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Are My Cats Playing or Fighting?

cats grooming each other

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In some cases, the reason cats may turn on each other is because they have no other outlet for their energy. Cats are predators who were born to move. Dedicate time each day to engage your cats in interactive play sessions. If your cat’s don’t get along, start by doing individual sessions so they don’t have to compete with each other. In addition to those very valuable interactive playtimes, you can also set up puzzle feeders and puzzle toys to keep your cats occupied when you aren’t home. If the cats have other outlets to satisfy their need for stimulation, they may be less likely to use each other as wrestling opponents.

If your cats normally get along but have a tendency when playing together to let things get a little out of hand, monitor them (without hovering, of course) so you can provide a positive diversion should you sense playtime about to cross over into aggression. Roll a ping pong ball, toss some treats, dangle a fishing pole toy, etc.

Need More Information on Cat Behavior?

For more specifics on cat behavior and cat training in a multicat household, refer to Pam’s book Cat vs. Cat. This best-selling book was the first of its kind to address the special challenges and rewards of living with more than one cat. You can also find the latest information in her books Think Like a Cat and CatWise

If you’re concerned about aggression between your cats, talk to your veterinarian. If there has been a change in a cat’s behavior there could be an underlying medical cause. If your cat gets a clean bill of health your veterinarian will be able to refer you to a qualified and certified behavior expert.

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For more information on cat behavior and training, refer to the articles on our website and the best-selling books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. If you have a question about your cat’s behavior or health, contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a medical diagnosis nor is it a replacement for your cat’s regular veterinary care. This article is for general information purposes only.