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Play fighting - some reassurance/advice please!

(20 Posts)
PosiePootlePerkins Fri 06-Jan-17 06:48:10

Hi. We have recently adopted two cats, we collected them on New Year's Day so they've only been with us a few days. They are both 3 and a half, a boy and a girl, and although not siblings they have always been together. Their owner became unwell and was unable to look after them so they were returned to the shelter and had been there for around a month.
They have settled in well, seem happy and relaxed most of the time, but one thing I have found rather alarming is that they have started to play fight. At least I assume it is play fighting, it looks pretty energetic to me with lots of chasing and pouncing! Having only ever owned a single cat before this is new to me.
I guess having been in the shelter for a while they could be excited about the space around them? We are giving them plenty of play time with feather toys etc to chase, is there anything else I should do? Should I leave them to it or is it something to be worried about? At night they have the run of the lounge and kitchen which are both large rooms but there's nowhere for them to escape from each other if it gets too much.
Any advice or reassurance very gratefully received! Thanks.

Allergictoironing Fri 06-Jan-17 07:54:10

My 2 rescues are brother and sister, VERY bonded to each other, about 2.5 years old now though I've only had them 7 months. Being ex-Ferals they took a while to settle but once they did they started play fighting and it can look pretty rough.

They chase each other round the house, bat at each other, wrestle, and I've caught them with what looks like trying to bite through each other's throats. Boycat is a fair bit larger than Girlcat and seems to be able to physically dominate her, but she's usually the one to initiate fighting and though she can escape to places he's to clumsy to get to, she never does. I think I once found a very small tuft of fur that MAY have come from a fight, but neither of them has ever harmed the other during this.

I would guess that now they have had a few days to settle in, they are having a bit of fun! grin

Toddlerteaplease Fri 06-Jan-17 09:45:42

Mine are siblings and do this. Though I'm not sure how much 'play' is in it. I was told they were inseparable. Hmm not sure about that!

ChestnutsRoastingOnAnOpenFire Fri 06-Jan-17 09:49:29

Mine do this, it's normal playing. The way to know for sure (other than not drawing blood/making lots of noise) is how they get on usually. Do they normally sleep snuggled together, groom, etc. Or do they actively avoid each other.

Weedsnseeds1 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:59:57

Are they hissing and growling when they do it? Cats generally seem to make a lot of noise when the fighting is for real.

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 06-Jan-17 12:33:34

Thanks so much for the replies. If they make a noise when playing/fighting it is miaowing, but usually it is silent (a bit spooky!) They don't sleep curled up together but they do groom each other sometimes, and I would say that they are happy in each other's company. Sometimes choose to be together, sometimes not. Allergic like you my boy cat is bigger than the girl, and he is often the one to pounce/chase, but she really doesn't seem bothered by it. The other night she was sitting in the play tunnel and he was jumping on it! But she just sat there, seemingly undistressed unless I was reading it wrong.
No blood or fur, no hissing, no spitting, just chasing and pouncing for a bit, then they settle down again.

Badcat666 Fri 06-Jan-17 12:37:58

Tis normal cat behaviour! Don't let it worry you.

ChestnutsRoastingOnAnOpenFire Fri 06-Jan-17 12:42:31

They are fine. Cats who get along practice their stalking, hunting and fighting skills with each other. Watch a real cat fight or standoff in the street. Lots of noise and posturing, backing away or a furious short tussle. Cats will do anything to avoid proper fighting really. Unlike rabbits, jeez I have seen some proper fights between rabbits who fall out.

cozietoesie Fri 06-Jan-17 12:44:31

If it was real fighting, you'd be in no doubt about it, believe me. grin

Maybe they're taking advantage of the extra space to do some playing - perhaps even (gently) testing each other out to establish a pecking order in their new home.

It all sounds normal so far. smile

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 06-Jan-17 12:58:15

Thanks everyone that's really put my mind at rest smile

cakesandphotos Fri 06-Jan-17 13:02:55

Our two play fight. They're brothers (we assume, abandoned together at 2 weeks sad) and they adore each other. Lots of cuddles and cleaning but when they play fight it looks like they hate each other! I think as long as there's no yowling, hackles up etc it's just playing. Ours properly slap each other and bite necks but 10 minutes later they're cuddled up on the sofa. It's just natural ply when cats are close smile

ChestnutsRoastingOnAnOpenFire Fri 06-Jan-17 13:12:35

Cats are weirdos. Ours pin each other down by the jugular, it looks horrific then ends quickly in a nice wash.

cozietoesie Fri 06-Jan-17 13:37:09

There used to be old cartoons where a fight would be just a great rolling cloud with 'Pow' and 'Kerboom' etc coming out. That's what a real cat fight looks like in my experience. smile

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 06-Jan-17 13:51:33

Cozie grin Now I have that image in my head! Very apt.
Really reassuring to hear all of your stories. They are such sweet cats in every other way, was just a bit of a shock to see them go for each other! The joys of double cat ownership I guesssmile

Weedsnseeds1 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:04:57

That'sexactly what a cat fight is like! Usually with a few random tufts of fur floating gently around the skirmish!

cozietoesie Fri 06-Jan-17 14:04:56

If you actually do an internet search on 'Fight Cartoon' you'll see what I mean.

I think that Chestnuts was right when she said that cats would do anything to avoid a proper fight. Most of the caterwauling that you hear at night is just posturing - a sort of 'I'm so amazingly big and tough that you really better not mess with me!' Proper fights are comprehensive and quite awful.

If one or both of them were seriously stressed out by the other's presence, you'd be more likely to see bad toileting behaviour/spraying in my experience. (Which is partly why you have multiple trays for multiple cats.)

If things change, come back - but they sound OK at the moment. smile

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 06-Jan-17 16:24:44

Thank yousmile

RubbishMantra Fri 06-Jan-17 19:16:28

Mine do it - they love a good chase/tussle. They both have their own style of starting on each other. Little M (the youngest) will sort of dance past MCat and slap him round the head a few times, and run away. When MCat wants to instigate play, he'll roll over on his back and sort of box little M around the ears, who then responds by pretending to bite his paws. V. v. funny to watch.

No hackles or bog brush tails. The occasional yowly growl from MCat if he's not in the mood, he's definitely the more dominant of the pair.

DollyParsnip Fri 06-Jan-17 20:31:51

Our cats do this, and I had exactly the same concerns as you. They are mother and son (but she was v young when she had him, only 7 months sad). We got them from Cats Protection about 2 months ago and they alarmed me when they went for each other - rolling about, biting, chasing each other all over the house - but then 5 minutes later they'd collapse on the sofa and start licking each other!

I have noticed, now we've got to know them, that if BoyCat wants to fight but MumCat isn't in the mood she'll hiss at him and he'll play with something else, so I am pretty confident it's play rather than anything more alarming.

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 06-Jan-17 22:38:44

RubbishMantra I now have a vision of Little M and MCat playing, it sounds quite comical!

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