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Do Cats Hiss When They Play? Why?

If you have two cats that like playing together, you may question if hissing is a typical part of their playing vocabulary or an indication that they're ready to fight.

It might be fascinating to watch your cats chase, pounce, and swat at each other, but it can also be terrifying since the boundary between playing and fighting is often rather thin.

Cats can produce loud and disturbing noises when playing, but hissing is often reserved for fear or fury and is an indication that your cat has had enough. If your cat is hissing at you or another cat, you should retreat!

In "Do Cats Hiss When They Play? Why?" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), we provided more detailed infomation and some possible explanations for your cats' hissing.

Body language is key

Even while hissing during play is not a typical sound, it might appear as though your cats are fighting! Cats, especially young kittens, utilize playing as vital training for fighting, protection, and hunting, and this can sometimes appear hostile.

However, this form of play is essential because it teaches cats their limits and essential social and physical abilities.

When cats play, their ears are often erect, they take many little rests, they take turns wrestling and pouncing, and they show relaxed body language. Reciprocity is the most important thing to watch for when cats are playing, and if one cat is dominating the game, it might lead to a fight.

Signs of fighting

Body language is essential for determining whether your cat is fighting, but you will also hear hissing! A cat’s hissing, growling, wailing, and bared fangs indicate that it is enraged and preparing to pounce.

In addition, they will often flatten their ears, blow up their tails and hair, and assume a defensive, ready-to-pounce stance; these are all strong indications to swiftly retreat. Cats in this state should not be approached, since they are likely to attack if they consider it necessary due to their fear or anger.

Should you break up a catfight?

It is not uncommon for cats to display aggressive behavior during play sessions. Playtime can often get heated, leading to increasing anger between cats and possibly a little altercation.

If your cat hisses, flattens its ears, or puffs up its fur when you attempt to pet it, you should avoid it or risk being scratched or bitten. But what about two cats whose play becomes combat?

Should you intervene?

Whenever feasible, it is preferable to distract the cats’ focus rather than intervene directly. Attempting to stop the fight may result in scratches and bites for you, as well as increased fear, rage, and hostility amongst the cats, which might make the issue worse!

There are various techniques to distract cats who are fighting. Try to attract the cats’ attention by making a loud noise, such as clapping, slamming a door, or smashing pots together, in order to break up their fight.

Alternatively, you may use a large pillow or blanket to form a barrier between the cats, which can be helpful since it hides their vision of one another and may help to calm them down; you can then move them to separate rooms. Treats or food are another effective approach for distracting or calming dogs after a fight.

Reintroducing your cats

To introduce a new cat into your household securely and with as little stress as possible, it is essential to do it gradually. This might take anything from a few days to many weeks, but it will prevent future conflicts.

If you have properly followed these instructions and your cats are still fighting, you may need to redo the integration process and reintroduce your cats.

You will need to separate them for a period of time (at least 4-7 days), enable them to become familiar with one another’s odours by exposing them to the other cat’s toys or blankets, separate their feeding and litterbox locations, and then reintroduce them through a screen or glass door.

Once they are calm and at peace when they meet one another, you may attempt to place them in the same room and gradually extend their time in the same environment under close observation. With patience, your house should ideally be at peace!

Final Thoughts

Generally, cats hiss out of fear or rage, both of which can swiftly escalate into a fight. Infrequently will they hiss when playing. If you hear your cat hissing, it is extremely unlikely that they are in a playful mood and you should leave them alone.

However, if you hear your cats hissing while they are playing with another cat, you may need to intervene immediately.

We believe “Do Cats Hiss When They Play? Why?” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has given you some explanations of your cats’ hissing and how to stop a fight they might have to keep all your felines safe and happy.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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