Are they playing or fighting? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Are they playing or fighting?

hey guys

My name is Darielle. Im new to the forum. I have a sweet little VERY active 14 month old cat, and recently got a second one..hmmm i'd say about two weeks ago. The second one is around the same age as the first one. Actually they're brothers but they dont know it or remember.

Well, my cat hated him the first day...and then grew to tolerate him and today they have been chasing each other all over the place and fighting. for the past two hours they have not stopped.

my question is..how can you tell if theyre playing or fighting? Should I step in and try to stop it? OR should i leave them alone? because obviously i cant watch over them 24/7.

my second question is ...very frequently they will press their noses together and sniff. what does that mean? Also they will sniff each others private parts. One of them was eathing his dinner today with his tail in the air. The other walked by and sniffed under his tail. The one that was eating got really freaked out and ran away. Does anyone know what this means?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 03:22 AM
 
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well as long as they are not hissing than I think you are ok. Although my older male kitty will sometimes get too rough with Puma and I will step in if I think it is getting too rough.

It is pretty normal the sniffing and nose kissing that is a sign of affection I believe.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 12:25 PM
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Welcome!

I was worried about this when I first got a second cat but they do like to play rough, including rolling around on the floor, kicking and biting. If you hear hissing and/or growling, that is a sign of hostility. I don't know why they rub noses or sniff behinds but both of mine do it as well.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 01:42 PM
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My take on bumping noses is that's how they say "hi". I do that with my cats all the time. The previous msgs are correct: all the behaviors you asked about are pretty normal.

How can you tell if they're playing or fighting? This takes some getting in close, so watch out, but look at the claws: are they in or only part way out (playing), or are they all they way out and really trying to hurt the other?

Also, watch the biting. Are they just biting down partially, not far enough to break skin? Or are they trying to do damage? I know it's hard to tell. It seems like cats have three bites: play bites, warning bites, and fight bites (defense/aggression/hunter-predator). I don't know that for a fact, I'm not an expert, just what I've observed. Maybe someone here can tell me if I'm wrong or not.

Finally, is the action split about 50/50? (as to who's chasing who, who's on top, etc). Then it's definitely play.


Tim
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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ok, ive been watching them very closely to try to figure out if its play or figthing.

At first it was the roles were split 50/50. They would chase each other all over the place.


Starting yesterday, its been only my first cat who has been initiating it. There has been no hissing involved. I dont see any claws. No one gets hurt. BUT my new kitty always runs away from him when he starts it. I feel really bad because I know my old cat is just trying to play (at least I think he is) and my new cat just doesnt want to. At least thats what it seems like to me.

So does anyone have any suggestions? A couple of times Ive had to put my old cat outside the room because he wont leave him alone. Keeps on trying to get him to playfight with him. Hes seriously obsessed. Then I feel bad because hes been with me for a yr and should have seniority. So i try to alternate who I put out of my bedroom. For some reason, both of them have chosen my bedroom as their territory.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 02:16 PM
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Darielle -

that's such a pretty name!

as long as they're just play fighting, I wouldn't worry about it. and as far as one running away, that's perfectly normal. what you can do is make sure he has a place to run to, a place to hide in if he thinks he needs it. a small box with a small door cut into it is perfect. separating them is OK, too, but I think that's mainly for your benefit. at their age, they're going to play rough.

as long as they're still just playing, I'd recommend just let them go ahead and they'll work things out. in time, they'll probably be best friends, curling up together and licking each other. it does take time. could take days, could take weeks, might even take months. every cat is different.

sounds like you'll make a good cat parent!! good luck!!

Tim
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 02:31 PM
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I have a different view about this than the majority of you I think.
If you got the new cat and just let him free in the house...I dont think that is the best way. They should have had some time of isolation from each other, a week or 2 at the very least. Let them meet and then seperate again. Not only does your new cat need time to adjust he has to deal with getting chased all over? No! Not good!
If I were you I would really consider taking your resident cat and put him in the bathroom or bedroom for at least a day and let the new cat roam around the house...he needs to learn where he is and the lay out of the house and etc......the way I think things are going so far.
This is "not at all" a fair fight...it sounds to me that your resident cat is bullying your new cat. I would hate for any territorial marking to get started....I would error on the side of caution on this one.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yasaman
There has been no hissing involved. I dont see any claws. No one gets hurt.
that's the key here. and that's what I based my evaluation on. but it's good to hear more than one viewpoint. maybe there's something else I missed.

in my own experience with my cats, my impression was that Mellie thought she was being bullied by Rocket's playing, but after I brought Tommy in and he and Rocket started playing together, I think she really MISSED Rocket's attention.

I think in this case it's too late to go back to square one. as long as the new cat has some place to hide out in if he feels threatened, I don't think there's any harm done. and they're both young enough to eventually work things out and adapt to the situation.

this was probably a rocky start, but we're all hoping this works out, and please keeps us posted as to how things are going!

Tim
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 04:12 PM
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I can only base my opinions on my own experiences....when Bosco was still alive, we had a second cat for about 6 months or so.
I gave them too quick an introduction and they appeared to get along.
When one cat starts chasing the other down it can create problems.
It happened little by little...about the time I noticed the new cat was
bombarding Bosco during his meals was around the same time that Bosco started urine spraying in the house. Bosco was such a mild tempered cat.
I could hear them at night....sounded like a herd of elephants.
If I would click the light on....the new cat was harrassing Bosco.
Although they were not growling and hissing either.
Ultimately we did re-home the new cat and Bosco stopped urine marking instantly. This is why I feel the way I do. And your right....it is too late to start at square one....but I think it would be nice to allow her new cat some free time in the house so he can better get aquainted and so forth.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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hey guys
ok yesterday i kept them seperated for a few hours. I kept my old cat in my bedroom, while the new cat had the house.

I really dont get it. The new cat stood outside the bedroom door and meowed to be let in constantly. He started scratching up the carpet and trying to dig his way through. After an hour of this, I said ok if you want to get your butt kicked, thats fine. I let him in and for a little while there was peace. But then he tried to go up this cat tree that I have in the corner, and my old cat swiped him down with his paw and he jumped up on the bed with me.

I tried seperating them again. Putting my old cat outside the room, and as soon as I did that my new cat started meowing again to go out with him. So i really dont know what to think.

Oh and this morning, my old cat attacked him again. My new cat bit him though, and my old cat let out a whimper. Do cats whimper and moan when theyre playing?

Im just trying to place myself in my new cats shoes. If I were him, and this cat kept attacking me I wouldnt want to go near him. BUt, my new cat does. I can tell he likes him. I'll just give it some more time and hopefully things will improve because I really dont want to rehome my new cat. Hes the sweetest thing.

By the way, they dont always fight. They can eat out of the same bowl together without fighting. They also like to look out the window together without fighting.
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