You can be able to tell quite a lot from a cat’s body language even when you are playing with them. it is even more interesting when you observe two cats playing with each other. We have previously discussed cat body language, including the ear and eye talk. What does it mean when your cat puts his ears back when playing?
Cat ear talk
When you adopt a kitty, you must be keen to watch his body language. He will use his ears to communicate his feelings with you as well as other cats. Well, we are going to help you understand cat ear talk as it interprets to their feelings.
In most cases when a cat has his ears back, he is probably upset or feeling threatened. It is often not a very good time to play with him. You will observe your kitty putting his ears back when he is playing with other cats.
Kittens have a tendency of getting involved in rough play. To keep his ears out of the way when they are pouncing and pawing each other, they will put their ears to the back. However, when your cat turns back his ears, it could also mean that he is aggressive. For instance, when there is a stray cat around, your cat might feel a little too frightened. As a result, he will immediately have a fight or flight reflex. Well, if he has his ears back, he wants to flee or fight.
In addition to the above, your cat might be trying to figure out a situation. He is yet to know what to feel about it and thus the ears positioned towards the back. We cannot ignore the fact that cats are natural hunters. As a result, when he is curious about something, you may observe him positioning his ears to the back.
Does it mean that my cat is aggressive whenever he has his ears back when playing?
As we have mentioned above, it does not necessarily mean that your cat is aggressive when he has his ears back. Well, this would depend on so many other factors. For instance, if a stray cat approached your home, your cat may turn his ears back out of fear. On the other hand, it could be that cats are playing roughly with each other and move their ears to the back. Well, in order to determine whether it is a sign of aggression, you will have to observe so many other factors and body language cues.
These may include:
Your cat tail talk should tell you what he is feeling. Whether he is in a playful mood or he is upset, you can be able to tell by observing his overall body language. For instance, if you are petting or playing with your cat and he suddenly puts his ears back, it could only mean two things; he is either curious or he is getting pissed off. You are probably irritating him with your kind of play or touching the wrong parts of is the body.
You may want to observe his tail when he has his ears pinned back even if he is playing. For instance, if he suddenly starts moving his tail slowly back and forth, be is probably curious. You may want to leave him alone as he might be triggered to aggression real quick.
On the other hand, should he start thumping his tail back and forth rapidly, he is getting irritated. You should leave him alone as it means he is really angry and ready to pounce on the source of his aggression. Now, you should always observe your cattail talk before to determine whether he is aggressive.
In rare cases, your cat might be facing a threat or feeling aggressive towards another cat when playing and he will put his ears towards the back. This could mean that there is a catfight that is about to happen.
In addition to cat ear and tail talk, his eye talk shall also help you understand whether positioning his ears back is a sign of aggression. Well, dilated pupils may mean that your cat is angry. Once again, you cannot rely on only one body language cue to tell what your cat feels. Therefore, pay attention to ears, tail as well as his posture.
When you are playing with your cat, he will have relaxed or stimulated eyes. When petting him he might even close his eyes or slowly blink at you. This is a sign that your cat is confident and he trusts you.
You can also be able to differentiate from when your cat is fighting or playing through his eye talk. His pupils, for instance, will contract when he is feeling stimulated or surprised. An aggressive chat will have squinting eyes to protect them in case of a fight. You will observe this behavior commonly in multi-cat households.
How to tell when a cat is playing or when fighting
Even though we have discussed the meaning of your cat having his ears back, sometimes he will do so during playtime. You need to determine if your cat is aggressive or just playing. In most cases, your cat will react aggressively towards other cats rather than towards their human parents.
When your cat has his ears back when playing, it does not necessarily mean that he is aggressive. It could be that he is just playing. However, it is important to check on him and look out for any other signs of discomfort. While playing, both cats will be quite and all friendly with each other. However, aggression in cats will mainly include vocalization.
For instance, it is perfectly normal for cats to engage in rough play with each other. This includes biting and pawing each other. However, if one cat lets out a high-pitched meow, you may want to look into that. Furthermore, if the other cat is exposing his teeth, it is a possible case of aggression.
The cat’s body posture should also tell you what he is thinking. For instance, if the fur is standing off his skin, he is scared. Note that when a cat is scared, he could either run or stay to fight. When he curls his body into a ball, he is frightened and trying to make himself look bigger to scare off his opponent.
How to stop a catfight
Cat owners with more than one cat have at some point witnessed a catfight. Well, it could get ugly as they will use their teeth as well as their powerful claws. You should stop the fight as soon as it begins to ensure that your cats do not sustain injuries.
In other situations, your cat could suddenly start acting aggressively. It could be that he is irritated by a trip to the vet’s office or bringing a new cat home. Well, you should help him with the aggression while at the same time keep at a distance. Below, we are going to discuss some of the most effective ways to stop a catfight in the house:
Make a loud noise
If you are watching your cats, you will observe whenever they are about to fight. You can be able to tell from their body language before they can pounce on each other. It is up to you to stop them from fighting before they can injure each other. To get their attention, you may clap your hands or alternatively make a loud noise. This is going to get their attention but it does not mean that you have successfully stopped the fight.
They might just pounce at each other immediately.
Put a barrier between the two
Before I go on, I should mention that you should never come between them physically. You might get injured along the process. Instead, get a cushion or any other thing to put a barrier between the two. The goal is to separate the two and distract them from fighting each other.
Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle to make them turn away. Cats hate getting wet and therefore water will help you stop the fight. You may also have to separate them for a few days, especially if they injured each other.
Separate the two of them
If there has been a catfight, it obviously means that the two cats are not going to see each other eye to eye. Well, they might keep picking a fight with each other. Therefore, you may need to separate them into different rooms. To do this, you can use an upside-down laundry basket over one cat. You may then push him in there to another room to cool off.
Also, wait until your cats are calm before you go into individual rooms to check on the cats. Ensure that no serious injuries have been incurred. In addition, keep them there for a couple of days until you are sure that they are both fine. During this time, provide enough water, food and litter boxes.
Prevent catfights in the house
Well, you may want to prevent catfights in the first place. To be able to do this, you must understand the possible reasons for catfights. In most cases, cats fight each other out of pure territorial behavior. Therefore, ensure that each cat has his bowl, water and litter boxes. You must also have enough space and a bed for your cats.
This way, cats will not keep crossing each other’s boundary leading to catfights. Monitor your cats when they are playing with each other and sport any signs of aggression in each one of them. Look out for body language cues such as the ears, eyes and the tail. As we have previously mentioned, cat ear talk will tell you a lot about what he is thinking or feeling. If at all your cat looks aggressive, you may distract him and take him away for a while.
It is also important to make sure that your cats are busy most of the day. This is going to curb boredom which usually generates fights and anger issues. Invest in buying them individual toys to play with if you are going to be away from home all day. Also, a scratching post will do a great job to keep your cats occupied.
Handling a cat with ears back
As we mentioned earlier, when you spot your cat pinning his ears back when playing, you will need to handle him. In order to do so, you must analyze the reason for aggression. For instance, if you are taking your cat to the vet care and he is acting aggressively, ensure that you bring along a cat carrier. Bring a few of his favorite treats for rewarding him when he gets into the latter.
If you are running a multi-cat home, it is likely that you will have to handle cat aggression at some point. Observe for any signs of aggression such as ears facing back and exposing his teeth and claws. If at all your cats are growling, you need to stop the fight immediately. Always provide enough resources as well as space to avoid catfights.
Lastly, consider spaying or neutering your cats to reduce hostility and the territorial behavior leading to catfights.