It can be difficult to tell the difference sometimes between cat play or fighting. The following are a few general guidelines to help you determine which is which:
- When cats are playing, they may each hiss once or twice, but if your cats hiss several times, most likely they are fighting.
- Cats who play with one another tend to take turns in the offensive and defensive postures. While engaged in fighting, there’s usually no role reversal.
- No yowling or screaming should be present in play.
- Cats should not get hurt during play, unless it’s by accident. Cats fighting may give or receive a bite or scratch wound.
- When your cats are done playing they should act normal with each other, not avoid each other. After fighting, one or both of the cats will tend to stay out of each other’s way.
- If you have cats who don’t tend to get along with each other and they look like they’re playing, they may actually be fighting. If you are not sure, try to distract them with a positive noise, like the can opener or shaking the treat box. Be sure to keep it positive however. You don’t want to discourage a possible friendship if they really are playing.