How do you know when 2 kittens are playing or fighting.

I just got a new kitten he is a male and about 12 weeks. I also have another kitten she is about 5 months. I never had cats before and I dont know when the two kittens are playing or fighting. I was afraid that they wouldnt get along but it seems like they really like each other. I just get afraid when I see them biting eachother. They dont scream but how do you know when they are playing or fighting (or hate) with eachother.

Asked by Member 519682 on Dec 29th 2007 in Other Behavior & Training
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Morgana - forever my soul

Trust me - you'll know when one is angry or hurt. :-) They make lots of noise then! Hissing, growling, or screaming bloody murder if the other bites too hard. Even then, a little growling & yelping is normal in kitten play but if it gets a bit rough, distract them with toys or time-out. As for hissing, cats rarely hiss at another unless they really don't like each other.

Kittens don't bite each other hard in play but their tiny teeth can be needle sharp & occasionally, will nip the other in a sensitive sot. Then, it'll yelp & it's a signal to the first kitten to back off a bit. Play is a way of learning social skills too, just as with children.

If you watch a mother cat with kittens, she rarely intervene between them. If they get too rough with her, a gentle swat or nip from her keeps them in line. If your 2 also sleep together &/or wash each other, I'd say they're getting along great & you don't need to worry. Have fun with them as kittens.

Morgana - forever my soul answered on 12/29/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 4 Report this answer


If one or both of them walk away with obvious physical injuries(like blood), then they are fighting; if not, don't worry about it; kittens do that a lot. When they get a little older, they should grow out of their rambunctious behavior, and just hang aroung together like normal, mature, adult cats.

Member 551920 answered on 12/30/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have three cats and none of them get along. Trust me, you will know when they are fighting.

At such a young age, I wouldn't imagine that they would be fighting. They aren't knowledgeable or old enough to know how to fight one another. It's good that you've bonded at them at such a young age. They'll be friends for life!

Like puppies, kittens love to tumble about and play with each other. It helps their bodies grow and learn. It also helps them practice good hunting/stalking techniques. But while doing this they might bite and scratch each other as you have observed. Usually this isn't intentded to harm the other kitten, it's simply a form of play. If you look at their claws during play, they are sheathed and their bites are gentle.

If they are hurting each other, you will hear them yowl or screech and they'll immediately separate. If one of the kittens accidentally hurts the other, this reaction also might happen. So don't freak out if they scream once in a while. It's normal.

Member 409208 answered on 12/30/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

I agree with all the previous advice. The Executive Director of the humane organization I volunteered for told me once that older cats will "correct" younger ones when they go too far or play too hard. Ernie is about a year and Izzie is about 7 months old and Ernie lets Izzie know when he's getting a little out of control. There are claws showing on both sides and there's lots of noise and chasing, but Ernie has never hurt Izzie. On the other hand, Ernie has taught Izzie how to be a welcome member of our household.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 12/30/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer