It's widely known that cats engage in play aggression (also known as mock fighting) every once in a while. Your fluffy friend could lunge toward its littermate as well as other felines in the house in order to burn pent-up energy, practice hunting, ... Considering that the pets like to play rough, first time cat parent tends to have a hard time telling play fight and real fight apart. In fact, the subject of "cat and kitten: playing or fighting" attracts lots of attention from people that got confused by the ceaseless wrestles between their otherwise well-behaved cats.
So you want to know the differences between play fight and real fight in cats? If that is the case, this article is for you. The information down below contains virtually every detail that cat parents have to keep in mind regarding fights among felines.
Interactions In Cats: Essential Issues
As most cats these kinds of days grow up as indoor pets, interaction plays a critical in their social life. Therefore, if you just know how your felines see each other, it's easy for you to grasps the general picture of fights in cats.
Hostile Relationship Lead To Hostile Encounters
Overall, if your pets don't like each other, they would never play together which keeps them in separate areas. That means if you notice the felines wrestling in the same place, you should assume that it's a bona fide fight, not mere plays. Sure, hostile pets could develop a friendly relationship over time but that often requires human interventions in addition to a getting-to-know-you process. Cats simply don't go from hateful foes straight to BFF without an interim period.
Mother Knows Best
Young kittens learn a lot from their mom such as what to eat, how to play, ... but on occasions, the children step over the line. To get the kittens to behave themselves, the mother cat may resort to physical correction by pinning the naughty kids. From the outside, it looks like a fight but nothing serious actually happens at all, the mom shall let her children go after a bit. Hence, if you see the queen squeezing the kittens with her paws, she is in the middle of educating the kids about acceptable/unacceptable behaviors.
Territory Is Quite A Big Deal
Though modern-day housecats have indeed managed to throw away many traits of their wild ancestors, they remain territorial carnivores. That is why in the case your furball notice fellow pets, especially curious kittens, invading its territory, it could initiate play fights as gentle warnings. Most of the time, if the pets have a friendly relationship, they would avoid causing injuries to each other. In fact, a couple of felines even settle down for a nap together after play fights as if nothing happens.
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Some Signs Of Impending Clashes
Talking about the subject of "cat and kitten: playing or fighting", everyone wishes to know several hints of aggression between cats to intervene in time. Well, a cat that is ready to fight shall express its intention throughout its body.
During play fights, close-knitted pets often make little noise. At most, the feline should let out a meow intermittently. On the other hand, if you hear excessive vocalization (hissing, growling and so on) from your cats when they meet, a nasty fight is imminent.
Normally, cats tend to lean forward in usual play fights. But if it seems that your furball leans backward, the pet is reading itself to swipe ferociously at whatever cat standing in front of it.
While mock fighting, cats instinctively put their ears in the forward position but in actual fights, the ears would be pressed back against the head.
Cats instinctively withdraw claws in play fight to avoid causing unintentional injuries to fellow felines. Even if the pets unsheathe the claws, they shall not swipe directly at their playmates.
As all cats know that biting hurt, they never resort to biting for the entire duration of the play fights. In direct contrast, hostile cats have no qualm about biting each other at every opportunity once they enter a fight.
Putting An End To Fights: Recommendations For Novice Pet Owners
Articles that cover the subject of "cat and kitten: playing or fighting" offer multiple solutions to stop fights between cats. That being said, if you want some tips and tricks that should work all the time, check out the below.
- Don't Use Bare Hands: When people see their cat tackling each other without restraint, many want to separate the pets immediately using bare hands. Unfortunately, such an impulse response tends to invite injuries as the felines proceed to unleash a flurry of swipes without a care in the world. In addition to that, your status in the eyes of the pets may change afterward. That is why it's strongly recommended that you refrain from jumping into between the pets without a good plan.
- Create A Diversion Right Away: Needless to say, it's only a matter of time before cats inflict injuries on each other during a fight. But how could you stop the fights between cats without getting hurt in the process? Well, all you need to do is to make loud noises ( a clap, a shout, ...) Experts on the subject of "cat and kitten: playing or fighting" claim that cats got distracted easily so by getting their attention, it's a breeze for you to put an end to ongoing fights. Still, treat it as the last-ditch solution as cats may be stressed by noise.
- Identify The Cause Of Fights: Breaking up fights is good but if you want your cats to stop fighting altogether then you have to locate the root of the problem. Some cats simply got agitated by the sudden introduction of unfamiliar pets which make them behave aggressively toward the newcomers. However, it's worth noting that a variety of reasons could initiate fights between cats. If necessary, contact the vets in order to get to the bottom of the situation.