Are your cats having fun or fighting? Here are some ways to tell

Are your cats play preventing or preventing fur actual?

It seems that certain behaviors in domestic cats could be telltale signs that an interplay is pleasant, aggressive or one thing in between, researchers report January 26 in Scientific Studies.

“It’s a query we hear rather a lot from cat homeowners,” says cat conduct skilled Mikel Delgado of Feline Minds, a cat conduct consulting firm in Sacramento, Calif., who was not concerned within the research. “So I used to be excited to see that researchers are taking up this subject.”

Scientists have studied cats’ social relationships — each with different cats and humans — however it may be tough to inform whether or not two cats are taking part in or preventing, says veterinarian and cat conduct researcher Noema Gajdoš-Kmecová of the College of Veterinary Medication and Pharmacy in Košice, Slovakia (SN: 9/23/19).

Typically cat homeowners miss the indicators of a tense relationship as a result of they assume their pets are simply taking part in, which might result in stress and sickness within the animals, she says. Different instances, homeowners rehome their cats after incorrectly assuming their pets are preventing.

To evaluate and categorize interactions, Gajdoš-Kmecová and colleagues watched about 100 movies of various cats interacting in pairs. After viewing round one-third of the movies, Gajdoš-Kmecová recognized six forms of behaviors, together with wrestling and staying nonetheless. She then watched all the movies and famous how typically every cat exhibited one of many specified behaviors, and for a way lengthy. By operating statistical analyses on the behaviors, she pinpointed three forms of interactions between the cat pairs: playful, aggressive and intermediate.

To substantiate the end result, different members of the crew additionally watched the movies and labeled every interplay between felines.

Some clear connections emerged. Quietly wrestling, as an example, advised playtime, whereas chasing and vocalizations, like growling, hissing or gurgling, implied aggressive encounters.

Intermediate interactions had parts of each playful and aggressive encounters, however particularly included extended exercise of 1 cat towards the opposite, comparable to pouncing on or grooming its fellow feline. These in-between encounters might trace that one cat needs to maintain taking part in whereas the opposite doesn’t, with the extra playful cat gently nudging to see if its associate needs to proceed, the authors say.

This work offers preliminary insights into cat interactions, Gajdoš-Kmecová says, but it surely’s simply the beginning. Sooner or later, she plans to check extra refined behaviors, like ear twitches and tail swishes. Each Gajdoš-Kmecová and Delgado additionally stress that one contentious encounter doesn’t essentially sign a cat-astrophic relationship.

“This isn’t nearly one interplay,” Gajdoš-Kmecová says. House owners “actually ought to look into the totally different, a number of interactions in a number of durations of lifetime of the cats after which put it into context.”


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