Often we see our pet cats playing or scratching each other, some owners may find it amusing; for others, it’s a matter of concern, because they don’t know if their felines are fighting or having fun. If you have a pet cat and want to learn more about cat fighting behavior, then read this CatAppy piece.
“No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Nature has created all of us in such a way that one minute we love somebody, and the next moment, we snap at them for various reasons. The animal kingdom too exhibits this behavior. You must have seen the way your pet cats fight with each other, you never seem to know if they are playing or fighting.
There may several reasons why two cats fight or may not get along. If your cat grew up as the only cat in the house, with very little or no contact with other felines, chances are high that it may react aggressively, because it is fiercely territorial, lacks social skills, and also wants to show who’s the boss.
If the two cats in question share the same food plate or have never been friendly, then what you are witnessing is probably a fight. But this might not be so obvious all the time, cats might seem playful and energetic, yet end up injuring themselves. We, at Buzzle, have tried to enlist a few signs that indicate a fight and ways to stop it.
Identifying a Cat Fight
Hissing or growling
When two cats play, they are generally very quiet, they seldom hiss or growl, even if they do, it is more of meowing, just to let the other cat know that it is enjoying the activity. We know a cat hisses when it is irritated, but that is considered normal; however, if a cat is hissing for a prolonged period, then the cat in involved in a fight. Cats hiss to scare the other cat or as a response to the other cat’s threat. If one cat is hissing really loudly, like a shrilling noise, chances are they are having a fight. A cat may hiss or growl, when it is about to attack the other cat, or it can be the other way round, when a cat is hurt, it may hiss or growl.
It is very common for young cats and kittens to engage in rough play, they bite, chase, and, attack each other, but playfully. If they are playing, the biting, chasing, etc., is reciprocal, meaning one will let the other chase or pounce on it. However, if one cat is continuously attacking the other, then it is surely a fight.
When two cats play neither of them gets hurt or injured, but if one of the cat is hurt, then they were fighting, except for accidents, which happen all the time. Sometimes, a cat fight may lead to death of a cat.
Unique Body Postures
Generally if two cats are fighting, their posture changes, their ears turn back and fall flat, their claws are extended, and their back is elevated with their fur fluffed up. They also have a tendency to sway their tail swiftly, along with angry stares and growls. You can notice these body cues to understand if it’s a fight or just game playing.
Playful Cats Do Not Make Rapid Movements
Cats who are playing with each other don’t move at a fast pace, because they are enjoying being pawed by their fellow cats. But, when they are fighting you may observe, they run really fast. The attacker waiting to hit its companion or enemy.
Use Claws or Teeth
You know they are not playing around, if one of the cats is using its teeth or claws all the time. While playing, cats generally bite each other softly. So, if one cat is flashing its claws, you can rest assured they are fighting.
Stop and Resume
If you are still unsure whether they are fighting or playing, clap your hands real loud in front of them, but don’t overdo it as this may confuse your felines. After clapping, if one of the cat runs away to find a safer place, that means they were fighting, if not, they will resume playing.
How to Stop a Cat Fight
You should never interfere in a cat fight, it has to be stopped through distractions. Always remember, cats play with each other, just like any other animal, so give them their freedom to work things out, but interfere only when things go wrong.
If you find your two cats fighting, just squirt some water on them. This will distract them, and the fighting will stop. Also, they know with you standing right there, they will never be able to finish their argument. So squirting water is a good option.
Use a Chair
You can place a chair between two fighting cats, without hurting them. However, you need to be careful while doing so. The chair will startle them, and chances are, they will back off.
Clap Your Hands
Clapping your hands rapidly and loudly will help to disrupt a cat fight, one cat may run away to hide itself, but voila, your mission is accomplished. Another method is to drop something heavy in front of them, the loud noise will startle them, and they will forget the fight.
Many cats detest this piece of household appliance, simply because it makes of a lot of noise, you don’t even have to turn it on, they will stop fighting instantly.
Flash a Favorite Toy
Your feline will have at least one favorite toy, you can use this to your advantage by flashing it in front of it during an argument. This will distract them, and your cat might come pouncing to claim the toy. But choose a toy that keeps you at a safe distance from your felines claws and teeth.
Toss a blanket
If you can’t use water inside your house, toss a blanket on both of them, this will distract them, and they will have something to chew on to vent out their anger.
Cats are solitary animals by nature, they need their space every once in a while, if you have multiple cats at home, make sure they have their own space to hide to. You can use a broom to distract them and send them to their corners. Remember to close the door, to isolate them for sometime.
Don’t try to soothe or pacify your aggressive cat, give it sometime to cool off, if you go too close, it may turn aggressive towards you. Sometimes, their ego also gets bruised, by you intervention. Understanding the body language of a cat goes a long way towards knowing if they are playing or simply fighting. If nothing else works, try to stay calm, and if fights occur on a daily basis, it’s time you talk to your vet, to avoid anything serious in the future.