Playing or fighting? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Playing or fighting?

By now, most of you know about my new kitty. As the introduction period has progressed I am allowing them to be together supervised. For the most part the new kitty plays while he is upstairs and doesn't pay a lot of attention to Barnaby. However Barnaby's curiosity has him following the new kitty into every room checking out what he's up to. I'm not exactly sure what started it but this morning after about a half-hour the new kitty jumped down from the couch and pounced on Barnaby and then they got into a bout where they were chasing each other madly, pouncing, rolling, meowing, jumping, etc. This lasted just a short period of time and then I decided to separate them before it got too out of hand. Even when I was carrying the new kitty back to the basement Barnaby was following me. I don't know if he didn't want me to take away his playmate or if he wanted another piece of him.

What they were doing didn't seem vicious and there didn't appear to be any hissing. It all came and went rather quickly.

So my question is, is behavior like this a fight of sorts, or is it just the way they play?


Here's a couple of pictures of the new kitty playing with his toy mouse and Barnaby watching him closely...

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 01:58 PM
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I'm no expert but our two boys who have been together since about 10 weeks old, (now they're 5 years) play alot and it sounds like what you're describing. I think that if you don't hear any hissing or spitting and hear only low key growling that they're just playing.

Our two go at it lots of times but we're sure they're just wrestling and no one ever gets hurt or loses more than a tiny scap of fur. It's so funny to see them roll around on the floor and then see one of them walk away with a tiny fluff of fur in his mouth and 5 minutes later they're curled up together licking each other!

They have provided hours of entertainment for us!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 02:50 PM
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I have two male cats just over a year of age each and they play like that sometimes. The older one (Henry) will pester the younger one (Sherman) and he will hiss at him to leave him alone, then they'll start rolling on the floor, biting each other and chasing each other all over the house. It's funny when Sherman gets mad, he'll hiss at Henry but then when Henry turns and walks away, Sherman will then jump on him or bite him in the butt and they start all over again.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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CheeseheadKitties, another fellow "Wisconsinite". I'm in Green Bay, where are you?

Anyways, I let them together this afternoon and they went at it again almost from the get-go. Barnaby likes to jump on him and bite the back of his neck. He must have bit hard at one point because the new kitty let out a wail. That's Barnaby's play style though because when I play with him he likes to latch on to my arm and bite my hand and the longer it goes on, the more aggressive he gets and bites harder.

I don't really know how to handle this because I don't want to see either of them hurt.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 05:00 PM
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To me, it sounds a lot like playing. I think you would definitely know fighting when you saw it. With the biting on the back of the neck, like you said, that's Barnaby's play style. They'll probably get a feel for each other and you'll hear less of that. However, it'll always happen. Sometimes cats get carried away during play and hurt each other. (Especially male cats, but it even happens with my two girls.) It's nothing to worry about really.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2004, 11:01 PM
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Sounds like playing to me. My three do the same thing. Every once in a while someone will play a little rough. I just break them apart if play time starts to get to rough.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 05:09 AM
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Hey Richo, I didn't even notice you were from Wisconsin...duh. We are in Bloomer, north of Eau Claire.

Your kitties sound a lot like mine. When we brought Sherman home Henry would bite him on the back of the neck or wherever he could grab him and try to play. Sherman didn't know what to think at first and neither did we, but now Sherman will do the same to Henry. When Sherman has had enough, he jumps up on top of our CD case which is very tall and Henry leaves him alone. They love each other and I think your kitties like each other too. I wouldn't worry. You'll know when play turns to real fighting. Growing up on a farm, I knew when two "tommers" were going at it, it's an awful sound and they come home full of scabs. Like having two kids, just keep an eye and ear out for them.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 12:03 PM
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Fighting usually consists of: Ears laid back, lots of hissing, spitting, and growling, Wounds are inflicted, one cat is always the victim and one is always the agressor, the victim will run away and hide afterwards.


I know fighting because that's what I have in my house.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 12:16 PM
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I have a bunch too... They seem to be fine a lot, but Julia doesn't like being chased from behind which is what Moby does. And he doesn't go away when she hisses at him. She bats at him and when he doesn't move she bolts (and he chases again). I thought it was playing at first but maybe it's aggresion? They ok most of the time, but can't really play together (Julia isn't used to it), and they're too paranoid to be too close to each other. I wouldn't care, but Moby keeps getting cuts on his nose.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2004, 04:09 PM
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It might be a good idea to trim Julia's nails - if you haven't done it yet

SO you haven't named the new kitty yet, have you, Richo? From your picture he seems a little more relaxed and at ease than Barnaby.But it looks like things are going to get better. Engage both of them in play time - make them chase the toys by giving them equal attention. Praise them for being good sports. Treats are also going to help - call their name with a loving voice when you give them those- and keep posting pictures

It may be a good idea to not encourage the new kitty's latching on your arm at all - not until he will learn some more manners. Reduce the loving to just petting for now so he won't have any chance to bite. It might be why he was abandonned - did the shelter employees tell you why your kitty was there?
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