Can they hurt each other? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-21-2005, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Can they hurt each other?

Hi, I have two ten week old kittens. They like to play together, usually sleep together, etc and seem to enjoy each other (other than one of them is more independent and sometimes likes to take her naps separate from the other one). The question I have is about them play fighting, or "tusseling" as I call it. Sometimes the play fighting (I am assuming it is play) gets pretty rough and you will hear each of them squeal from time to time while they are doing it. Can they hurt each other? I'm pretty sure it is play, because usually one of the two tusseling will be laying on their back, their most vulnerable position. I just wanted to see if anyone else experiences this and if I should be worried or just let them tussel.

Thanks
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-21-2005, 03:23 PM
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I would say it is playing -- you probably don't have anything to worry about. That's just what kittens do!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-21-2005, 04:09 PM
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Re: Can they hurt each other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonicaC
because usually one of the two tusseling will be laying on their back, their most vulnerable position.
Well, actually that's a common misconception. Laying on the back exposing four sets of claws plus fangs is a cat's classic primary defensive/aggressive position. Not vulnerable at all. Any creature going after a cat with all those weapons at the ready is likely to come away with its face in tatters!! (Not your kittens, though, they know what's up with cat defenses ) That's what they're "practicing" when one grabs the other cat and kicks at him with his back feet. But notice that the claws are not fully extended when he does it. He's not trying to hurt the other kitten.

To get really confusing, there's two kinds of "laying on the back" -- the one I'm referring to above is not quite flat on the back, it's kind of half-way between on the back and on the side. Laying flat on the back and stretched out relaxed is a position taken when the cat is showing he trusts you. But it's not used during play fighting (or actual fighting).

Don't worry about your two. All purrrrfectly normal. Let them play/fight. It's part of kittens growing up.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-22-2005, 02:10 PM
 
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Good description by TimsK, very accurate. Ditto, no need to worry although they sound like they're killing each other. Kittens can get really rough, but as mentioned, if you look closely, claws are retracted, and there's no serious biting.

Keep an eye out for abscesses. My Ginza had one from extra rough play with Mozart, who as a kitten, took a bit longer to learn how to pull his punches and not bite so hard when excited. No probs once they grew up.
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