Is fighting normal?

I'm fostering two four-month-old male kittens (both neutered). I've never fostered or owned cats before. My apologies if this is a silly question. They get along extremely well, sleep together, play together, etc., but last night, something went down between them and I walked in with both of them facing each other, backs up, tails up and hissing. I'm not sure if it was the right thing to do, but I separated them for a few minutes and then everything seemed to go back to normal. Is this totally normal behavior or is it a sign of things to come? Would they actually have hurt each other if I hadn't walked in? Thanks for any advice.

Asked by Member 82872 on Jul 19th 2013 Tagged males, littermates, kittens, fighting, hissing in Aggression
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I would think if they generally get a long and play, and have a little scuffle, I would let them work it out. When I introduced a 5 month old kitten to my 5 year old cat, both males, there was a little growling and hissing from the big one, and cat people and the vet told me to stay out of it, UNLESS it was bad, and there was blood and it was really aggressive. I was disturbed when the big cat would stand on the little cat, scruff his neck with his teeth....I was alarmed, every one said "stay out of it, let them work it out", so I did. You might see some of that too. One of them is trying to prove that they are top cat. I guess if it is getting too aggressive, you could get a water bottle and squirt them and tell them NO, and maybe try distraction and play with them. I think playing with them, long wand type toys, etc, wear them out. I use the laser toy to wear them out before bedtime. I think it's probably all normal kitten stuff.

Beep answered on 7/19/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Orion Hemingway

I would let them play it out, since they are friends. These scuffles usually subside rather quickly, and you should not think that they need intervention unless someone cries bloody murder, and you will know (because it's an awful sound). Distraction works great with kittens though. Say "treat" and give them a couple of SmartBites each, and before you know it they'll be anticipating the yumminess!! ^_^

Orion Hemingway answered on 7/19/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

A certain amount of "posturing" and play-fighting is normal. Baby animals do it in the wild, too. This actually does set the precedent for who will outrank whom as they grow up. In my house, Izzie is a lover and not a fighter, but even he will try to mix it up with the girls. There's usually a hiss and a swat from the ladies and Izzie says "Meh!" and walks away. But I know from my own fostering that when cats play, it sounds (and looks) like they're fighting. However, when you share a home with them, you get to know their sounds and there's usually no doubt when it's fighting for real. But, there's usually a reason. In intact males, it could be a nearby female in season. Or food. Or a stray outside that they can't get to. You were wise for separating them, but I caution you not to get in the middle of claws and teeth. Even a kitten can send you to the ER. As Beep suggested, a spray bottle gets your point across too. But do let them work it out.It's a way of socialization and growing up

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 7/25/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer