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how to tell if cats are playing or fighting

How many cats do you live with? You should never force them to interact with each other, especially if they are showing signs of aggression. They may look quite violent acts, but you will see there is no breaking of skin and their claws are not used for scratching at their eyes or similar vulnerable places. The cat’s play is veering into dangerous territories if you see these signs: If you recognize any of those signs, don’t hesitate to step in. Cats enjoy playing. When cats reach the full adult stage, owners should not be alarmed to see them still exercising the same behavior with other cats. They change roles frequently. Screaming is a sure sign that the cats are fighting. Even the silent yarn in the corner will fall victim to their curiosity. In a nutshell, if these cues are not observed, if the interaction is relatively quiet (little to no growling or hissing), and if the cats seem to take turns as to who is the aggressor, then it is likely ‘play’. If you feline has not been socialized early since they were a kitten, then you will need to start this process as an adult cat. However, in a multiple cat household, knowing when the chasing, scratching, biting, and gnawing get too severe to be considered healthy matters a lot. Cats tend to be quieter than dogs when play fighting. How can you tell when they are playing vs. fighting and what should you do? When cats play, rather, they do bite, and it may look aggressive, but those bites do not cause harm to the other cat in any way and do not lead to injury. The rhythm is not even as when cats play. We must understand that this is not a common way to stop cats from engaging in undesirable behavior. Typically, there won’t be any yowling or screaming during playtime. Many injuries sustained during a fight can lead to the development of numerous infections as well as causing an underlying pathology. Knowing the Difference between Cats Playing and Fighting Cats that have been living together for some time will be comfortable play fighting a little rough. This will almost have a streamlined look to the cat. And a word to the wise: For many years, a plastic ball with a small jingle bell inside has been sold as a popular cat toy. If the cats are usually hostile or unfamiliar with eachother, they are probably not play fighting. While you could very likely ward them off, you might accidentally hurt them while trying to keep them away. There are a few general guidelines to help you when trying to evaluate whether your cats are playing or fighting: Play between cats can often look a bit more aggressive than we'd expect. By breaking up increasingly violent roughhousing, you’re also teaching your cat that you don’t appreciate them hurting each other—even accidentally—while playing. When two cats do not have a friendly relationship, you will be able to recognize the tension. Well, sounds don't always mean that your cats are fighting. But must they wait for their cats to be inflicted with severe injuries before they realize that the “play” is developing into a dangerous thing? Cat owners must realize that if cats are playing, they usually take turns chasing each other. How to Know if My Cats are Fighting or Playing? When cats are playing their claws shouldn’t be out and their ears should be pushed back. Catnip (dried catmint plant) rubbed on a plastic toy or secreted within a stuffed toy is of particular importance for blind cats and will appeal to the majority. Do they often come out of playtime suffering injuries? Stopping The Fight This is something my cats do. Kittens stomp, flip, and basically just do what they want with their toys. Find out how you can save your cat from the pain of collecting battle scars. Set aside an hour or so to just spend time with them and to observe their relationship. Although they may make certain noises to communicate with each other, they are more comprehensively expressed by posture and facial expressions. It is not always easy to tell if cats are just playing roughly or if they are actually fighting. The play sessions begin the socializing process -- helping kittens learn vital lessons about how to properly interact with their siblings, and in the future, with other cats and even human beings. Here are things to look for when you are watching your cats interacting: 1) Do they exchange roles when playing? Not only do you have more felines to share your life with, but they have pals they can socialize with when you're unavailable. Nevertheless, it can be hard to inform occasionally if your pet cats are playing or taking care of. This is a tricky case for many cat parents, most of them get confused, and they cannot tell if their cats are playing or fighting. Cats don’t make much noise when playing. But sometimes cats fight for real! Look for reciprocity. Felines which live together in the same home and maintain a friendly relationship, show each other signs of friendship every day. You should encourage your cats to get involved in all these types of play. Cats who play fight do not move at a fast pace. The cat will soon let the kitten know when her play is unwanted. - Everything You Need to Know, Cat Traits and Abilities You May Not Know. This is the same mind which sends signals to its limbs and facial muscles to convey these feelings, whatever they may be. How to Keep Cats Away from Your Christmas Tree: Keep... Why Do Cats Eyes Glow: Caring for Your Cat’s Amazing... Why Does My Cat Stare At Me: What Hides Behind the... Can Cats Have Strokes: How to Recognize It and Treat... What Does It Mean When You Dream About Cats:... How to Draw Cat Paws: The Cuteness on a Piece of... DIY Outdoor Cat House for Winter: Making a... Mixed Breed Cats: Jack of All Trades, Master of... Can Cats Have Strokes: How to Recognize It and... Asian Cat Names: Exotic and Unique Names for Your Pet. They are spayed and neutered respectively. Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. Just as quickly it can become frenetic and silly. If you give this toy to a kitten (or an adult cat for that matter), you can pretty much guarantee the animal will find it and play with it at 2 a.m. Cats are nocturnal and don't care if that jingling bell is disrupting your sleep as long as it's fun for them. Ways to Know if Are My Cats Fighting or Playing. If you see two cats wrestle around the floor and intertwine, it is almost certainly playing. Cats that are playing … Coffee Names for Cats: For that Strong and Energetic... How To Get Your Cat To Sleep With You: 9 Easy Steps. Play aggression or mock battling is a typical part of cat habits. Depending on the circumstance, the aggressor will make it so that the other cat has no choice other than to defend itself or escape. You asked a very good question – basically – you have two cats that play and sometimes get rough. Go ahead and let your cat play. They may change their behavior towards you even after the fight is long over. Both activities are highly physical, involving the use of the entire body, and … Cats, like most animals, engage in play when they are young, and this can continue well into their geriatric years. Their ears are typically forward in play, their claws may be out but they dont cause damage, and their bodies lean forward not back. In this video I talk about cats playing and how to tell the difference between a cat fight and two cats playing, which can look very similar! How to Know if Cats Are Playing or Fighting Method 1 of 3: Observing Their Body Language. Their spines are curved, but their legs are reared so that they will have an advantage over their opponent. You can also introduce other outlets to stimulate the cat’s energy so they would forget about picking fights with other cats. Cats play is slow and graceful, like a ballet. You should know by now that owning a cat is not a walk in the park despite cats having a reputation for being independent. Here, you will learn how to tell if your cat is merely playing with other cats or if he is getting hurt in a big fight. You may tap them on the shoulder or give them a ‘let's go’ signal. They are being careful not to hurt each other. However, it can be hard to tell at times if your cats are playing or fighting. Apart from the possible physical pain that it would cause you, the cats may also redirect their aggression towards you. Here are 4 signs you should stop your cat and dog from playing: One pet tries to hide or run away Uninhibited bites with yelps or scream from the bitten pet Canine growls that are lower in pitch and … There is no hissing or growling in cat to cat aggression, no loud meowing or yowling. When these cats are interacting, they can get in each other's way, play games and often get a little rowdy. It’s understandable, then, that cat owners often find themselves wondering whether their cats are playing or fighting. Little by little, you can have them spend time near each other, but always under supervision. Cats at play are quiet. Instead, they will try to have the advantage at all times. However, sometimes owners notice that their cats are no longer joking around—they are actually crossing over to aggression. Violence generates more violence. The body language and vocalization of cats are very important clues to take into consideration if you are trying to determine if your cats are still playing or are already hostile towards each other. Keep the cat engaged and focused using puzzle toys and puzzle feeders. How can you tell when they are playing vs. fighting and what should you do? Cats are solitary animals, and their initial reaction to a new addition to their family wouldn’t typically be welcoming. Click to attach a photo related to your comment. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself—it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes—but you should avoid making the same mistake by learning proper ways on how to tell if cats are playing or fighting. Adult cats may have their ears slightly back and will continue to wrestle each other. The locomotor play also helps reduce a cat’s nocturnal perambulations. Carefully introduce the cats to each other until they eventually warm up and become playmates. With playing, they may put a paw around the head or even dive in to the vulnerable belly area. animalli.com. When cats are play fighting, they usually have a soft approach which is designed to test the water in terms of the other feline's mood. When a new cat becomes a member of the family, look for signs of bonding, like sleeping together or grooming … The play mimics how cats will later pounce on, grab, and bite prey. This helps them increase their strength, flexibility, and coordination. Cats who play with one another tend to take turns in the offensive … But also make sure that they will not end up hurting each other in the process. One of the most obvious signs cats are fighting and not playing is the noises they make. This is very common. Unfortunately, as much as feline behavior has been studied, it is not possible to completely understand every move and there may be many similarities. They will think of the other as an intruder that’s a threat to their position and fights will ensue. Maternal Aggression Its common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. Cat play and a cat fight can look similar some of the time, but an understanding of cat body language will help you to tell the difference. If the other cat wants to play, they will respond with a similar movement. When starting this socialization process, the cats should have their own space to begin with. When cats play, rather, they do bite, and it may look aggressive, but those … We will also explain what you should do to break up the fight without getting hurt yourself, and the preventive measures you can undertake so your beloved cats’ playtime would stay peaceful in the future instead of escalating into an all-out war. Examining the Nature of the Battle. Each cat must have its own accoutrements such as litter tray, toys, food bowl, etc. Nevertheless, it can be hard to inform occasionally if your pet cats are playing or taking care of. Typically, there won’t be any yowling or screaming during playtime. Clapping loudly, banging a table or strumming a guitar might work. Subscribing to my channel is greatly appreciated!! That may be surprising to learn but when you think about the technique cats … When it comes to our feline friends, playing style changes as the cat ages. Claws always remain retracted and swatting is common. Cats will instinctively be hostile if they see that the other gets more food or love than they do. Cats who play … Ways to Know if Are My Cats Fighting or Playing. Nor is it advisable to be aggressive or violent toward your cats to stop the fighting. It isn't merely the cats' individual stance which is telling. If you’re often away from home, it’s best to keep more than one cat at a time so they can keep each other company. When cats are playing, they may each hiss once or twice, but if your cats hiss several times, most likely they are fighting. Claws always remain retracted and swatting is common. Even if they are actually only playing, it’s better to be safe than sorry. There is a fine line between love and hate and this is why it can be hard to know whether or not their actions are aggressive or a sign of enjoyment. If the fight is not serious, they may be likely to simply slink off or become disinterested. Their behavior may be more to do with some other stressor rather than each other. The biggest indicator is cat fight noises. Cats can reap plenty of benefits from playing with other cats no matter their life stage. This is normal, and you cannot force your cat to act friendly immediately. However, this is not the same as saying they do not like to socialize. If they were fighting, they would most likely not get this close unless going in for a deadly attack. Cat parents are often unsure of when to step in, so they merely observe from the sidelines. Cat’s play is a complex learning activity that helps both kittens and adult cats hone their physical and mental skills, and develop their social relationships. They will chase each other around, and make a lot of noise. Locomotor play, as with every mammal, actually helps improve the appetite of cats. Don't simply plonk them down together. I can't tell if my cats are playing or fighting, help please (videos inside) I recently adopted 2 cats from a local shelter (Last week). Almost like a good play fight, and they are training how to actually fight. The other cat will wrestle, but there will not necessarily be a strong defence. They will try to intimidate with posture and sounds, but they will face each other and only strike when needed. Understanding Different Types of Cat’s Play, Let Them Know That There is No Competition, How to Stop a Cat from Shedding: No More Hair Clumps and Bald Spots, times when they just want to have some company, reduce a cat’s nocturnal perambulations, Carefully introduce the cats to each other. This goes for kicking as well- it should be playful and should not cause injury. The pair will stop and start a lot, much like wrestlers moving on a mat to get into … Gentle noise (for example, a tinkling bell firmly concealed in a ball) may attract, but some cats will be alarmed by more strident noises. Cats love to play fighting. When you see your two cats on the floor chasing each other and batting with their paws, it can be easy to confuse the good-natured playing, or roughhousing, with actual fighting. Cats love to play fighting. These signs are consistent with fight aggression in cats, not play aggression. This is the wrong course of action. To encourage the cats to see each other in a different light and to live in peaceful co-existence, you can start by making sure that they have equal resources so there would be no need to compete. To determine if they are playing or fighting, observe their body language closely. Reasons for cats fighting include mates, food, territory or simply to assert dominance in a group. Unfortunately, playtime can also get out of hand really quickly. An occasional meow or hiss may occur during play, but if growling or hissing is frequent, their rendezvous is not friendly. If they are fighting, they are both on the offensive and only defend if can't get a hit in. A cat which is about to fight will have a completely different state of mind than one who is about to play and have a good time. If you can't quite imagine what this sound is, you will understand once you hear it. Additionally, observe the nature of the fight. If you have a surefire method of breaking the fights up that wasn’t mentioned above, please let us know in the comments section below! Cats learned to scratch and chase each other around during playtime from the time when they were still kittens. They stop taking turns. AnimalWised looks into how to know if my cats are fighting or playing. This is a type of social play that the cat usually does to other cat as well as people that owned them. Usually, cats which are prepared for possible combat stare at the other animal and bristle their fur. One of the cats might hide in fear of the other, which can lead to more stress and even psychological issues further down the road. Through social play, kittens develop personality traits based on the playful interactions they are exposed to. Neither want to ruin the fun or jeopardize upsetting the playmate. If it’s a play, you’ll only hear meow sounds. When Can Kittens Leave Their Mother: Preparing Them to... Why Do Cats Hiss: Giving Words to the Scary Sound. Adult cats may have their ears slightly back and will continue to wrestle each other. Play aggression or mock fighting is a common part of pet feline activities. No matter which category your cats fall into, you can keep the household peaceful and prevent fights using these preventive measures. Learn what aggravates him and see if he exhibits such behaviors when interacting with other cats. Adult cats will not typically hiss or growl if they are play fighting. If you have two pet cats fighting, it is important that you stop this behavior for two major reasons. Object play teaches cats how to distinguish between animate and inanimate things. But you should learn how to tell the difference between playing and a real fight when adult dogs are involved. They will avoid contact and are likely to fight if they are encroaching on each other's territory. I can't tell if my cats are playing or fighting, help please (videos inside) I recently adopted 2 cats from a local shelter (Last week). Here are 4 signs you should stop your cat and dog from playing: One pet tries to hide or run away Uninhibited bites with yelps or scream from the bitten pet Canine growls that … Cats just getting to know each other bond before engaging in play fighting. When cats play fight , there will be no injuries (unless accidental) and at they will get on with their business. During a mock fight, cats will certainly take … Even humans would hate it if they are suddenly forced to interact with people they are unfamiliar with or are not friends with. If you are still unsure, err on the side of caution. You can keep them in separate rooms for a week or two, so that they become aware of each other's presence through smell and sound without having to interact. Simple Play. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that your cat loves to poke, bat, and toss around small objects. Positive reinforcement is also called for in effective socialization. You asked a very good question – basically – you have two cats that play and sometimes get rough. Encourage your cats to engage in interactive sessions each day to keep them from competing and hurting each other. Frequent vigorous playing continues in cats until they're around 2 years old. An adult cat may act out in this way to put her fellow feline housemate in his place, … Cats that are fighting may avoid each other later. They need to be around other companions. Method 2 of 3: Examining the Nature of the Fight. Cats that are playing usually take turns. Cats who play with one another tend to take turns in the offensive and defensive postures. If you are unsure if the cats are playing or fighting rely on your ears and eyes. Cats own a rich vocabulary in terms of body language. It is not always easy to tell if cats are just playing roughly or if they are actually fighting. They will also flatten down their ears as these can get caught in their opponents claws and rip. Play aggression or mock fighting is a normal part of cat behavior. For example, one cat may hiss just to say they don't like something the other cat is doing and if the offending cat stops, play will continue. If the cats are hissing or growling, it is a real fight. This is actually an indication of the cat’s survival skills kicking in. This will, in part, depend on what the cats have been doing before they fight. Do you have enough secluded corners for them to hide in if they are in need of some peace and quiet? They might hiss once or twice during play, but if you’re hearing an orchestra of angry felines, it may be time to intervene. Iapetus is a … If the cats still keep going back towards each other, you can try to, It would also help to understand why your cat became hostile from the first place. You will see fur flying and tears in the animal's skin. This is why we give you the best summary of these signals to at least give you a guide of how to know. However, social play and locomotor play can get dangerous if one of the cats involved starts to show signs of aggression. There is no hissing or growling in cat to cat aggression, no loud meowing or yowling. While our kitties can’t directly tell us when they’re fighting, you can learn a lot from... See if they’re taking turns. If you are a cat owner who is often alarmed by the way your cats play, remember all the aforementioned indicators of hostility and aggression. Look for a safer way to separate fighting cats. If your cats are making some sort of noise, they’re probably fighting, especially if it’s a growl or hiss. Just as quickly it can become frenetic and silly. The pair will stop and start a lot, much like wrestlers moving on a mat to get into position. When playing is over, your cats … However, sometimes it is difficult to know whether this is fun and games or if something a little more aggressive is going on. Now, if you happen to see your cat and the new cat charge at each other with all their might during the first meeting, then you should automatically know that they are not engaged in play at all. Dogs may growl loudly. Play between two cats is a little harder to gauge because one cat may be in the mood to play and the other is not feeling it. When cats play fight, there will be no injuries (unless accidental) and at they will get on with their business. These signs are consistent with fight aggression in cats, not play aggression. This is why the best way to know if your cats are playing or fighting is to observe this body language and interpret the signals they are giving off. Don't expect your cats to wrestle and tackle each other with finesse and gentleness. Cat fighting is something that should be stopped through distraction, since it can lead to disease transmission and/or wounds and wound infections. They will eventually carry these traits into adulthood. Hi – thanks for your email Penny. Cats will often engage in mock aggression, or play fighting, to meet their primal need to hunt and guard their territory, both of which are essential to the survival of a cat in the wild. This is a last ditch effort to protect themselves as well as yourself. The cat’s play is veering into dangerous territories if you see these signs: Ears flat against their head Unsheathed claws Growling or hissing Yowling in pain Raised hackles The tail is waving from side to side They stop taking turns… Every owner wants their feline companions to be happy and to treat each other in a friendly and respectful manner. Cats play is slow and graceful, like a ballet. It takes time for them to start getting comfortable enough in each other’s presence to let down their guard and play—especially if both are adult cats. Find out Everything about this Hybrid, Differences Between Deer, Elk, Moose and Reindeer, The 10 Most Solitary Animals in the World, What Does It Mean When a Cat Shows Up at My Door, What are Teacup Dogs? You may start to berate yourself for not realizing sooner that they were fighting, not playing. It’s great to see cats interact with one another until you notice that their roughhousing is getting too heated for comfort. … In fighting, the cat's approach is different. If they actually fight each other, they will try to make their strikes as definitive as possible, so there will be less of them, but they will be more violent. However, it can be difficult to inform at times if your felines are playing or fighting. Cats stalk, chase, sneak, pounce, swat, kick, scratch, ambush, attack and bite each otherall in good fun. It is common that one cat … You will very likely get hurt if you attempt to do so. The key is to divert their attention. There is a way to tell the difference between playing and fighting quickly so you can step in before both cats end up severely hurt. The “mouthing” and biting by both dogs and cats is gentle when playing. Catnip (dried catmint plant) rubbed on a plastic toy or secreted … Playtime encourages animals to be happier, healthier, and more intelligent. If you notice that your cats are not getting along, try to do individual sessions for playtimes. If you want to read similar articles to How to Know if My Cats are Fighting or Playing?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category. You will see fur flying and tears in the animal's skin. Like most animals, cats have a strong territorial instinct. Be glad when you see them running, jumping, leaping, and even biting each other lovingly. In a nutshell, if these cues are not observed, if the interaction is relatively quiet (little to no growling or hissing), and if the cats seem to take turns as to who is the aggressor, then it is likely ‘play’. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Make sure to give plenty of loving to both sides, or one of them could get jealous. If you observe those signs in your cats, make sure to step in and break up the fight. Ceres is an 8 month old, female domestic medium hair [Tabby]. Secondly so that they are able to live together peaceably in the future. Humans are no different, we just may be better at hiding it (or worse at understanding these signals). The behavior of the cats after putting a show, be it a fight or play, will tell you what they were actually doing. But sometimes cats fight for real! To determine if they are playing or fighting, observe their body language closely. If you hear hissing, growling or spitting that is a sign the fighting is getting real. The answer is no. Examine their hair. An adult cat may act out in … animalli.com. They may even share the same litter box, although it is usually best for them to have one of their own, especially in the early stages if one or more is trying to assert dominance. Object play also helps teething kittens relieve the itching in their gums. How to tell if cats are playing or fighting. This is very common. To figure out if they are playing or fighting… If you have more than one cat at home, you will know the joy of communal cat living. Even after they end the show of a play fight, the cats continue to be friendly to each other. You should never directly intervene or put yourself between two cats which are being very aggressive to each other. If it is object play, you don’t need to get concerned about your cat getting hurt—as long as you make sure the thing they’re playing with doesn’t have pointy edges and isn’t toxic. You can see whether cats are fighting from how they are positioned towards each other. However, playing cats are friendly to one another. If the cats are hissing or growling, it is a real fight. Ceres is an 8 month old, female domestic medium hair [Tabby]. Cats at play are quiet. In a multiple cat household, do not just assume that since the other cats are getting along fine that the new addition would instantly be accepted. What kind of relationship dynamics do you observe between them? They make very high pitched and tense shrieks which are sustained and meant to intimidate it. Some cats hit it off right away while others never really get along over the course of their life. Firstly, so that they don't injure each other. These behaviors are considered positive by animal behaviorists because it indicates that they are eager to socialize with others. Before a cat fight, there’s often a standoff: the cats will stand far apart from each other … Look for reciprocity. How to tell if cats are playing or fighting. These acts are what cats do when they want to overpower and kill a prey for food.

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