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When to break it up? with video link

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a video of my cats having a little mini-fight, and I'd appreciate anyone who is willing to look and give some advice.

These two have known each other for about 6 weeks, and they are most definitely NOT friends yet. The older cat (2yrs) is finally at a point of tolerating the kitten, and even playing a little bit, but mostly she wants to be left alone. When they're both relaxed, the kitten will come over and try to cuddle/groom, but the older cat hisses and swats at her, then leaves.

The "fights" always start out with the kitten attacking and the older cat trying to get away. Eventually it gets to the situation shown in the video, which doesn't look too bad to me, except for the noises, but it just keeps going like this and escalating. I don't want to interfere if this is a dominance issue, but whenever I let it go too long there are some horrible screams and fur starts flying. No bleeding yet, though. And the kitten always comes back for more.

So I'm wondering how long I should let these little battles go before breaking them up? Do you think it's just playing, or a power struggle? The neck biting really freaks me out, and sometimes it looks like the bigger one might suffocate the other accidentally. I really wouldn't be concerned if they seemed friendly when this wasn't going on, but that's not the case.

The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6mLSfUp18k

Any thoughts are appreciated - thanks!
post #2 of 17
I didn't see fight in your video, I saw play wrestling. That is how kittens learn their place in the litter by wrestling like that. I would be curious to see what they did if you didn't interfere by waving the white blanket over them. I have companion cats that have been with each other for years and still wrestle like that. Mine will can scream at each other if one of them gets the better of the other. The little meowl that I heard in the video wasn't very loud (IMO).

I would worry if the kitten didn't come back for more wrestling, as at that point, the older cat has hurt the younger one enough to scare her away. The other posture they take when I know it is serious between the 2 is one crouched low to the ground, ears fully back, teeth sometimes barred, back puffed up, and letting out a full growl, which when you hear it, is very different than a meowl. And this doesn't happen after they wrestle, it happens when they see each other, sometimes from across the room.
post #3 of 17
Thats exactly how my two act. As a matter of fact Mo and Toby can really get into but it sounds worse then it really is. Some times one of them can let out a real blood curdling scream. One just gets a little rougher but they both know its play.
post #4 of 17
IMO that's not fighting, that's playing.... I wouldn't bother breaking those "fights" up...
post #5 of 17
Thats definitely playing. My boys make even worse nosie than that and they are just playing, for sure.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
Thats definitely playing. My boys make even worse nosie than that and they are just playing, for sure.
Can hissing also be playing?
post #7 of 17
My cats play the same way, and I have one hisser, its like she is saying enough, back off.
post #8 of 17
Their just play wrestling, so just let them enjoy it

Rosie who's 7 and Jack who's nearly 2 do that on a daily basis. I always say it brings out the kitten in Rosie again. Sometimes one of them bites the other a little hard, but they usually stop and walk away when one lets a cry out, but you can guarantee it'll happen again later in the day or the following day

Sophie doesn't like to wrestle, and she hisses at Jack, and like Fiona has said it's their way of saying "Back off i don't want to play!".

But don't throw the blanket on them though, just let them play
post #9 of 17
These two are playing, so they might be closer to being friends than you think. My kittens do it all the time, they're siblings.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
My cats play the same way, and I have one hisser, its like she is saying enough, back off.
What I don't understand is Moose will walk by Lucy, hiss and keep going. Then, 10 minutes later they're peacefully laying a foot apart on the bed.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by clpeters23 View Post
What I don't understand is Moose will walk by Lucy, hiss and keep going. Then, 10 minutes later they're peacefully laying a foot apart on the bed.
Again, that's the same with Sophie and Jack. Sophie just doesn't want to play, but she lets him curl up beside her to sleep.

I've heard Sophie growling when Jack's at least 2' apart from her, but she must sense something because he's sitting looking at her when she does it.
post #12 of 17
This is almost exactly the same way like my cats do and I'm concerned too!
Here's my thread: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=199693
My older cat is a bit more aggressive than your older cat and the younger one has his eyes back flat with dilated pupil. I think my situation is more serious than yours and I'm confused if they're playing or not... I should post up a video of that soon!
post #13 of 17
Playing, definitely playing. I try to remember that play is practice for the real thing, so the postures and sounds are much the same, just not as extreme. That meowl was very moderate. And the very fact that they paused, looked around and then went at it again in the same way says a whole lot, too -- if anyone was serious about it, they wouldn't give the other that opportunity to seize advantage. Cindy and Fawn are littermates -- they've never not been together -- and they do this all the time -- they even get into growling.
post #14 of 17
They're definitely playing. I thought it was adorable, actually. My cats do that all the time and they're extremely close. They chase each other and wrestle, and when one gets tired of it or someone bit someone too hard they break it up until they want to play again.
Fran described the reasons for the hissing and posturing very well. I imagine it's similar when dogs growl when they play. It doesn't mean they are fighting.
post #15 of 17
I should post Fiona and ReeRee playing. They can really get into it! Hissing and meowing and grabbing each others necks and giving 'bunny kicks'. Fiona has now taken to biting his chest when he is on his back and all 4 legs up in the air. She'll come up for air and he will paw at her gently to get her going again.

I am so glad you posted a video, it gave us a clear picture of what you see. I would leave them be. They are friends and acting like cats do. Think of it this way, it is nice they have each other to communicate with in a cat way. Before I got ReeRee Fiona walked around the house crying everyday. I read here that she may be lonesome for cat companionship and when I got ReeRee she never meows like she did before. Immediately she took him under her paw and they play every single day even two years later. I imagine living in a world where I couldn't communicate in a way that was natural for me. It gives me great joy to watch them interact with each other.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the comments, it really helps to hear this!! This video is pretty tame compared to a lot of their little wrestling matches, but it's very good to hear that this is playing. We're trying to let them go longer now, although when it gets too loud I'll usually break it up - because it drives me nuts if nothing else. The video was really quiet but it's usually MUCH louder than that.

But sometimes it does get to the point where fur is flying all over the place if we let them go long enough. Is that something to be concerned with? They end up with each others' fur in their mouths all the time.
post #17 of 17
No, fur in mouth is ok too. When they get in the play/fight mode they lose fur as a defense/instinct. My cats are always getting a mouth full and clumps will be on the floor after a scuffle.
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