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Is this appropriate play behaviour?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sam and Bailey have been spending a lot more time in the same room, mostly because she is in heat and follows him around wailing. He started licking her head a while ago, and then I noticed since she is in heat, and more "submissive", he is actually grooming her more. So I thought good, they are getting along.

Now I just saw them wrestle, I think. but I have never had two cats, so I don't know if this is OK. (and no, its not what you are thinking, Sam is fixed so by wrestling I mean wrestling).

Bailey crawled up right under his head, he started grooming her. Then he wrapped his front legs around her, sort of a wrestling grip, and she was fine. Then he started scratching at her with his back legs - the way he does with his toys. There was no growling or hissing, but I was afraid he was going to hurt her, so I yelled "stop", and they broke it up. Then I just wondered if this is normal play. If he were being too aggressive and going to hurt her, she would defend herself, woudldn't she? She certainly swatted at him with claws extended and hissed when he scared her at the beginning.

And now because I yelled, they are both avoiding me, even though I gave them nice fresh wet food. Just like little kids, hiding because Mom is mad at them.
post #2 of 6
As long as there is no hissing or growling or one cat isn't desperatly trying to get away, it would be playing.

Cats go rap their front paws around another cats head or neck, and then kick the other cats belly with their back feet. That's play.
If you see the fur starting to fly (litterally) or they leave any marks on eachother, that's a bit too rough.

Try not to yell at them again unless you know that one of them is really getting hurt, the more you yell at them for playing the more it will confuse them on how you want them to act.

These things can take a while first introductions and play sessions don't always go the greatist. But if they weren't making growing or hissing noises last time, I wouldn't worry.
post #3 of 6
Actually, even if he is fixed, he is probably responding to her heat cycle, and over the next few days, you should keep your eye out on them because this type of play can get a bit serious as he responds to the chemicals leaking from her body.

Any chance of getting her spayed anytime soon? Even when in heat, a spay is possible, albiet a bit more expensive because of the expanded blood vessels the vet has to deal with.
post #4 of 6
Ahh yes, totally forgot to touch on that part. Are you planning on getting her fixed?
post #5 of 6
My 3 play like that all the time. None of them seem to mind. If it gets too rough, the one that is getting roughed up will just run and get under the coffee table. That seems to be the safe place for anyone that no longer wants to play, and the others seem to respect it. I have 1 neutered male, 1 spayed female, and one soon to be spayed female.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments. RAbbit kicking - that describes it perfectly! I realized after I yelled at them that it must have been play, because Bailey was not trying to get away. I spent a lot of time with both of them in the evening, just to reassure them that everything was OK, and Sam was grooming Bailey as well. And I did realize that he is responding to her being in heat - poor guy!

After the first day of this, I called the vet - her appointment is next Wednesday. I had thought of waiting a bit until they were more familiar with each other, but neither Sam nor I could put up with another heat so she's going in right away. Poor little girl.

And I have been keeping them apart a bit - I take Sam to work with me, just to give him a break, and he sleeps and sleeps and sleeps.
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