Tip – 17 – Cat play or cat fight ?
Are my cats playing or fighting – How do I tell?
If you have a multi cat household or your outdoor cats hang out with other cats, chances are you will encounter cat play. Cat play usually involves chasing, swatting, hissing and nipping. To a human though, cat play can often look rough, so how can you tell the difference? First off if you know that the two cats in question have never been friendly to each other then chances are what you are witnessing is fighting. Cat fighting is something that should be stopped through distraction, since it can lead to disease transmission and/or wounds and wound infections.
If you are unsure if the cats are playing or fighting rely on your ears and eyes. If you are still unsure, err on the side of caution.
- Screaming is a sure sign that the cats are fighting.
- One cat being overly dominant is another sign of fighting, usually in cat play the roles shift.
- Hissing a few times from either cat is normal but continued hissing suggests a cat fight is underway or about to get underway.
- Finally and perhaps most importantly in cat play, except for accidents, neither of the two cats gets hurt.
The best way to separate fighting cats is through distraction. Making a loud noise or drop something heavy on the floor. That will usually startle the cats and send them running in opposite directions. Shaking a can of food treats (if they are used to that sound) is another great distraction that will stop the fighting.
Remember cat play like any type of animal play is normal and you shouldn’t get involved. Cat fighting is also fairly common but due to the potential that your cat may get harmed or injured, you should try to stop it through distraction. Do not actually try to physically remove one cat from another or you too may get harmed.