behave in this way. The cat will have to be ‘distracted’ by his intent, perhaps with specific games. It is  important that the environment around him is quiet and peaceful, so as not to further stress him. 

Cat BreedsCat Food and Nutrition
Tips for Cat OwnersCat Training
Cat BehaviorKittens
Cat HealthCat Grooming
Cat AdoptionTravel with Cat
Holiday Season- Cat

Leave a Comment