“This would only work if the owner knows how to read their cats’ body language and interrupt the cats before an interaction escalates to an impossible breakup.”. Cats stalk, chase, sneak, pounce, swat, kick, scratch, ambush, attack and bite each otherall in good fun. Pow! What animal lover has not seen kittens at play and been enchanted by their antics. Whether you have a grumpy cat and a new kitten, or two cats of similar age, your vigilance in reading — and paying attention to — their body language can mean the difference between a happy household and one filled with tension. The cats will chase each other, tackle, and resume aggression. “The initial cat may start stressing about his resources (food, water, litter pan, etc.) No picking on each other. Welcome to my channel, which is all about helping you and your pet live the best life together. If these tips aren’t working for you, you may need to bring in a specialist. Several feline behaviorists weigh in on the signals that can help you tell the difference and … Thread starter iceangel; Start Date May 3, 2003; May 3, 2003 #1 I. iceangel TCS Member Thread starter. 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. Bang a pan against the floor, clap two pot lids together, clap your hands or slam a door or drawer. I usually break them up, but afterwards they sit at the door sniffing and meowing at each other. Say ‘hey,’ clap or make another loud noise. How to Know if Cats Are Playing or Fighting Method 1 of 3: Observing Their Body Language. If theyre playing, its reciprocal. “You watch their body language. One of the most common signals isn’t all that reliable, as it turns out. I’ve found in my consultations that many cat parents don’t always recognize the fact that their cats aren’t getting along with each other because there are no overt signs of aggression. Cats can be aggressive they are worked up like this, and you may get a lot of scratches for your efforts. “This can lead to serious damage to the cats and to their relationship.”. Cat fighting and playing can look sometimes very similar! Watching your cats fighting can be heart-breaking; here are two animals that you adore and they are hurting each other! They're fairly new to each other. Oftentimes, fights occur when one cat wants to play and the other cat doesn’t. Look for reciprocity. However, cats do often employ play techniques that resemble fighting actions. According to Adelman, play vocalization is meowing, not growling or hissing. They stalk, chase, pounce, tumble, swat and take turns being the “aggressor”. The idea is to start creating positive associations with the other cat’s scent: When a cat smells the other cat, he gets a treat. “Every parent knows that even gentle, appropriate play can quickly turn rough and aggressive, requiring intervention.”, “Never put your hands in there or try to pick up one of the cats,” Adelman says. Also … “This can lead to territorial, defensive, fearful or very rough behavior with the newcomer, making integration a rocky road indeed.”. Maternal Aggression Its common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. Hiss! Grab a towel or blanket and throw it over both of them. While some play fighting can get a bit too rough, there is still a stark difference between the two types of behavior. However, I've also seen cats that seemed to hate each other become best friends two years later. Their playing style is joyfully rambunctious, with the little cats gently or not-so-gently biting, swatting, pouncing and … “A cat who has been an ‘only child’ for most or all of its life will not have had much opportunity to develop the feline social skills necessary to successfully cohabitate with another feline,” she says. Bam! If your cats are just playing they will be silent, with gentle biting, retracted claws, and chasing both ways. If the cats live together, they may be playing or fighting for territory. Grab one under the towel and relocate it and give everyone 20 minutes. We talk about behaviour, training, and creating a life of health, balance, and joy for your pet. Although rough play and miscommunication may happen as kittens play with each other, this is an important time of learning. “The playful antics of the youngster are often overwhelming for the less active cat, and this can lead to tension, defensive aggression or withdrawal by the elder,” says Miller. “Once cats have been successfully introduced, mutual playtime with both of them can be a great way for them to learn to enjoy each other’s presence, and may even get them started playing with each other,” Miller says. Screams and squeals are often the vocal byproducts. “They play rougher than we would allow our children to play,” says Beth Adelman, MS, a certified cat behavior consultant in Brooklyn, New York. MEOW! “It’s redirecting the energy and giving them something appropriate to play with.”, Finally, if you do have two cats who play too roughly, there are several things you can do to break it up. So if your cats are biting seriously, with their claws out and you hear screams, they are not best friends! You need to establish a pecking order, one where you are at the top. But if one is always the chaser and the chase-ee, that’s not a good sign.”. Also see some clips of my cat and dog playing together. Tails will lash either way, Adelman says. The other cat will wrestle, but there will not necessarily be a strong defence. Cats are chasing each other, is it just play? Each acts as if the other started the fight. Even if the goal is for the two cats to play with each other, you are still very much part of the equation. I'd find them sleeping beside each other and grooming each other. Motivation to Play. And it’s not just the new cat who feels anxiety. If you are still unsure if your cats are playing or fighting, observe their behavior afterwards. Observe them for a while and if you notice some or all the behaviors below, then you know your pets are only playing-fighting with each other, no cat and dog fight! Finally and perhaps most importantly in cat play, except for … While your first instinct might be to jump in and separate them, do be careful. “You will get bit or scratched and it will hurt. “Introduce some interaction, supervised,” she says. If the cats keep going back toward each other, use something safe to block their view of each other so you can usher one cat into another room. My cats also go into some cat nip, watch them excitedly roll around! Terms of Use Privacy Policy Interest-Based Ads Chewy Careers, Copyright © 2020 Chewy, Inc. This can be a stressful time for both your new and existing cats, and fighting may ensue. 1. Cats who play fight do not move at a fast pace. 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. Adult Cat. My roommate and I both have cats. Provide each cat with food, water, a litter box, a comfortable place to sleep, and regular interaction with you (playing and/or petting). ... Cats chasing other cats is quite common in the feline world. A large piece of cardboard, a sofa cushion, whatever is handy that will create a barrier. Sometimes the dog will chase the cat but then the reverse will happen. Listen for growling or hissing. You need to consistently enforce this rule in all directions. Occasionally, two friendly cats may be resting when a frightening incident occurs, such as a bookshelf falling over.
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