Why do my cats fight and then groom each other?

We have a cat that has been with us for about 3 years. We just purchased a new kitten, who is about 6 months old. We did a slow introduction to get them accustomed to each other, and it seems to have worked. But sometimes they act really, really strange.

They'll fight. I think it's playfighting, but it can be pretty intense - shoving each other off of ledges, whapping each other across the face, wrestling the other to the ground, etc. The weird part is that sometimes when one wrestles the other to the ground, that one will start grooming (licking) the other. The one being licked doesn't seem to like it, will slam the other off, hold him down, and then start licking him instead!

I think this means they are getting along, but sometimes... it's pretty violent. Haven't seen any blood though, so I'm assuming that's a good sign. Should I stop them when they fight? Sometimes I distract them with a laser pointer, and they'll stop immediately, but I'm not sure if I _should_ be. Help?

Asked by Member 966367 on Feb 19th 2010 in Aggression
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I would say that you've got no problem there. Kittens can get into wrestling matches that beat the WWE. When I had a brother and sister duo, who were always together (to the point where the brother almost chose to starve himself to death when his sister predeceased him), they would occasionally have tiffs involving physical violence, and then five minutes later would be grooming each other. Cats have mysterious minds. No problem with distracting them with the laser pointer, but I wouldn't worry about this. The fact that they groom each other afterwards means that it's not a real quarrel. The kitten is probably just stimulating the older cat's desire for rough play. However, if you do see blood, go to the vet or consult with a pet behaviorist.

Lola answered on Feb 19th.

Other Answers



My boys get very intense sometimes when they play. I wouldn't worry about your kitties right now, there is no blood or screaming. You would hear a kitty hiss/howl if they were getting hurt. I would just keep an eye on them and if you think it's getting to aggresive distract them with the laser pointer.

Spice answered on 2/20/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I agree with the others that it's nothing to worry about if nobody is getting hurt. My girls each seem to have one other family member that they get into it with and if I hear one screaming and break it up, then the one that was the underdog a minute ago pounces on her sister and starts it up again as soon as I walk away. They are usually just having fun. Mouthfulls of each others hair and all. But it really is ok to distract them and put an end to it if you think it's too intense.

Allie answered on 2/20/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer