These are actually play sessions. However, sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether cats are playing or fighting. This is part of why cat playing often seems like fighting: the same skills and techniques are used for both. Sometimes, they also dominate female cats. My four year old cat and eight week old kitten play fight like mad. Don’t expect your cats to wrestle and tackle each other with finesse and gentleness. In general, some sort of ‘cat hierarchy’ needs to be established between the cats, and when introductions are done slowly (to prevent true fights), in general the parties are able to work out their differences on their own without human intervention. Sunday: Closed, Sitemap | AccessibilityWebsite by DOCTOR Multimedia. Recognising When Your Cats are Play Fighting. This goes for kicking as well- it should be playful and should not cause injury. If there’s another cat in the home, it also gives them a chance to hone their social skills with members of their own species. Don’t expect your cats to wrestle and … If cats have been fighting, they will remain tense, may get injured and will want to evade each other as much as possible to stop another fight from happening. So we've got an 8 year old cat, Billie, and I recently got a ten week old kitten, Violet. Please schedule an appointment today! If they’re ‘just playing’, let them do their thing! In most situations, both cats will be either playing or fighting. Several feline behaviorists weigh in on the signals that can help you tell the difference and provide tips on when and how to break it up. These signs are consistent with fight aggression in cats, not play aggression. Cats learned to scratch and chase each other around during playtime from the time when they were still kittens. After the “fight”, it’s fairly easy to tell - if your dog is bleeding, then they were fighting. When it comes to adult cats, many still enjoy engaging in playtime with their companions. She starred in the Animal Planet UK series Psycho Kitty, and is one of the most popular and sought-after cat behavior experts in the world. Try instead to redirect the negative behavior by distracting the cats (food, treats, favorite toys, even ‘baby talking’ does the trick with my own cats for mild ‘getting a bit beyond playing’ episodes). Bonded cats will often swipe at each other and have a bit of a hissy fit, but these bouts are never really anything to … Although more detailed information about integrating cats into a household is beyond the scope of this blog article, it is worth mentioning the importance of slow integration of new cats into a home where another cat or cats resides. 1 decade ago. Cats who play fight do not move at a fast pace. New kitten and older kitten playing or fighting? Villes. Rough play: Sometimes cats can be playing and it can get rough. Even between kittens, playtime can look a bit rough. Cats who are fighting may bite so hard that they draw blood. How to Know if Cats Are Playing or Fighting Method 1 Kittens learn a lot about proper social behavior by rough playing. They have sniffed noses a few times, he has swiped her a few times, all during supervised visits as my older cat seems nervous about the new addition. 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. In these situations, cat owners, if observant, may notice other body language clues as well, such as flattened ears, claws extended, piloerection (back of the spine elevated with fur ‘fluffed up’), firm, swift tail swatting (‘mad cat tail’), or confrontational stares (as if the cats are having a ‘stare off’). Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm If theyre playing, its reciprocal. These are actually play sessions. Saturday: 9:00am - 1:00pm Each cat takes a turn at being on his back and pouncing on his feline friend. The following post was originally written by fellow cat veterinarian Dr. Colleen Currigan of Cat Hospital of Chicago. Examine their hair. When cats play they can take turns being the aggressor. Also I think its normal for the adult cat to put the younger on in its place, basically like teaching them. Two cats are considered to be in the same social group if there is mutual grooming, touching of noses, rubbing against one another, cuddling close together, playing, or any combination of these behaviors. There are a few things you can do if you find yourself in this situation. It allows them to engage in species specific behaviors like hunting and stalking. Play between cats can often look a bit more aggressive than we’d expect. 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! Cats are animals with complex brains which give cats the ability to think, feel, learn, and enjoy various behaviors. The way a cat plays as she ages may change but the desire to play should hopefully remain throughout a cat’s life. Their ears are typically forward in play, their claws may be out but they dont cause damage, and their bodies lean forward not back. email@example.com Clopper Road, Boyds, MD 20841Phone: (301) 540-7770, New clients onlyNot valid on behavioral consultLimit one per customer (cannot be combined with other offers), Posted on: August 12th, 2013 by Dr. Dale Rubenstein. She’s 8 weeks old and was born a barn kitten but was socialized and kept in and out of the house before I got her. The pair will stop and start a lot, much like wrestlers moving on a mat to get into position. Playtime is an important part of cat life. Even between kittens, playtime can look a bit rough. Play fighting is therefore considered to be a way of relieving boredom and letting out excess energy. The kitten initiates it. Ears forward, claws may or may not be out. If you notice two cats who view each other as opponents, are now wrestling, it probably isn’t a friendly encounter. 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. However, sometimes you may run into situations where one cat is thoroughly enjoying himself and the other cat is ready to battle for real. Cats execute ambush attacks, roll around, sometimes even test just how hard they can bite. Are your cats fighting or playing? Unfortunately, playing can sometimes escalate beyond simple ‘play’. You'll see cats and dogs take turns chasing, wrestling, and pinning each other. Monday: 8:00am - 7:00pm Because of this, play fighting is a crutial part of kitten development. Aug 8, 2013 by Dr Colleen Currigan, Cat Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL. As a cat ages, its mobility and energy may lessen but gentle games can still be enjoyed by both cat and owner. 1 0. 14200 Clopper Road, Boyds, MD 20841, Phone: (301) 540-7770 Listen for growling or hissing. As kittens, cats learn from interactions with their littermates. The kitten jumps on the cat and then bites its ear and other body parts and the cat dont actully bites that much she kinda like cuddles and tries to get rid of her,then the kitten again jumps on her and bites her,the cat kinda like punches the kitten with her paw,is it play fighting or fighting? Examining the Nature of the Fight. Wednesday: 8:00am - 6:00pm When this happens, hissing may be heard. Maternal Aggression Its common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. If you’re new at living with cats and are unfamiliar with how they interact with each other, it can be easy to misinterpret playtime exuberance for aggression. However, if the hissing is more than just occasional, if the playtime repeatedly turns into aggression, if there is growling, if it’s the same cat doing the hissing all the time, or the same cat being the ‘aggressor’ instigating play that consistently escalates beyond play each time, then this may be a sign that the ‘play’ has escalated beyond ‘play’ and entered into the realm of aggression. Rolling, tumbling, lightly biting each other and gripping are indicative of a fight or playful behaviors. Method 2 As well, most of us can appreciate the enjoyment of watching two tiny kittens stalking each other on either side of a curtain or darting out from under a bed just as though they were hunting prey in the wild. 0 0. Tuesday: 8:00am - 7:00pm You will see fur flying and tears in the animal's skin. Play is normal behavior that provides young animals with opportunities to develop their physical coordination and problem-solving skills. The energetic fighting typically consists of biting, scratching, grabbing, clutching, pouncing, ambushing and chasing -- the whole works. Cats stalk, chase, sneak, pounce, swat, kick, scratch, ambush, attack and bite each otherall in good fun. How slow is ‘slow’ depends on the chemistry between the cats involved, and may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks or more. Three days ago I got a new kitten. Even when it is not necessarily perceived as problematic, it is quite common to hear cat owners casually comment that ‘my cats fight all the time.’ But are they really ‘fighting’ or are they simply ‘just playing’? Playing or Fighting? Hi all, I posted about a week and a half ago about my adult cat (Leo, 5) and kitten Pepper (10 weeks). of 3: Cats that are more slowly integrated with one another may have a better chance of being in the same social group and enjoying the company of the others in the group, including ‘play sessions’ with them. An occasional hiss in the middle of a play session is not of concern as this may be indicative of a misread play cue. Cats, particularly littermates, frequently indulge in specific behaviors that if one did not know otherwise might be inaccurately called a cat fight, when in reality it is not at all. Play is fun, it is good exercise, it allows cats to be cats, and it should not be discouraged! A Cat Clinic But what about everything in between kitten play and a major cat fight? But if you start to notice that one is doing more the hissing than the other they could be the fact that he it’s getting bullied by the other one. If cats that normally play fight have a more ‘aggressive episode’, owners should never directly intervene – this may escalate the cat’s anxiety and lead to increased aggression between the two cats or even towards the owner. cat play or cat fight? These behaviors are considered positive by animal behaviorists because it indicates that they are eager to socialize with others. Cats often target the backs of necks or fall on one side to bunny-kick the other pet. It sounds like they are just playing. One of the kittens will pounce, and then the two of them become a rolling ball of fur. As mentioned before, play aggression tends to occur more often with singleton kittens, young cats or ones played with too roughly by humans. If your cats are kittens, that playtime is also used as a tool for them to learn how gently to bite in order to keep in playtime mode. Male cats are especially aggressive and these cats keep fighting. Please note that you do not have an appointment until you receive confirmation from us. Look for reciprocity. In some cats, two cats may be in the same social group, but not all of these behaviors are seen, and those are seen may occur less frequently. There are a few general guidelines to help you when trying to evaluate whether your cats are playing or fighting: Pam Johnson-Bennett is the best-selling author of 8 books on cat behavior. With mom watching over kitten play, Diane explains, “They learn how to communicate with other cats and that claws and teeth can cause pain.” Unfamiliar or hostile cats may develop a friendly relationship and start playing together but that’s something requiring behavior modification and a g. Create elevated locations for cats who want to engage and also for those who don't. If it’s two cats are playing, you want to pay attention to which one is doing most of the hissing. Few people would confuse the middle-of-the-night growling and screaming of two cats outdoors as being involved in a major cat fight. 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’. Playing entails stalking and sneaking up, pouncing, swatting with claws retracted. If you're concerned that a fight is about to happen, distract the cats with a loud clap of your hands or a quick squirt of water. In this case, the bond, even in the eyes of the owner, is less intense, but the cats are still considered by their owners to be ‘friends’ or ‘close’ and will still play. Cat parents are often left unsure about whether the cats are just having an enthusiastic play session or a physical battle that requires intervening before one or both cats get hurt. Cats who normally have a hostile relationship or cats who are unfamiliar with each other won’t typically engage in play together. Another obvious way to tell if cats are fighting or playing is the result. Cats, particularly littermates, frequently indulge in specific behaviors that if one did not know otherwise might be inaccurately called a cat fight, when in reality it is not at all. Kittens and cats need to play. If a kitten does get too rough with another -- which is indeed possible -- … Will they ever be friends. Is Your Cat Playing or Fighting? An adult cat may act out in this way to put her fellow feline housemate in his place, … Your cat may need to act out their aggression by picking fights with their brothers and sisters or by causing a fight with a strange cat. I recently spotted my cats, Murphy and Zeki, playfully wrestling in a hallway, so I recorded them. Observing Their Body Language. Thank you! While they may want to fight, don't allow your cat to do anything more than hiss and swat at the kitten. 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.
cat and kitten playing or fighting
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