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Old 02-01-2013, 09:06
milmol
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Feels a bit like I am hijacking this forum with all my questions, but you guys have all given so much great advice during my early days of adoption!!!!!

... Anyway, my two sibling cats, (2 years old) have settled in with me very steady & slowly, to the point where now they are pretty much fully settled. They have been with me almost 3 weeks . But yesterday when I got home (I had stayed out overnight) there was lots of clumps of hair all around the place and for the rest of the day and evening the girls were incessantly chasing each other round, antagonising one another, and fighting. Usually the chasing has just amounted to chasing the same toys, and one another, for half an hour or so at a time.

To me it looked quite aggressive but its the first time I've owned two cats so thought maybe they're just playing and I left them to it. But as it went on I started to get paranoid what if they fall out for real and are going to fight all the time?! How do you identify between play and real fighting and do you leave them to it or try and stop it?

Maybe it was because I left them overnight - its the only time thats happened - and they just took advantage of the novelty?!

Anyway thanks again, and any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:10
husted
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Clumps of hair is not a good sign, but likely they are just establishing/ challenging hierarchy. The cats were under some stress with you being away. Feliway might help.

Did they fight previously before you got them?

I'd keep an eye to see they arent harming each other, but otherwise I wouldn't worry. Likely they will calm down soon. When you see them fighting, consider spraying a little bit of water (dont let them see you, you want them to associate getting wet with fighting, not with you).

If they dont calm down soon I'd consider whether the vet needs to investigate this change in behaviour and look for signs of stress in either cat.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:14
MarellaK
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I think that play fights can get a bit rough at times, if your cats get along most of the time then I wouldn't really worry too much about the occasional rough fight. They're reverting to kitten-like behaviour as they settle in and feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

I have 3 cats who all get along with each other but they do engage in the odd rough fight when they're in a fairly 'high' manic sort of mood, with clumps of fur flying and growling noises. Later on they'll be curled up together, looking happy and content.

Having said that, cats can get a bit jealous of each other and 'sibling rivalry' can also occur in cats as they compete for territory and attention. My 2 female cats (not siblings) were very close when they first arrived, they had spent most of their life cooped up together since they were kittens, but each of them now has a better relationship with my other (male) cat, who they 'idolise', than with each other though they still get on.

Do you have a plug-in diffuser? They are supposed to help cats to feel more relaxed and calm, particularly if the fighting becomes problematic, though I personally have never found they make too much difference. My cats all have their own specific 'territory' within my house where they can escape from each other when they want to be alone. My vet also advised separate feeding stations so that they're not competing for food, each cat feels equally important and can relax while eating.

Cats can be such complex, moody creatures and easily stressed, I hope your cats resolve whatever differences they have. Keep us updated, it's nice to read about how rescue cats progress in their new forever homes.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:43
milmol
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Thanks once again great advice. I'll see how it goes. They did end up the night curled up on the same chair so this is why I was thinking maybe I was confusing fighting with playing. Goodness knows how I would have gone on if i had ever had a child!!!

I also think they are itching to get outside and stretch their legs more - they are big cats to be indoors and in each others space all the time. I need to start with that soon (integrating them with the outdoors) so no doubt I will be on here for more advice then!!!
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Old 16-01-2013, 18:41
milmol
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Hi guys I'm back again!
This 'fighting' is still going on - not so much the clumps of hair around the place, but every night we get extended chase sequences, usually preceeded by, and interspersed with, hiding/pouncing opportunities and followed by some rolling around trying to get each others' head in their mouths....

But I am still really wary to chastise them in case they are just playing

Would really love to know how you all identify between play and real fighting between your cats?. Thanks in advance
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Old 16-01-2013, 19:12
CBFreak
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Sounds like play fighting to me. I've seen my cat play fight with a neighbours young cat that took to following him back home. They would chase each other and wrestle. Once or twice they stopped and hissed at each other but then went right back to chase and tackle games.

I wouldn't be worried by the sounds of it. Just keep an eye out for hissing and hackles.
If it's anything like this clip then I wouldn't worry. This is alll play fighting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCkhDJvc2ag

This clip on the otherhand is a definite fight. Hear the cats growl and snarl and make generally unpleasant noises and of course the fur. (Ignore the idiot recording it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tov_8WsI6l0
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Old 16-01-2013, 19:24
milmol
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Sounds like play fighting to me. I've seen my cat play fight with a neighbours young cat that took to following him back home. They would chase each other and wrestle. Once or twice they stopped and hissed at each other but then went right back to chase and tackle games.

I wouldn't be worried by the sounds of it. Just keep an eye out for hissing and hackles.
If it's anything like this clip then I wouldn't worry. This is alll play fighting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCkhDJvc2ag

This clip on the otherhand is a definite fight. Hear the cats growl and snarl and make generally unpleasant noises and of course the fur. (Ignore the idiot recording it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tov_8WsI6l0
Thanks so much for that! Definitely like the first clip - I was worried about all the tail-wagging , I thought that was quite aggressive... but there's definitely none of the bushed-up tails or snarling/wailing noises or hair up on their backs like in the second clip, nothing like that.
Thanks again, I'll let them let off steam a bit more now
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Old 16-01-2013, 19:52
dollymarie
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Mine play fight all the time (they're not siblings but are roughly the same age and came from the same foster home) when one has had enough though, they soon let the other know by the noises they make. I often worry about the smaller of the two of them, because her "brother" can often get kind of rough with her. She gives as good as she gets when she wants to though, and often kicks his butt during the fights
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Old 16-01-2013, 21:08
CBFreak
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Thanks so much for that! Definitely like the first clip - I was worried about all the tail-wagging , I thought that was quite aggressive... but there's definitely none of the bushed-up tails or snarling/wailing noises or hair up on their backs like in the second clip, nothing like that.
Thanks again, I'll let them let off steam a bit more now
Like with dogs, cats tend to wag their tails in a heightened state of emotion. It can mean anger but it also means excitement. Glad to know it's the play fighting side.
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Old 16-01-2013, 21:17
Susan_A1951
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Sounds like play fighting to me. I've seen my cat play fight with a neighbours young cat that took to following him back home. They would chase each other and wrestle. Once or twice they stopped and hissed at each other but then went right back to chase and tackle games.

I wouldn't be worried by the sounds of it. Just keep an eye out for hissing and hackles.
If it's anything like this clip then I wouldn't worry. This is alll play fighting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCkhDJvc2ag

This clip on the otherhand is a definite fight. Hear the cats growl and snarl and make generally unpleasant noises and of course the fur. (Ignore the idiot recording it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tov_8WsI6l0
I watched this and found it very informative - but yes - could cheerfully claw the idiot filming the second vid.

All cats seem to play fight - and all the rolling around and tail twitching can be a bit disconcerting. Unusual though to find hair pulled out - but as a one off, it could just be a play session that got a bit out of control.
BTW - I don't think siblings have any idea as adults that they come from the same litter - they are just cats competing for territory. I've had so many cats - at one time - I had four - and the only ones who had an occasional spat were the two sisters.
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Old 16-01-2013, 22:36
orangebird
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If the cats were used to having access outside, it may be because they're bored - one of mine goes completely on one with the other if he hasn't been outside enough. From what I can gather, you've not had your cats too long? If you are planning to let them outside, there's no sense or advantage to keeping them indoors any longer. They're not going to get used to going outside being indoors! Tip for you - make sure they're hungry before you let them out and go outside with them the first couple of times. Go in and out of the door a few times so they know how to get back in and they'll be fine.
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Old 16-01-2013, 22:42
Maisey Moo
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It does sound like there play fighting too. I have quiet a few related rescue cats and they always play fight. They love chasing each other as well.
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Old 16-01-2013, 23:02
MarellaK
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Me too. I've come in from work tonight and my 3 excited cats have spent the last hour or so chasing each other around the house. They each take it in turns to pounce on each other so it's all really fair, there's no bullying involved.

It's not so bad in the summer when they're out more. My 3 are very pampered and don't like being outside when it's cold so they're expending their energy in the house, either with their toys or with each other.

I quite like watching them play. Even when one occasionally growls at another one, eg. when cornered, they soon start up the chase again.
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Old 16-01-2013, 23:40
abigail1234
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If the cats were used to having access outside, it may be because they're bored - one of mine goes completely on one with the other if he hasn't been outside enough. From what I can gather, you've not had your cats too long? If you are planning to let them outside, there's no sense or advantage to keeping them indoors any longer. They're not going to get used to going outside being indoors! Tip for you - make sure they're hungry before you let them out and go outside with them the first couple of times. Go in and out of the door a few times so they know how to get back in and they'll be fine.
That's great advice, orangebird
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Old 17-01-2013, 07:11
dollymarie
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Milmol, with the going outside thing you just have to grin and bear it, they will be fine honest.

I still worry a bit about mine when i'm at work all day, and the cat flap is open, but they come and go as they please, and are often on the doorstep waiting for me when I get home (if not inside now it's cold )

I was even brave the other night, and as I had to go out, and one of them wasn't home yet, I left the cat flap on "in only" so I knew when he finally did decide to bring his backside home, he couldn't get out again. Got home later in the evening, and he was fine.

Honestly, just let them go out, they will come home, they never go far anyway.

(they are my first cats, hence the nervousness, but I didn't want them to be kept inside, if nothing else going out uses their energy)
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Old 17-01-2013, 08:33
milmol
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Thanks everyone for replying I really appreciate all the advice
If the cats were used to having access outside, it may be because they're bored - one of mine goes completely on one with the other if he hasn't been outside enough. From what I can gather, you've not had your cats too long? If you are planning to let them outside, there's no sense or advantage to keeping them indoors any longer. They're not going to get used to going outside being indoors! Tip for you - make sure they're hungry before you let them out and go outside with them the first couple of times. Go in and out of the door a few times so they know how to get back in and they'll be fine.
Thanks orangebird - yes they are going out every morning before breakfast and every afternoon when I get in from work. Problem is up to now I (they) haven't had a cat flap, (I needed a new door for it to go in - and its being fitted TODAY!) so their time each day has been pretty limited to only about 10 mins each end of my working day - I wouldnt have wanted them stuck outside all day. At the weekend I was outside gardening and let them come and go all afternoon - they loved it, and definitely know where home is, so hopefully this cat flap will be the making of us all
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Old 17-01-2013, 09:20
shmisk
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Mine play fight a lot
After I got them individual hidey holes things improved
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Old 31-01-2013, 14:21
orangebird
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Thanks everyone for replying I really appreciate all the advice

Thanks orangebird - yes they are going out every morning before breakfast and every afternoon when I get in from work. Problem is up to now I (they) haven't had a cat flap, (I needed a new door for it to go in - and its being fitted TODAY!) so their time each day has been pretty limited to only about 10 mins each end of my working day - I wouldnt have wanted them stuck outside all day. At the weekend I was outside gardening and let them come and go all afternoon - they loved it, and definitely know where home is, so hopefully this cat flap will be the making of us all
Excellent . I've never had a cat flap for mine. I live rurally and as long as they've got shelter outside somewhere against rain, afaic, if they're out they're out! Although I must confess I scooted home one lunchtime a few weeks ago as one of them wouldn't come in before I left for work that morning and it started snowing....
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Old 05-02-2013, 17:02
VOICEINTHENIGHT
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Excellent . I've never had a cat flap for mine. I live rurally and as long as they've got shelter outside somewhere against rain, afaic, if they're out they're out! Although I must confess I scooted home one lunchtime a few weeks ago as one of them wouldn't come in before I left for work that morning and it started snowing....
We have three young cats 6 months, old, one is a neutered male, the other two are neutered females they play-fight most of the time I only separate them when it gets (excessive) and I haven't seen any evidence of real harm (the odd scratch and fall) so I wouldn't worry too much.

Are your cats neutered. it does make a bit of difference cos at lease they areen't fighting over the opposit sex.

I have had cats all of my life and they always (well nearly always) fight 'it is usually nothing to worry about'
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Old 05-02-2013, 18:21
milmol
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thanks again for the reply
they are both neutered. it has got better since Gwennie started going outside, but they still do seem to enjoy a good scrap ... a touch too passionately for my liking, but I try to leave them to it
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Old 05-02-2013, 21:33
Midnight Moggy
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I agree with everyone who is saying it sounds more like playing. Especially the hiding and pouncing thing. If they really weren't getting on they would be hissing at each other and they wouldn't spend any time curled up together.
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