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HELP! -- playing or fighting?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We have a 15-month old cat, Bella, and we recently acquired a new 4-month old kitten, Mae. Both are spayed females. We've kept Mae isolated in a room for a few days, and she's been checked by our vet. We let the cats sniff each other through a gap in the door, and tonight we introduced them. These are my first 2 cats and I've never really observed cats, and I'm scared to death and having trouble interpreting their behaviour!
- Bella chased Mae around and the two of them rolled around and appeared to be biting each other, but not scratching. The kitten squeaked sometimes and we sort of distracted them and they stopped.
- Mae started drinking from Bella's water bowl, and Bella drank at the same time and then licked Mae's head a few times.
- Sometimes they both lay down and stared at each other.
- Mae occasionally hid under the couch (Bella can't get there) but didn't really appear to be hiding much.
- Neither cat hissed or growled.
Basically, I don't know if they were getting along or fighting, and while Bella is generally a very laid-back cat, I don't want her to hurt Mae by biting her or something. Were the squeaks pain squeaks? I just don't know! Any advice would be much appreciated. We plan on continuing to separate the cats at night and while we're out during the day, but should we let them continue the behaviour described above while we supervise? I just don't know what to do!
post #2 of 8
They are fine, they are playing and if it is more agressive then they will "fight" to determine who is alpha cat. It may seem bad to you but they need to do it or there will never be peace in your home. I think this is the stage where people just say "oh they don't get along" and get rid of one unfortunately. But let them be unless there is bloodshed.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Oh no, I would never get rid of one of them! I think maybe I'm a bit neurotic about this whole thing. I would probably be less freaked out if the kitten didn't squeak and if it didn't look like Bella was squishing her. The kitten is about 3 lbs and a bit and Bella is 8 lbs. Thanks for your quick reply! Keep the advice coming!
post #4 of 8
Don't worry- it can be confusing! I was having the same troube introducing Maui (8m at the time) and the kittens (2m then)- I never knew when they were playing or fighting because Maui was so much bigger- it was hard to tell if he was just being too rough.

But I always stayed nearby and when I couldn't stand to hear squeeks any longer or they just got too painful sounding I'd break it up. As time went on I was able to wait a little bit longer before I had to step in...

They probably will fight at least once or twice and it might seem like they are fine then they'll have a step backwards but give it time! Some people are lucky and introduce cats that just click and others have to help it along!
post #5 of 8
Some people are lucky and introduce cats that just click and others have to help it along!
This is me.

I just introduced my 2 cats (kittens at the time) right away, this was on a Friday night. There was some hissing and growling, but by Sunday night, they were fine. I consider myself very lucky to have 2 cats with good personalities.
post #6 of 8
Wow! You're lucky they're getting along so well even if it looks like they aren't! Let's just say you would know if they were really fighting - there'd be growling, hissing and most definitely claws out and biting. Usually when cats play they don't hiss or growl, although they can bite and often will bat each other with their paws.

It is much more serious when they are actually fighting and you'll definitely be able to tell the difference. I would hazard a quess that it will probably happen every now and again - but let them sort it out. You stand a very good chance of getting hurt if you actually physically interfere, and if it's getting out of hand you can clap loudly or throw a light blanket over them, and it'll usually stop.

But so far it sounds wonderful! Well done and lucky you!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, again. Day 2 of the cats together seems a wee bit better; they'll be pretty calm for a bit and Bella will just watch Mae explore, and then all he** will break loose and they'll tussle. Bella sort of pins Mae and looks like she's biting her, and then when Mae calms down a bit Bella will lick her. I've been giving them little treats when they're close together and calm, and that's been working. Except Mae keeps butting under Bella's head and eating her treats. Bella doesn't really seem to mind and licks Mae's head while she munches away. I figure that must be a good thing. They're not sleeping together or anything yet; I guess that takes some time? It's just so weird seeing Bella all physical like that, since she's the most laid-back, easygoing cat -- never hides, loves strangers and visitors to the house, and is obsessed with following my parents' old, blind, deaf dog around and trying to jump on him. Fingers crossed for them getting along! Any thoughts on day 2? Anyone?
post #8 of 8
Sounds way better than my day 2. From my experience, if they're not hissing, they're just playing. There's probably some sort of dominance game involved in chase or tacke or whatever they're doing, but what in a cat's life isn't about dominance?
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