Difference between play fighting and fighting - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Difference between play fighting and fighting

I think I am in need of a bit of reassurance here.

Loki and Freyja have nearly free access (supervised) to each other now and its been going pretty good. There has been no hissing or posturing or snarling and Loki frequently comes over to lick Freyja.

Freyja doesn't really engage Loki at all.

They are getting into frequent scuffles is all. There is no hissing or snarling still but some pretty vicious (in my opinion) batting is going on and occasionally Freyja will yowl when Loki bites. But Loki isn't backing off when she does this.

I really don't think Loki is trying to hurt her, I really think he is playing and just.. doesn't know how to play nice since she is so much smaller than him.

Are they still playing or are they getting a little too close to fighting?

He will climb on top of her and bite but then pull away and lick. I am afraid she is too small to defend herself from his attentions regardless of whether they are play or for real.

At the moment I am not breaking them up and am allowing time for them to roll around together for a while before kicking Loki out to give her some space.

At what point should I be concerned?

Loki: Blue point Devon Rex
Freyja: My flame and blue Devon Rex
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 06:43 AM
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Locke and Auri do the same thing but Auri will hiss at Locke. He'll chase her and nip her but she gives as good as she gets. They'll chase each other everywhere. However this only lasts for as long as Locke has his "I need to run everywhere omg so much energy" hours. They're also licking each other during their fights as well.

I'm letting them continue for now as they both calm down and go back to licking each other. I think I'm just putting it down to the fact that they're five months old. They're both getting neutered/spayed this month too which, I hope, will calm Locke down a little.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm well Loki is about 8 months old and Freya is 3.5 months. Loki has been snipped but she is too little yet so I don't think that is the issue.

Just worried because there is such a vast difference in size that she doesn't get as many good bites in to deter him.

Loki: Blue point Devon Rex
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 12:01 PM
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It sounds like they're doing just fine. You'll know the difference between a 'complaint' or an 'ow!' and a serious pain sound if you hear it. There's no mistaking it. As long as she's just at the 'ow!' point it's fine. If she's really crying then you'll need to help Loki learn how to play a bit nicer.

My general rule of thumb is that if one kitten says "Ow!" and the other kitten backs off, or stops biting, or lessens their bite pressure it's fine. If they bite harder, or pounce harder, etc that's when you need to intervene.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys

I just needed some reassurance that he wasn't actually hurting her x.x

To be fair she has begun to stalk and pounce him a little bit now as well so obviously she mustn't be too afraid of him!

They are insepreable haha

Loki: Blue point Devon Rex
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 09:33 PM
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Yep, that is totally normal and sounds like they're just feeling eachother out! Ellie and Tootsie were the same way, and I got terrified and kept separating them until I realized they really were just playing and getting used to one another, and the other one would stop if one of them cried or yelled out during play time. Ellie could get rough but Tootsie held her own, even as a tiny kitten! Now they still play that way occasionally, but now that Tootsie's bigger I have no concerns lol
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 09:49 PM
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My two did the same type of play. It's normal. My kitten would run away and hide if his brother was too rough with him. Just make sure your kitten have a lot of high\safe places she can hide.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 07:44 AM
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My 3 kittens here (8 month old Polly and 4 month old fosters Sara and Seth) do this ALL the time. Polly gets rough with them and they get rough with each other causing all sorts of screaming and yelling, but it's all fun and games. The key is to watch the body language. Are the running and hiding when this happens or jumping right back in the fray? Are they dishing it out but not able to take it, then vice versa? That is all play, usually quiet, but sometimes they scream like they are being flogged.

I would not be concerned at all. This is how they learn when enough is enough.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 01:56 PM
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My male cat does the same thing even though they're all adults. He'll climb on top of either of my two female cats, and do some licking with some biting. I think it's his way of saying he's in charge, with a little bit of affection. I don't get alarmed unless someone starts to hiss/squeal.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all, it was pretty alarming to here Freyja squeal and huff at him the first few times but I am getting used to it.

She does run away a fair bit from him still though so even though I am not breaking up the fights I give her time away from him.

She also discovered if she hides away in the drawer in my bedroom he can't fit his big bottom in after her haha.

Came into my room and couldn't figure out why Loki was crooning over my socks...

Loki: Blue point Devon Rex
Freyja: My flame and blue Devon Rex
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