Everybody was Kung Fur Fighting


I worry about my cats sometimes. I worry that one cat is going to seriously injure another, or worse, in a knocked-down, dragged-out, no-holds-barred fight. In some ways though, things are getting better. The fights are less frequent and Chris seems to be making an effort  to make friends with Frankie. In other ways, things seem worse. When they do fight it is intense and at least one cat ends up doing the cat equivalent of “screaming like a little girl.” That cat is usually Chris.

I heard them fighting last night after we went to bed and again very early this morning. When I got up and went into the living room I saw something that shocked me.

Let’s back up a little. The problems started when we adopted Frankie. Don’t get me wrong. Frankie is a wonderful cat and I really enjoy having him here, but we failed to consider an important issue before we chose him. We didn’t think about what would happen if we brought an alpha male into a house that already had an alpha male.

We didn’t know what type of cat Frankie was when we spotted him in the Petsmart adoption center. We just knew he was cute and friendly. We didn’t ask about his background or how he interacted with other cats. Frankly, I doubt if anyone knew that since they keep the cats seperated in the shelter. We also assumed that Chris liked everybody and he would accept a new cat just like he accepted Puck. But Puck is a follower, not a leader and the two of them get along well because of that.

Chris and Puck do fight sometimes but it is play fighting. There are also times when we will catch Chris on top of Puck, holding him by the neck and dragging him across the floor. (I have tried to get pictures of that behavior but it is always over before I get my camera.) I have no idea why he does that but Puck just lies there and lets him do it. It doesn’t seem to hurt him except for a little lost fur.

Frankie and Puck fight too, but again, it is play fighting. I often see one chase the other through the house and pounce. Then it repeats with the roles reversed. The fighting is controlled and there are no little girl screams.

I mentioned before that Chris is trying to be friends with Frankie, and that is true, but he will still attack Frankie for no apparent reason. For his part, Frankie is more tolerant of Chris but he is more often than not the instigator of the fights, and these fights are real fights, no playing involved. It starts with both cats waving their paws at each other. Then there is a pounce, a scream, and then the attacker backs away and the process repeats a few seconds later.

So what I saw this morning was more fur than I have ever seen at one time that was not attached to a cat. Below are photos of some, but not all, of the fur I saw in the living room.

Cat fur after a fight20140907_cats_1371

Some of the fur was black so poor puck found himself in the middle of the fighting. The rest belonged to Chris or Frankie or Both. I don’t know what happened but I am really starting to worry that someone is going to get hurt. Does anyone know how common injuries are from domestic cats fighting?

If you haven’t read my previous posts on the matter, here is a bit of a chronology, starting with Frankie’s adoption.

Meet Frankie, Our Newest Addition

New Cat Troubles

Did We Make a Mistake?

The Baddest Cat You’ll Ever Love… or Not

Photo Friday: Temporary Cease Fire

A Good Mouse, Spoiled

The Tables Have Turned

Rebuilding Burnt Bridges

Rebuilding Burnt Bridges – Part Two

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16 thoughts on “Everybody was Kung Fur Fighting

  1. randomfelines

    We have some of that here too. Fortunately not very often. Injuries are usually scratches…we don’t think it has ever truly escalated to biting. But run your hands over everyone for lumps and bumps.

    Reply
  2. Cody-Cat Chat (@CatChatCaren)

    you poor thing. I have only had one cat at a time so I don’t know. I am sure that those who live in a multiple cat household will stop by and I am certain they can help. Did you reach out to Terry from Brian’s Home or Animal Shelter Volunteer Life? I bet they could help. Hoping things calm down for all of you! xoxo

    Reply
  3. pilch92

    That is scary. I would keep Frankie segregated at night and when someone is not home. I know that is hard to do, but it is the only way that you can be sure. We have to keep different cats segregated for the same reason.

    Reply
  4. Animalcouriers

    We have never had a serious injury from any of our home cat fights. We have many but mainly started by our slightly batty ‘alpha’ male elderpin. Do hope your two come to a conclusion soon.

    Reply
  5. Summer

    Do keep an eye on them all – sometimes a puncture wound won’t bleed but it will abscess and get infected. Look for lumps, spots that feel hot, or one of the cats acting sick or feeling warmer than usual, like he is running a temperature. Abscesses need to be dealt with promptly because they can really make a cat sick. I wish I could help you with this fighting! Maybe adding more vertical space for them would help?

    Binga beats up on Boodie a lot, but it’s mostly play aggression. She has tried whapping me a few times, but I don’t whap back like Sparkle. But I don’t run away from her either. She hasn’t figured out what to do with me yet! But I can assure you, beating up on me is NOT on the agenda.

    Reply
  6. The Island Cats

    The last couple of months Wally and Ernie have gotten into it pretty good. Wally is the one that screams like a “little girl” and even though I know that, it still doesn’t make it any easier to hear. I’ve found fur piles like that. I have to watch them and if I think theire play fighting is getting out of hand, I’ll break it up by clapping my hands loud or throwing something, like a soft toy, to distract them. Cats can be injured if they’re bitten or scratched with a claw. A few years ago, Wally and Ernie got into it (it may have been play, I didn’t actually see it), Ernie got his claw stuck in Wally’s collar and ended ripping the claw out. Ouch!

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Ouch is right. When Rose and I are at the pool the cats watch us from inside the screened patio. A couple of times we saw Frankie stand on his hind legs and claw at the screen, only to get a claw stuck. We were very afraid that might happen to him but fortunately it always comes out before he hurts himself. I’m sorry that Wally and Ernie have their disagreements. I guess this is not much different that being a parent of human children.

      Reply
  7. catfromhell

    Yep! Cats fight. often it sounds worse than it actually is, and the fur, always seems like there was more damage than there actually is. Eventually wes works things out…
    Kisses
    Nellie

    Reply

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