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How To Tell If Cats Are Playing Or Fighting? 3 Common Ways

If you are the proud owner of many cats, it is always preferable if they can coexist peacefully. However, it is not always simple to determine if cats are playing or fighting because they meow, hiss, and pounce so frequently!

It is typical for people to believe that their cats are fighting when in fact they are engaged in vigorous play. It is also not uncommon for a playful session between cats to become more intense. This is typically accompanied by hissing, which may indicate that one of the cats has had enough.

Since it might be difficult to distinguish between cats playing and cats fighting, we've compiled the following information to assist you. In "How To Tell If Cats Are Playing Or Fighting? 3 Common Ways" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), we are showing you three methods to distinguish between cats playing and cats fighting.

1. Pay Attention to Their Behavior

When two cats are playing, they will frequently jump on each other, chase each other, and even “play bite” The body language of the cats will appear comfortable and not tense.

Cats that engage in play frequently take turns being on the bottom of a wrestling contest. It is also typical for playful cats to occasionally pause to collect their breath.

Two cats who are fighting will exhibit a great deal of stress through their body language. If one cat follows another cat to the point where the other cat flees and hides, it is evident they are not playing.

If two cats persistently behave aggressively toward one another, one or both may get an injury. If you observe your cats acting in this manner, it is essential to intervene and separate them before injuries occur.

2. Watch the Eyes, Ears, Fur, and Tail

When fighting, cats flatten their ears and enlarge their pupils. Additionally, they will puff their fur to make themselves appear larger, and they will keep their tails stiff and upright.

When two cats are preparing to fight, there is much tension in the air. They would hunch their backs, glare at one another, and appear quite uncomfortable. Cats’ ears, eyes, hair, and tail all exude a non-relaxed appearance, all of which are apparent indicators of aggression.

3. Listen to the Vocalizations

When two cats are being amicable and playing, it is not uncommon to hear the occasional meow. It is also common to hear a quick hiss from time to time when the two cats playfully run, leap, and chase each other.

When two cats are fighting, the sound is significantly altered. Both will produce loud, continuous noises, like as meowing, growling, hissing, and shrieking.

Perhaps you’ve had your sleep interrupted by the sound of a cat battle occurring outside your window. You undoubtedly understood immediately that those piercing cat sounds did not originate from playful creatures, and you were probably correct.

A cat battle is rarely peaceful or nice to hear. If two cats are producing loud, hostile vocalizations, there is no doubt that danger is developing.

What to Do If Your Cats Are Fighting

It is never enjoyable to have unhappily feuding cats. If you observe that your cats are fighting, you should separate them immediately. But how exactly does one stop a cat fight?

You should never physically intervene because you or your pets might get injured. The most effective approach to stop a cat fight is to scare the cats with a loud noise. Clapping your hands or beating a spoon on a cooking pot may be sufficient.

If your cats refuse to give peace a chance, see your veterinarian or a cat behaviorist for advice. You may need to permanently separate the cats in your house or find a new home for one of them.

Some cat owners find success using cat pheromones that induce a sense of peace in their cats.


How To Tell If Cats Are Playing Or Fighting? 3 Common Ways” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) provided you some methods to find out if your cats are fighting or having some fun, as well as some suggestions in case your feline buddies got into trouble. Explore all of your options so you can make the best decision for you and your fuzzy companions!

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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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