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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How To Inform If Your Cats Get Alongside


These indicators of affectionate feline behaviour present that your cats are buddies with one another.

Two black-and-white cats lie in an armchair, snuggled together, toe beans towards the camera
Picture: Fernando Calmon/Shutterstock

By Zazie Todd PhD

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When you’ve got a couple of cat, it helps loads if they’re good buddies. Stress between cats can lead to stress for them and maybe additionally for you. However how are you aware if they’re buddies?

Listed below are the indicators to look out for.

They greet one another with the tail up. The tail up greeting is when one cat approaches the opposite with their tail straight up, typically with just a little hook on the finish, a bit like a query mark. You may also see this when your cat approaches you. The tail up is a pleasant sign. 

Two ginger-and-white cats touch heads, bodies, and tails on the grass outside
These two cats are touching heads, our bodies, and tails, and so they’re additionally exhibiting the tail up sign. Picture: ClementineKANJ. 

They sniff noses. Sniffing the nostril is one other means that cats who’re buddies greet one another. By the way, canines who dwell with cats can study that that is the proper means for them to greet their feline housemate, so you might also see this occur with a canine otherwise you may sniff noses with them your self. They’re additionally utilizing their nostril to get details about the opposite cat (otherwise you). 

The Companion Animal Psychology logo shows a tortoiseshell cat sniffing noses to greet a dog
The Companion Animal Psychology emblem, by Lili Chin, depicts my tortoiseshell cat Melina sniffing noses with my late canine Bodger. Notice how Melina has her tail up.

They rub their heads collectively. Typically they could even rub their head and their complete our bodies collectively, letting their tails contact or entwine. Head-rubbing deposits pheromones and it’s believed that cats head-rub to construct up a gaggle scent. Head-rubbing occurs extra typically when no less than one of many cats has their tail up when approaching the opposite.

Two ginger cats lie next to each other, touching. One cat is rubbing their head on the other.
These two cats are resting collectively, touching, and it seems like they may be about to do some head-rubbing too. Picture: Scalia Media

They groom one another, usually across the head and neck. That is referred to as allogrooming. It’s often a pleasant behaviour wherein the opposite cat cooperates, however generally one cat will appear to carry the opposite down whereas grooming them. When this occurs, perhaps it helps to dissipate some pressure.

One cat is licking the top of the other cat's head to groom them, a sign of friendship
One cat is grooming the opposite cat’s ear and prime of their head. Picture: Chris Hill/Shutterstock.

They sleep subsequent to one another. Cats who get together with one another typically snuggle collectively once they relaxation. Typically they even squash into tiny areas, just like the house on the prime of a cat tree, to make this occur. They’re not doing this merely to maintain heat, as a result of they’ll cuddle collectively even when it’s sizzling—it’s a option to snuggle up with their buddy. That is more than likely in cats who grew up collectively as kittens.

A black cat and a grey tabby are cuddled together under a yellow blanket, both peering out, heads together
These two cats are cuddled collectively below a blanket. Picture: Mi Wang/Shutterstock

They play collectively. Cats who’re buddies will interact in rough-and-tumble play that’s enjoyable for each of them. You’ll see them take turns (e.g. at being on prime or beneath when wrestling) and alter actions throughout play. You’ll discover that the claws are in and there’s no caterwauling, hissing, or spitting, which might imply it was preventing as a substitute. Chasing could be a part of social play, but when it’s one-sided it may be one cat making an attempt to get away, so listen. Kittens play most and older cats play much less typically, so don’t fear in the event you see much less of this in your older cats.

Two Norwegian Forest Cat kittens wrestle in play
Picture: Elisa Putti/Shutterstock

One other factor you may discover is purring. Cats typically purr throughout pleasant interactions, similar to when they’re cuddled up collectively, once they rub heads collectively, or groom one another. You’ll in all probability additionally hear them purr when rubbing their head on you or resting on or subsequent to you, similar to once they sit in your lap. 

Two ginger cats cuddled up together, heads and bodies touching
These two cats are touching heads and our bodies. Picture: foxaon1987/Shutterstock.

Cats who’re buddies with one another might sometimes have minor disagreements, identical to folks generally disagree with their buddies. However on the entire, you’ll see these pleasant behaviours from each day. 

One factor you are able to do to make it simpler to your cats to get alongside is to make sure you are offering the proper environmental set-up for them, together with multiples of all assets (unfold out round the home) in order that they don’t should compete for entry to issues they want, like meals, water, and the litter field. You must also make it possible for every cat will get some one-on-one time with you, together with playtime.

A fluffy white cat with its tail up is petted around the head by a young woman
One other instance of the tail-up sign. Picture:Stokkete/Shutterstock

Indicators that your cats should not getting alongside would come with any apparent indicators of pressure between them, similar to hissing, caterwauling, or preventing. Cats that don’t like one another is not going to select to spend time close to one another, besides when the supply of assets leaves them little alternative. A extra delicate signal that cats aren’t getting alongside is when one cat blocks entry e.g. by mendacity throughout the steps or in a doorway making it exhausting for the opposite cat to get previous them. 

For those who discover a sudden change in your cat’s behaviour, schedule a go to along with your veterinarian in case there’s a medical trigger. In case your cats should not getting alongside, it’s higher to do one thing about it sooner fairly than later, so search assist out of your veterinarian, a cat conduct advisor, or board-certified veterinary behaviorist as wanted. 

For tips about how you can care to your cat, try my guide Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Comfortable

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