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How to tell if a cat is playing or fighting

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How to tell if a cat is playing or fighting (1)

Cats are natural hunters. They love to stalk, chase and kill any small animals that they can catch. However, sometimes cat owners are unhappy when their cats start fighting with other pets in the house or even attack them without any notice. The first thing you need to know is how to tell if a cat is playing or fighting.

How to tell if a cat is playing or fighting?

Observe the cat’s movements

There are several things that you can do to know if your cat is playing or fighting. First, observe its movements. If it is running, pouncing, and attacking then it the most likely that they have been playing around with an ant or another pet in the house. In this case, cats do not use their claws, teeth, or their weight. Their movements are more like a “panther-like” hunt.

Observe the cat’s body language

Another thing that you can do is to look at your cat’s body language. In this case, cats tend to have a relaxed movement as they go after something else. That means they are not serious to hurt their target. If they are trying to bite, scratch, or claw another pet, then that is a sign of a real fight. In addition, cats’ ears will be drawn backward and their fur will stand up on the back as a signal that they want to attack something.

Watch your cat’s eyes

The third way to know if your cat is fighting or playing is by watching its eyes. When cats are trying to play with another pet, then their eyes will look bright but if they are serious about attacking another pet then their eyes usually turn into a half-circle. The difference between cats’ eye color when they are just playing around and when they want to attack is that when they are serious, then the pupil gets bigger and changes into fully black. That is just like looking at cats’ eyes in a dark area.

Watch your cat’s tail

The last way to know if your cat is playing or fighting is by watching its tail. If it has erected fur along the tail and raised its tail up high then that means they are just playing with another pet. However, if they hold their tail very low and it is wagging sideways, then it the most likely that your cat is serious about attacking something.

Watch where they are attacking

Another thing that you can do is to watch where your cat attacks. If it is prey, then cats want to attack their neck or belly while if it is another pet in the house then they usually target their neck and nape. Cats also hunt other pets down by going after their feet, tail, and ears. They will then grab and bite them as if they were prey.

Watch your cat’s reaction after the attack

Another thing that you need to look for is what happens after your cat attacks. If it just walks away without even looking at their target, then that means they are playing with another pet in the house. However, if it immediately goes back to bite another pet in the house or it attacks again, then that means your cat is serious about attacking something.

Watch the tip of their claws

The last point that you need to pay attention to is whether there are any defensive signs coming from the tip of your cats’ claws. Cats will not attack another pet if they are not serious about it. If they do, then there will be defensive signs like their claws extending out or violently scratching the air.

Conclusion:

To know if your cat is playing or fighting, you need to look at its movements and where they attack. Cats that are just playing around with another pet will move around lightly without using their claws and teeth. They also attack differently than when they fight. When they play, the movements are more like “panther-like” hunting. Their eyes also look bright and their body language is relaxed.

Cats will be serious about attacking an ant or another pet in the house if they attack with claws, teeth, and weight. Their movements are more aggressive than the “panther-like” hunting movement.

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