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Discussion Starter #1
Well, Captain Jack is becoming braver by the day. He's now taken to 'playing/fighting' with Miu. I'm not sure what's going on though. Once I even saw fur flying..at that point I broke it up. I've seen them wrestling like sumo wrestlers too. How do you tell if they're playing or fighting? Like when do I step in?
 

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I've read that it is best to let the cats fight it out. If you keep breaking them up, then they never settle their duel. I stopped breaking my cats up and now they will start playfighting and then eventually they walk away in opposite directions. It's better than watching a wrestling match. If there is no blood then it's probably play fighting. You can go on youtube and see what a real cat fight looks like if you want to compare.
 

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If it's play fighting they'll usually "take turns" being the aggressor. So one will chase the other, then they'll tumble, then the other will start chasing again. If you see the same cat always being aggressive and the other cat trying to get away, it's likely the second cat's not enjoying things. Also, with play fighting, there's rarely any noise.

When I hear any yowling or howling from my girls and it's clear than one is frantically trying to get away and not enjoying things, I shake the coin can, which instantly settles them down. Two minutes later they're playing again.
 

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My boys make fur fly all the time. I'll usually yell at them to "cut it out" if there is excessive yowling, but other than that I'll leave them be. I'll still find cuts and scabs on both of them occasionally (nothing really big).

As long as you don't see blood, I think you're ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ah thanks you guys!

Well yes, I think it's a mixture of both...playing and fighting. I've seen what you're talking about, Susan. Sometimes, they take turns being the 'chaser' or the 'pouncer'. It's obvious it's play at that time. It's only during the times when I hear Jack cry out that I break it up.

I also heard that I should let them establish their own hierarchy and not interfere. I sit on the sidelines and watch. Sometimes, they both stop and stare at me when I arrive on the scene though like *I'm* the one who's intruding.

But I find it hard to tell for sure sometimes if they are fighting or not. At times, Miu has this expression of disgust on her face when she gives Jack a spike to the head. And Jack kinda slinks off or puts his head down in a shameful kinda of way. I'm like 'why are u just sitting there taking it?'
 

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Luna and Midnight both play very rough. I know there's a problem when 1 of them (usually Luna) meows. Or once in a great while I'll hear a hiss. I'll break it up then or raise my voice saying Midnight's name. That's because most of the time it's Midnight causing the problem. Snapping my fingers works to, it gets their attention and breaks them apart.
 

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Yeah, I think really angry yowling, hissing, actual visible injuries, or signs that one is constantly dominating the other would be the only things to worry about.

My cats play pretty rough, so I was nervous about it at first too. They grab each other by the scruff of the neck, charge each other, wrestle, bat each other in the face, kick at each other while grappling, etc.
Athena actually growls almost every time they play, but I've finally gotten to the point where I can tell it's just a playful growl. And like Susan said, they take turns. Apollo is the more aggressive/playful one so he initiates it most often, but Athena will often turn around and charge him too. This was how I eventually figured out she's having fun, and not being harassed by him. That and the fact that half their scuffles end with them grooming each other calmly. ;)

There has only been one injury from either of them so far. Athena clocked Apollo on the head with claws once, the first week I had her (very minor scratch on his forehead) and I think that was just to let him know he was being too domineering and needed to back off (she was much smaller than him back then).

So you'll probably eventually get a feel for what is play for your cats and what is not, but until then, as long as they don't seem to be injuring each other, or as long as one is not constantly acting as the aggressor to the other and the other seems frightened/upset, then I wouldn't worry.
 

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If you have to ask, then I'd wager they are not fighting. A *real* catfight sounds TERRIBLE ... though there have been some cats who fight silently, so that isn't really a fail-safe indication. Generally, if the kitties are being quiet, I let them play-wrestle. If someone makes a noise, I step in to check it out but generally I don't have to do anything.
 

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The twins can go at it pretty rough sometimes. When they get too serious about it, I'll distract them, but it's more because it's bothering me.
 

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The twins can go at it pretty rough sometimes. When they get too serious about it, I'll distract them, but it's more because it's bothering me.
I know what you mean. When my girls get too rough, it bothers me too, because I start to have visions of baby gates!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
YEAH! I think it's bothering me more than it's bothering Jack. But I swear, he has this expression on his face like he'd rather she stop but is too polite to tell her to. Or he knows she's THE Queen and it would be overstepping his bounds to TELL her to stop.

I've taken to watching them a lot. When I hear Jack make a squeal or a sound, I say Miu's name loudly and firmly. She usually stops and walks off. If she doesnt, then I have to advance towards them. At that point, she'll stop.

I was startled when I saw Miu literally jump on his neck. With both arms around his neck and biting his ear. He just tried to run away, but made no sounds. I'd holler and she'd stop. At first, I let it happen if he wasn't looking too uncomfortable, since I thought she was trying to tell him in cat language who was boss in the house. Now I think he already knows so I consider it bullying. But when they wrestle, I've seen Jack ears go flat. That's when I'm like "break it up guys".

I'm worried cuz if he wanted to, I think Jack could seriously injure Miu. He's like Mr. Feline Schwarzenegger. Lean, solid muscle. Miu's smaller and .. I dunno how to describe, her body is like liquid butter. You could pour her out of your arms. I never want Miu to push Jack over the edge and have him fight her.
 

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I don't think you have to worry too much.
Our multi-cat home has several cats who like to wrestle-chase-pounce-and-ambush each other.
Skippyjon Jones and Floofy
SJJ and Louie
SJJ and Pretty (she wins, every time)
Floofy and Pretty (she wins, every time)
Shadow and Louie
Shadow and Malibu
BooBoo has even started wrestling w/ SJJ and they are hilarious! SJJ has no front claws and Boo has no front teeth! Toothless vs Clawless.

Here are Floofy and Skippyjon Jones play-wrestling.
While the ears *do* communicate a lot, I also feel they are sometimes pulled back to intimidate (forward and/or back positions) or protect them by making them a smaller target. IMO, when they are flat-Flat-FLAT to the head indicates *serious* threat.










 

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Anatomy of a take-down (these pictures are a couple years old):


A rare calm moment before it begins (Cali's face cracks me up in this picture)






And it begins.....







Cali's Mike Tyson move







You're gonna get it now!






Prepare to die!









Say goodbye to your leetle friend!









Who us?







Cleo's turn.


 

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Marie & Heidi: I love the "fighting" pics!

Alpaca: If simply calling Miu's name or walking towards them puts an end to things, then it's definitely play fighting. It would take a lot more than that to break up a real fight. Also, I'm sure cats know when another cat is fighting in play vs. for real -- so, I wouldn't worry too much about Jack turning on Miu. No doubt he understands that Miu's intentions are "honest". Still, if only for your own piece of mind, I would keep breaking them up when the situation seems to have the potential to get out of hand.
 

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Mine used to switch aggressors, but now it is just Nutmeg. Sinatra never wants to fight her but they never really hurt each other, and Sinatra isn't afraid of her. The funny thing is that Nutmeg is the one we find the tiny scabs and wounds on, never Sinatra...
 

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I *used* to go rescue Shadow when I'd hear her cry ... until I wised-up to her ways ... which were to cry when she was 'losing' so I'd come in and break the 'winner' off of her ...JUST ... so she could then pounce on the other kitty and get the upper hand.
Calculating kitteh, that one! I stopped stepping-in and told her to take her lumps.
 

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Haha those are some great photos guys.

Here's some of Athena and Apollo. You can imagine how worried I was at first until I realized they were just playing. It does look pretty rough sometimes.







I don't have any photos of Athena getting the upper hand yet, best I assure you she does. :D She was beating up Apollo's head earlier today while he was trying to sleep.
 

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OMGosh! That second picture looks scary!

I guess I should have foreseen the twins' behavior their first week with me:

Never say "bite me" to your sister (there was no actual contact):

 

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OMGosh! That second picture looks scary!
Yeah it did! That was from their first week together. I was really nervous at first about their behavior, but have never found bite marks on either, so clearly they're not biting down hard.

Their favorite thing is one (either one will do it) sits on the other and chews on their head. XD
They just seem to have a very...lively style of rough play! But a large number of their tussles end with mutual grooming.
 
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