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Are they playing?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
After being the only cat in the house for over a year, we brought in a kitten to our spoiled cat Sandy. At first we worried he'd get depressed or something but for the most part, he seems amused by the new addition, Sweetie. However, sometimes he chases after and swats at her and she does the same, hissing and screetching up a horrible storm. He never makes a sound, but he's rarely a vocal cat whereas Sweetie is very vocal.

I've been told that cats play rough and that they are probably playing and she's just being over-dramatic, but I wanted to make sure. And also, how do I know when to step in and seperate them and if they're being to rough? Sandy is much, much larger than Sweetie, so I worry about him hurting her, even unintentionally.
post #2 of 6
They very well might just be playing, but to know for sure we need to know what behaviors the cats are exhibiting while these "attacks" are going on. Are their ears flattened, is their fur standing straight up, does fur fly, are the sounds screams or "just" hisses and growls? Give us as much detail as possible, so we can do a better job of telling what is going on.

The best way to separate brawling cats is to toss a blanket or towel over them or to GENTLY toss (do not throw) a small pillow on them. Both of these will startle them into separating without hurting either them or you. Never ever grab fighting cats....you will likely get shredded if you try!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
No fur on end, no flattened ears (unless Sandy starts to get annoyed he can't catch Sweetie). Lately, all they've been doing is chasing each other and smacking each other, sometimes nipping. Sometimes Sandy manages to flip over Sweetie onto her back when he pounces on her, then she screams and hides.

As far as I can tell, from Sandy's end anyway, he's playing. I don't know sometimes if Sweetie understands that or not. Up until recently, she was outside. Her mother was a wild cat that came along a summer ago, bringing Sweetie and another kitten with her. We mangaged to tame Sweetie a bit and caught her and got her spayed and brought her in the house. She's readjusting to being a spoiled little indoor kitty just fine; she thinks she's princess. We're still working on gaining the mother's trust, who is pregnant again. Saddly, Sweetie's sister got hit on the road before we get her.

Anyway, Sweetie's the one who hisses, growls, and when Sandy pounces on her and rolls her over, screams. I don't know if she does this out of distress or if because early on, we thought Sandy was trying to hurt her and would take him to another room until he cooled down and she likes to get him in trouble.

And don't worry about me trying to seperate them. I just keep my handy, dandy little tiny water pistol on hand and give them a little shot of water and that gets them apart. No need for me to get anymore cat scratches than I already have.
post #4 of 6
It sounds to me like Sandy is trying to gain dominance, but that these aren't true fights.

Do be careful with the water gun that you don't spray their faces or ears. Spraying their back end should be fine, though a towel or pillow won't get the floor all wet!

Regarding Sweetie's mom, I know that this doesn't sound good, but you could trap her and have her spayed even though she is pregnant. This is a sad thing to do, but it keeps any more stray cats from being born. You can probably borrow a trap from your local Humane Society or shelter. We can help you figure out how to best trap momma cat so she can be spayed, vaccinated and released back into the neighborhood. It is not difficult to do!
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I don't think spaying her at this point would be an option. She's pretty far along. I think she'll probably deliver pretty soon. But I do plan on catching her as soon as the babies are weened and having her fixed and hopefully the babies too when they're old enough, assuming I can get them. We live on a big farm, with 2 barns for them to live in (that's where mamma had been staying, in the barns) so feeding them and taking care of them isn't a problem. But thank you for the help! I really do appreciate it!
post #6 of 6
I don't know if it will work as well with Sweetie and Sandy, but when my two adult male cats fight, I just clap my hands and the sound scares them enough to separate them. One always has one's hands readily available so it is easy to react instantaneously; it may take a few seconds or more to get a towel or blanket or water pistol.
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