I am Dana, a Veterinary Doctor who studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. For years, I have got common questions from friends and family about their pets. So, I decided to open up this website and answer all those frequently asked questions. Alongside, here I share my expert knowledge about pet care, pet health and the animal environment. Click Here to read more about me. Thanks for visiting aplaceforanimals.com

How To Tell If Cats Are Playing Or Fighting

how to tell if cats are playing or fighting

You got your cat a new feline friend, but you can’t tell if they are fighting or playing. It can be confusing for someone who has never had more than one cat.

Moreover, this confusion can’t be left unsolved because it can lead to severe injuries for yourself and your cats.

Read the article to resolve your confusion.

Why Do Cats Fight?

Cats are usually friendly, but sometimes their “fighting instinct” gets awoken. There are a few reasons leading to cats fighting:

  1. Territorial: Have you ever noticed your cat behaving differently after a visit to the vet? It happens because cats communicate through their sense of smell, and a shared group creates their scent from which they bond with each other. But returning from the vet with an unfamiliar scent triggers the need to protect one’s territory.
  1. Playing Rough: Cats play in a way that may look like fighting. Sometimes, this innocent playtime can turn into a fight within a few seconds because of excitement or if one gets hurt.
  1. Triggered Aggression: Is your cat suddenly aggressive? Their sudden aggressiveness can be triggered by seeing unknown cats outside, and they might mistakenly attack the closest cat at home. It can also happen if they are afraid or anxious.

Are My Cats Playing or Fighting?

To know if your cats are playing or fighting, you have to watch for only one thing: Body Language. Their body language gives hints of whether they are playing or fighting.

When are cats playing? 

If your cats are not being loud and playing gently. They won’t be chasing each other aggressively and occasionally bite lightly without using their claws. 

When are cats fighting?

Observe Body Language.

  • They are probably fighting if you notice growling or hissing between your cats. Usually, they may meow but not hiss or growl during playtime.
  • Your cats probably fight if their ears are positioned against their head or laid backward.
  • Claws out or in? If the nails aren’t visible, there is no need to worry. But if they are visible, your cats are fighting and trying to hurt each other.
  • Biting is common during playtime and even in fights. But the intensity of the bite differs. When fighting, they will likely bite each other poorly. If you notice your other cat whimpering in pain, be sure your cats are in a fight.
  • You have probably noticed angry cats position their bodies to make them look bigger. Additionally, they make their fur stand up to enhance the look. If you see these, they are fighting.

Notice the type of fight.

  • During playtime, your cats will have a mutual understanding and let one another win. But when fighting, they will always be staring at each other and not let the other have a chance to win.
  • Cats take many breaks between their playtime, but it’s winning or losing in fights! They will move at a fast speed and try to win anyhow.
  • If you notice your cats becoming distant and avoiding each other, they may have been fighting and not playing.

How to Stop Cats from Fighting?

Fights can ruin beautiful friendships. It’s true for every living being, be it humans or cats. Frequent fights ruin the bond your cats have formed. If you don’t want that, intervene!

Here are six tips for breaking up a fight between your cats.

Tip 1: Act Fast

The vital thing to do is to act fast. If you notice any fight signs, separate your cats into different rooms. This will help to break off the fight before it starts.

Tip 2: Make a Loud Noise

Loud noises can help to distract your cats from fighting. Slam a door, whistle, clap, or say “Hey” to create distractions.

Bonus Tip: Use their favorite toy to grab their attention.

Tip 3: Create a Blockage

If your cats can’t see each other, they can’t fight! Use a large pillow, cardboard box, or anything that will act as a barrier to close your cats’ view. Then you can place them in different rooms.

Tip 4: Don’t Use Your Hands

Are you thinking of using your hands as a barrier? Big mistake, my friend! Never use your hands.

When cats are fighting, they usually become very aggressive and can redirect their anger towards you. It will lead to you being scratched or bitten.

Cat bites can be painful and dangerous even if your cats are vaccinated. Don’t think anything will happen! If you get bitten, immediately visit a hospital to get it checked.

Tip 5: Grab a Towel

As we have mentioned, bare hands can easily target your cats to bite. Instead, use a towel.

Grab a towel and throw it on your cats to startle them. It will give you some time to pick them up and place them in separate rooms. It will also protect you from getting injured.

Tip 6: Wait for Them to Cool

Before letting them out of the rooms, check to see if they have calmed down. If there are no signs of aggression, it’s all good. Now you can pet them! It will also help lower their anxiety level.

How to Stop My Cat from Bullying My Other Cat?

Fighting between cats also involves bullying. Yes! Cats bully each other.

Bullying can include avoiding each other, slapping one another when passing by, or staying in separate corners.

Here are three ways to stop the bullying between your cats.

  • Separate their toys, water bowl, litter box, etc. Usually, cats don’t like sharing their stuff and may pick on each other for it. So, it’s better to provide them each their things.
  • A noisy or chaotic household can be why your cats bully each other. They may feel stressed and anxious, leading to this behavior. Try making a separate room for them with their favorite toys, cat trees, cat beds, etc.
  • Try re-introducing your cats. Sometimes, we mistake not introducing our cats which leads to bullying. We should always take time when introducing a new member to the family. Now the best way to fix it is to re-introduce them. Keep them separate for a couple of weeks and exchange their blankets to familiarize the scent. Slowly but surely, this process will work.

You may also like: How To Keep Cats Off Counters

How to Get Cats to Get Along?

Are you wondering how to make two cats friends? Well, you are at the right place.

Maybe your cats are not getting along now, but they indeed will after you try these five ways. 

Make sure you stay patient because building a friendship takes time!

1. Spay or neuter

If your cats are not spayed/neutered, there are high chances of having aggressive behavior. It can be maternal aggressiveness for intact females and fighting instinct for intact males.

2. Offer catnip

Catnip is a great way to calm your cats down. If you know your cat responds well to catnip, definitely try it. Some cats don’t respond the same and may become more aggressive.

3. Have additional supplies

Give your cats their hiding spots and boxes. If you can get each of them their cat trees and toys until they slowly get used to the scent of the other, it’s excellent!

4. Use of Pheromones

Pheromones are a great way to make a calm, safe, and comfortable place for your cats. It helps make the atmosphere safer and effectively decreases aggressiveness in cats. For example, Feliway is a drug-free pheromone diffuser that emits an odorless scent mimicking a cat’s pheromones.

5. Equal Attention

Your cats can get jealous if you don’t give them equal attention. We know you love them equally, but it’s better to show them they are getting equal attention. Feed and play with them simultaneously; it will help lessen the jealousy.

In the End

You have to be patient to let your cats become friends. Yelling or punishing is not a good solution. Give them time to get used to each other. Nothing happens in a minute!

We hope to have cleared your confusion and helped you through our article. Leave us a comment to let us know your experience. Have a great day!

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