How To Tell If Your Cats Are Playing Or Fighting

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.

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  1. We just got 2 new cats, one 1 yr old, and one 2 years old. They seem to constantly wrestle and fight/playfight. We’ve been shouting when their tussles get what we think is “too rough”, but like the author said,… if they are actually playing I dont want to discourage. There are several times where they seem to get along fine (especially when we are around), but I want to feel safe they wont kill each other if we leave them alone and unseparated when we goto work

  2. we got 2 new kittins my older cat wrestles with them they hiss scratch bite claw and i just cant tell if there playing or fighting

  3. I actually just got a new kitten. She is so cute, I am so happy I saved up to get her. I can’t understand how some people don’t like cats.

  4. Very good information! As an owner of three young cats, there is constantly a game of racecar, tag, hide-and-seek, or grab-butt going on in my apartment LOL.

  5. You should definitely know when cats are fighting! First of all they will be making noises that they usually don’t make. When they are playing, you will hear a lot of meows and high pitched whining if they are playing rough.(cats do this regularly) If cats are fighting you will hear more long drawn out meowing or whining with a much different, serious pitch. It is distinct!
    Cat Training

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