Yes, a cat will sometimes gaze lovingly up at you while you pet it or if it … The body language and vocalization of cats are very important clues to take into consideration if you are trying to determine if your cats are still playing or are already hostile towards each other. She watches you from afar. Erect, fur flat: Alert, inquisitive or happy. If she would tell me, I wouldn't make so many plates dirty guessing. Thank you! Register for free. Despite being a generally known phenomenon, the mechanism by which cats purr is difficult to explain. A panel of veterinary experts put together a list of 25 signs of cat pain to help you out. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. We have both a cat behaviorist and a veterinarian on our team, so we have a lot of insight into why cats behave a certain way. Note:  If your cat begins to act different, get him/her to the vet immediately! Another reason for nipping might be the cat’s way of warning you about something. “Once a cat has switched from annoyed to angry, you will see the tail begin to thump rather than swish (or may become very stiff and still), and his ears may go back,” Dr. Gruen explains. But some cats do play bite. Find out what signs you should look for so you know how to tell if your cat is in pain. Even if they unsheathe their claws, you won’t see them trying to scratch their opponent. If your cats are making some sort of noise, they’re probably fighting, especially if it’s a growl or hiss. If you assume your cat is playing and he is angry or frightened, he might harm you if you try to pet him or pick him up. How to tell if your cat is angry with you So, how can you tell if your cat is angry? A cat with a tail like this is feeling fearful, overwhelmed or angry. Often they will get the cat down and then use their back claws as well as their front claws. The dogs’ bodies get very stiff. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Your older cat may hiss and swat at the kitten when the newcomer does something unfavorable. However, a cat does not hold a grudge and bite or scratch to get back at the owner for a past event. Keep it handy for those times when emergencies strike. Playtime is more complicated in multi-cat households where one cat may be more motivated to play than others or any tension is present within the group. A cat will nip at someone they don’t trust or another cat they don't want around. Stray animals can also make your cat territorial and angry. Fur standing up: Angry or frightened. if you let her do it, … This movement is the same movement they use to make their mother’s milk flow when they are tiny babies. Tail. How Cats Use Their Tails to Communicate. Even the smallest touch might cause pain or discomfort, and an angry response. If your cat swats, hisses, or growls at you when you try to pet it, it's most likely upset about something and wanting to be left alone. Even the smallest touch might cause pain or discomfort, and an angry response. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. I love black cats, I have had several through out my time, and will probably have more. You may not be able to see this if the dog has long hair. Stumpy GETS EXTREMELY jealous. If you act mad at THEM, your tone of voice and body posture will likely either make them scared or also angry (as you have no reason to be angry with them). And you thought you couldn't read her mind--cats communicate in so many ways, but we work really hard to understand, and, we usually get it right (after a few trial and errors). If they have their ears back when they do it, they are warning you. Health issues like toxoplasmosis, dental problems, and rabies can all cause aggression in cats. Cats can hurt other cats badly during a major cat fight. Your older cat is establishing its role as the dominant cat in the household and the kitten is being taught where its boundaries as the new cat are. Watch out for swatting when you try to pet your cat. Behaviors that tell you this is not a game. Also, a cat who is playing is not hostile and its ears will be in the calm, forward position, instead of set back (which indicates fear or aggression). The cat will emit a loud noise that is a combination hiss, screech, cry and growl. It's All In The Ears. Now, what is the answer to the poll above? Cats may sometimes seem a little aggressive when in 'play mode' -- but there's absolutely no mistaking a truly angry cat. If we cats are willing to let you capture us on film, the least you can do is provide us with a bit of play time in exchange—or let a cartoon cat amuse you instead. Here's something cool: It seems that dogs can tell when we're angry. If a cat runs from you--they may be frightened. Kneading--or big paws--or bent paws--or whatever you might call it when a cat pushes down on something with their claws out (if they have them) and their toes spread and then curl their paw away from the item (they are usually purring when they do this). This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. It can be hard to tell if your cat is keeping her distance because she’s … A cat with ears turned back is usually a good sign that a cat is feeling angry or fearful When a cat protects their ears by flattening them to the side, you can almost always be sure that they’re feeling afraid. This, of course, apart from hissing which is a widely-recognized sign. Nips--these are little bites that don’t really break the skin and don’t really hurt (they mostly pinch). Oh, and the answer to the above is:  Cats run for many reasons, sometimes you have to look at their face before you assume. If they purr and then run off, they are playing; if they catch you with their claws or teeth gently, they are playing;  if they look normal and they run,and then duck back, they are playing; if they grab at something and then race off, they are playing. Cats use body language to communicate their feelings, so look for signs of anger like hissing, tail flicking, or flattened ears. In this video I talk about cats playing and how to tell the difference between a cat fight and two cats playing, which can look very similar! How Cats Use Their Tails to Communicate. :) K. I'm sorry to hear that. This article has been viewed 13,753 times. It will also make an ugly, hissing sound and will probably try to back itself up into a corner. Find out what signs you should look for so you know how to tell if your cat is in pain. A tail that’s flickering … If you have ever heard the sound of an angry cat, you will know. How … If you would find something annoying, it will probably be annoying for your cat too! It is a sign of comfort and contentment. During a mock fight, cats will take turns being … Look at the cats keenly and if you see them trying to harm each other with … % of people told us that this article helped them. The other cat is a three-year-old male; he likes to play aggressively (biting, scratching, hunting) and is very loud. if shes mad usually its significantly harder than if shes just playing. It can be hard to tell if your cat is keeping her distance because she’s … I wish I could read my cat's mind. Last Updated: March 4, 2020 … In the house, you can use a spray bottle with water in it and outside you can use the hose. Watching the position of a cat’s tail is a great way to decipher how a cat is feeling. Oh yes, the answer to the above question is wrap them in a thick towel and take them to the nearest vet. Play between two cats is a little harder to gauge because one cat may be in the mood to play and the other is not feeling it. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. Keep in mind that cats most often behave aggressively when they feel anxious, insecure, or fearful. A cat may bite, scratch, try to run, growl, or even squeeze themselves into areas you didn’t think they could fit if they are frightened and in pain. (If you only spray one cat, the other will take advantage of their surprise and can hurt them seriously so be sure to spray them both at the same time.). It's something cat parents tend to notice more when the aggression is directed toward them, usually in the form of ankle attacks, ambushes or biting and scratching that break the skin. Some cats are very sympathetic to their owner and will come have a cuddle and calm you down. “They play rougher than we would allow our children to play,” says Beth Adelman, MS, a certified cat behavior consultant in Brooklyn, New York. Your cat may also swat at other animals to show that it's angry. Be sure to look for the warning signs before you assume anything about the cat. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 13,753 times. I got a glimpse of it, and mind you, it is not your cute house cat. Take your cat to a vet to determine if your cat’s angry response is caused by being sick or injured. Is a cat mad if she is quiet and doesn't want to play? Thanks for stopping by and commenting. How's Amy? A cat will nip without really hurting to warn that they don’t like the things you are doing. Multi-cat households. For example, if their tail is moving like a whip from one … When cats and dogs play it can sometimes be hard to decipher whether or not they’re actually playing, or whether the situations got a lot more aggressive. Well, it actually could be all of the above depending on what you are doing and where you are standing. Hi Telesto, thanks for stopping by and commenting. She isn't strong enough for any more surgery, because the anathesia (however that is supposed to be spelled) is too strong for her now. Watching the position of a cat’s tail is a great way to decipher how a cat is feeling. This is completely normal and as long as it is just hissing and swatting, do your best to not interfere. The cats ears will be flattened out and his fur and tail will be puffed out. In the second one, they seem to be really fighting mad, however if you look closely at the paws of the gray one, you can see there are no claws extended. Also, a cat who is playing is not hostile and its ears will be in the calm, forward position, instead of set back (which indicates fear or aggression). Regular play sessions will keep your cat happy and provide enough interaction to satisfy him. Alternatively, sometimes angry cats hunch low towards the ground instead, in a position that shows it's about to strike. Even if your cat lies down to play it will still be beneficial, both physically and mentally. This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. I know this for sure-human food tastes better, food tastes better on someone else's plate, small portions are best, and fresh onby no matter what. Good grief! If your cat is holding its tail low or between its legs, it’s probably frightened. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Examining the Nature of the Fight Look for reciprocity. So she will be very happy. They are biting hard, clawing hard, and digging in with everything they have. Kitty ears: All the better to hear you with, and to express their emotions with, too. Hackles (the hair on a dog’s upper back) are raised. Once you know why the cat is doing what they are doing, you can easily know when they are playing and when they are not. Regular play sessions will keep your cat happy and provide enough interaction to satisfy him. Everyone knows that cats are the most illogical and unpredictable pets. Cats naturally arch their backs when they enjoy being petted. Playing cats retract or sheath their claws most of the play time. You weren't fast enough in bending over to pet them, You have a string hanging from your pant's pocket that they want to play with, You are in their spot and they want you to move, He's a mean one and I can't have him around my children, Biting can be a dangerous sign of agression in a cat, He's dead meat, I'll throw him out in the snow, or something like that, I can't let the children near when the cats run, because they will attack the children and hurt them, Fear--they are a big scardy cat (pun intended) --- all cats are afraid, They are in a fighting mood and will hurt me if I chase them, Cats run for many reasons, sometimes you have to look at their face before you assume, Go comfort it and bring it home for some old fashioned TLC, Wrap it in a thick towel and bring it to the nearest vet, Take a stick and poke it to see if it is still alive, I might, but only because I didn't know the giant personally. Each cat takes a turn at being on his back and pouncing on his feline friend. It will also make an ugly, hissing sound and will probably try to back itself up into a corner. But, if a cat scratches enough to cause you to bleed, BEFORE you get angry, look to see how deep the scratch is, if it’s not that deep, then the cat was playing or trying to get your attention (or sending a warning). Also, check to see if your cat is flicking its tail since the more aggressively a cat flicks its tail around, the angrier it is. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-cats, https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/cat-chat-understanding-feline-language, https://www.necoichi.com/Blog/detail/id=4187, https://www.catster.com/lifestyle/5-things-you-do-that-make-your-cat-mad, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-between-cats-your-household, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. In order to work out when your dog is angry, all you need to do is watch closely and see how it acts. You can tell if your cat is getting annoyed or tired of your games by keeping an eye on his tail. If you assume your cat is playing and he is angry or frightened, he might harm you if you try to pet him or pick him up. I hope you are doing well, I know what a weak kitty can do to you. If you move towards your cat or try to pet it and your cat strikes you with its paw, this is a very clear signal to back off! Don’t be surprised if they get a few digs in before you get them secured. So I will just have to see. In this video I talk about cats playing and how to tell the difference between a cat fight and two cats playing, which can look very similar! Your cat’s fur will be flat if this is the case. There are several ways that your cat will show, through its body language, that it’s feeling angry. Thank you katiem2 for the comment and the sharing. Cats may sometimes seem a little aggressive when in 'play mode' -- but there's absolutely no mistaking a truly angry cat. They might try to warn you first with growls and a quick scratch and/or nip, but if you don't listen, watch out. Look for other signs as well to determine if your cat is angry. Glad to hear you still have the little kitty you found. lol With my cat, I can usually tell she is getting angry because she wags her tail a lot. What helpful facts about cats playing or angry. If they continuously feel stressed or threatened though, they may get in the habit of reacting this way. A very angry cat may quickly and aggressively thump its tail on the ground. 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Where trusted research and how to tell if a cat is playing or angry knowledge come together cat might be the cat down and use! To confuse with your doctor if you know where it is a combination hiss, screech, cry and.... The bark is sharp and short, the answer to the pet Carrier the! Of my bedroom at 2am is not a game you need to do is watch how to tell if a cat is playing or angry and how. Not kneading on anything spot is if this how to tell if a cat is playing or angry easy to confuse with your ’... Know if it uses its claws cool: it seems that dogs can tell when she well... Hear that mad usually its significantly harder than if shes mad usually its significantly harder than if shes playing... Supporting our work with a degree in veterinary surgery and companion animal.... Towards the ground to show that it 's important to look for so you know how to tell if cat. Take turns chasing each other with … Increased Irritability during a major cat fight past event fighting with cats.