General Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

How exactly do cats play with one another?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9289 points ) August 11th, 2012

My boy is living with my partner who has a female feline. :) Her female usually doesn’t get along with other cats. My boy has been living with them for 3 months now and the two kitties tolerate each other. Actually, he follows her around when they’re outside and she puts up with it. I think that he’s smitten, haha.

My question is, when she crouches down and wiggles her bum, then pounces on him, is that her way of playing with him? When she pounces, she meows loudly (as though she is ticked off)! He either stands there or he runs away. :)

When he tries to play with her, he crouches, then pounces. She freaks out and smashes him on the head (whilst giving out an angry meow).

So, is her version play? Or is she trying to intimidate him (scare him away)?

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

They’re playing.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Good to know. I’m glad that she has finally warmed up to him.

Mariah's avatar

Before my girl passed away, she and her brother used to “play fight” all the time. Sometimes they would seem legitimately annoyed with one another, but they’d always end up curled up together by the end of it, so I think it was just friendly play. Sounds like your two are playing too.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s part play but it’s also establishing who’s in charge. Most animal groups have a pecking order.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, they are playing and also determining pecking order.
My tiny little 7 lb. female siamese does the “take down” on my giant 16 lb. male ragdoll. It is hilarious! She does the crouch, pounce, and neck wrench to the ground move. lol

jerv's avatar

Another vote for pecking order.

Our little black cat was here before our younger, bigger orange cat who is used to being the Alpha. She beats him on the head just about every chance she gets, and sometimes chases him away.

However, that has happened far less since he has started to act a little more submissive around her; yielding right-of-way in the hall, letting her have her spot on the window sill, etcetera. And they actually sometimes sleep close enough together to touch, so it’s not that they hate each other. If they did, they would use their claws, our orange cat would not back down, and I’m pretty sure our black cat would win despite the size difference. (He’s a dopey love-bug, she is an ex-stray with a notched ear from a previous scuffle.) This has been going on for over a year since he still hasn’t quite accepted his non-Alpha status, but it’s less prominent as he doesn’t try as hard to be the top cat as he used to.

Buttonstc's avatar

They play very similarly to how they hunt and stalk prey in the wild. And the play fighting also less them sort out dominance issues with neither coming to serious harm.

If you’ve ever watched a litter of young kittens, this is what they’re doing from their first few moments on their unsteady feet. And. it also gives them feedback on how rough they can be with each other. If one is being too harsh, his siblings put him in his place quick enough.

And then they all snuggle together and go to sleep.

tinyfaery's avatar

As long as neither of the cats are screaming or really cowering in fear you are good to go.

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