Game or fight ?

This post is also available in : French German Italian

By seeing our photos last Wednesday, several of you wanted to know which of us had won : but even if there was all the same little excitement in the air this day, you all understood that it was about a wrestling game, about an update, and not about a serious fight.
Pixie et Zorro 54Pixie et Zorro 57
However, for a human still little familiar with the body language of cats, it can be difficult to make the difference : game or fight ?

Pixie et Zorro 58If it’s about a game or about an update between two cats who know each other, paw punches, quarrels, and spectacular pursuits can happen, but without real scratch and without serious bite. Cats mew little or not at all.

I remind Zorro to the order from time to time with a small brief mewing. He understands at once the message and plays less hardly.

If it’s about a serious fight, the protagonists have ears completely reduced behind, their pupils are dilated, the hairs of the spinal column and their mustaches are bristled, and their tail can be puffed. Cats hiss, mutter, and growl. If the intimidation is not enough, the battle begins : paw punches, quarrels, but this time the scratches are very real, and the bites also. The loser is then still pursued on a short distance by his opponent.

posture attaque

posture defensive

Pour les deux images : ©1991 Dorling Kindersley Limited pour l’édition originale – ©1991 Bruce Fogle pour les textes originaux – ©1992 Editions Solar, Paris, pour la version française – Titre original : Know your cat

The hardened tomcats wear the scars of these violent battles : their ears are sometimes torn, and a badly healed bite can cause an abscess.

Here is the video of real fight we found on YouTube (4 mn) :

Warning to kittens: very violent and explicit language
Warning to humans : turn off the sound if your cats are in the room !

26 thoughts on “Game or fight ?

  1. Summer

    Sometimes Binga plays too rough – I don’t know what that is about! And those two fighting kitties – what’s the deal with the human laughing in the background? I couldn’t see anything funny about it.

  2. Sammy

    I’ve had a couple of play fights before but the REAL THING is scary and dangerous and not fun I’m sure! It’s good to know the difference though……….

    Hugs, Sammy

  3. Rose the Kitten

    I’s like to pounce on Mia and bite until she screams. My Giant Lady doesn’t like this and she will either sprays me with the water bottle or puts me in time out. She’s no fun.

    Rose ~ the adult kitten

  4. The Florida Furkids

    We have play smackdowns but never a real fight. We do hear the kitty next door (who is always outside) get into some fierce fights. It makes us sad that her family doesn’t keep her inside.

    The Florida Furkids

  5. Hannah and Lucy

    The nearest we get to a fight is if one of us (usually Lucy) chases Hannah round the garden although if we find a new cat in our garden we both chase that as we don’t like to share our garden with any cats except Oscar who lives just up the road. We don’t let him come in our bungalow though!!
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  6. easy rider

    wow… now I know that cats are really related with lions and tigers :o) we watched it with sound and had a barkfest for some minutes… Easy still looks everywhere if he can find the cat lol

  7. Dolly the Doxie

    This reminds mom of her days living with 3 cats, there were a lot of those fights/playing! They weren’t so fun happening in her bed and waking her up in the middle of the night though! Love Dolly

  8. da tabbies o trout towne

    pixie & zorro…thiz izza grate post for thoz unfamiliar with cat play versus cat fite; N even de best oh
    siblings can haza reel lee bad day & “start” a fite….sew its good ta noe de “warning” signs ~~~

    heerz two a freshwater hatchetfish kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

  9. Deziz World

    Dat is just pawful!! We can’t believe sum idiot human sat there fur 4 minutes filmin’ this stead of tryin’ to stop it. We just hate cat fights. We’s so glad y’all was just havin’ a play.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  10. Flynn

    Eric and I used to silently play fight all the time. It is distressing that some humans find it funny to watch and video a real fight.

  11. Raven

    It’s fun to play with your housemate. When Sammi was alive, we used to play chase every day. I usually chased her but we knew the rules about getting along nicely and we never had a fight.

  12. LP

    We thankfully don’t fight like that here! Fighting between any living being is always so sad!

    the critters in the cottage xo

  13. Kitties Blue

    We sure hope the fighting kitties were both okay when the battle ended. We have scuffles around her occasionally and one in a whalebone of us scratches another, but nothing ever serious. Brothers and sisters often have disagreements. Hope Zorro and Pixie don’t indulge in them too often. XOCK, Lily Olivia Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  14. jansfunnyfarm

    Do you speak all 4 languages of this blog? We barely speak English, so we’re impressed.

    We know about cat fights. Micah and Percy have real ones on occasion and things go bang, crash in the night. Glad you two were just having fun.

    1. The Swiss Cats

      Yes, we do. We’re more fluent in English than in German or Italian. Dictionaries are our best friends when we’re writing a blogpost ! We make mistakes (and we know it) even if we do our best though, but the most important for us is to communicate with friends all over the world. Purrs

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