Are My Cats Fighting or Playing?

Are My Cats Fighting or Playing?

Pet Psychology

Some cats can be great pals one minute and then start fighting the next which often leaves their owners wondering what sets them off. However, our feline friends can play pretty hard and sometimes it may seem they are having a real fight when in fact they are just laying down a few rules and/or play fighting with each other.

The problem is that when cats have a spat whether it's a real fight or just playing with each other, they can make a lot of noise. They hiss and spit at each other, laying their ears flat on their heads and looking extremely aggressive. This does make it that much harder to know whether things are okay or not.

The one thing you should never do when two cats are having a ding-dong is get in between them or try to pick one of them up because you'll only end up getting scratched or bitten. Restoring harmony in the home when cats decide they no longer want to get along can be a little challenging, but if your cats are young, it could be they are just playing very hard with each and establishing a hierarchy.

This is a young cat's way of laying down their territorial rights and therefore they should be left to their own devices because once things are settled, harmony and balance in the home will have been established and the situation soon settles down. In the meantime, for a little peace you may want to invest in some Feliway which should reduce any tension your cats may be feeling.

Recognising When Your Cats are Play Fighting

Cats that have lived together all their lives enjoy playing with each other a little roughly at times and will chase after one another making a lot of noise. Bonded cats will often swipe at each other and have a bit of a hissy fit, but these bouts are never really anything to worry about.

Sometimes cats that really like each other will fight without making any noise at all and when they seem to bite each other, they are in fact being extra gentle not to actually cause any pain or injure their playmates. However, it's important to know that all these "play" fights don't suddenly escalate to a full blown battle where one or both cats end up being injured!

If this should happen and your cats previously got on well together, it might be worth checking them both over when things have settled down not only to make sure neither of them got hurt during the fight, but also to see if one of your cats has a problem which is making them feel unhappy about things.

Is One of Your Cats Sick?

It could be that one of your cats has an injury or it could be they are developing a more serious health issue which has left them feeling miserable and not themselves. Hence, when they are disturbed by your other cat for any reason, they will retaliate by hissing at them in an unfriendly way. The reason being that when cats (and other animals) are not feeling well, they prefer to be left alone.

If this proves to be the case, then a quick trip to the vet could be in order because the earlier a condition is diagnosed and treated, the sooner your cat will be made more comfortable and back to their old selves again.

The thing to remember is that if one of your cats does need to be treated for any sort of condition, when you bring them home your other cat might just react badly to them at first. This is because your sickly cat has new smells on them which your other cat simply does not recognise and as such they might be a little aggressive towards them.

It could be worth keeping the two cats apart for a little while so that things can settle down and harmony restored to the environment. Your sickly cat would appreciate being somewhere they can relax and rest until they are feeling 100% again and ready to face the world and your other cat!


Cats that have been bought up together will still occasionally have a spat. Bonded cats also like to play fight and sometimes it can seem quite serious. If however, you find that your two cats suddenly start a serious fight, then it could be worth checking them both over once they have settled down. You may find that one of your pets is not feeling themselves or has been injured and just wants to be left alone, hence the fight. If this is the case you need to get your cat to the vet so they can be thoroughly examined to find out just what is wrong with them.



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