Good chasing or bad chasing?

Gabrielle93

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Hi all!

We have a 7 month old female Abyssinian and three days ago adopted a 12 week old male Abyssinian (both neutered). We did our best to follow suggestions as to gently introducing them over time, however in a small apartment with two lightening fast cats things didn't go perfectly to plan. At first there was a lot of hissing and swatting, but we continued with scent swapping/keeping them separated/distracting with play and treats when around each other. We are now at a point where they can be in the same room and don't hiss or growl at each other, but do swat and boop each others heads and incessantly CHASE each other.

Sometimes ears flatten and it looks a little rough so we break it up, but both cats just keep going back for more. When put in different rooms they cry for the other to be released, just so they can go back to chasing. Sometimes the chasing leads to someone hiding/being trapped under something at which time we intervene - only to have that cat then bolt for the other again.

Everything I've read suggests that chasing is a sign of aggression, but we're finding it really hard to work out as they both some so EAGER for the behaviour to continue. They're clearly not entirely comfortable with each other because swatting/chasing/stalking/ears going back sometimes when someone comes on too fast... but also exhibit conflicting signs like rolling on their backs together gently swatting and nibbling. The older female is definitely the more wary one and 'stalks' him a little but he doesn't seem to mind and they're both happy to be in the same room to snooze/play/eat, she just maintains an eye on him.

My partner is a very "they'll be right" kind of guy whereas I am a definition helicopter mum so would really appreciate a third party perspective on this one! Essentially I just want to know if they want to kill or chill!

I've attached a photo of them catching their breaths in between rounds of chase and corner and repeat for reference of their confusing behaviour, would post video as its much more wholesome but I am not tech savvy!

Thanks
 

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MoochNNoodles

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This picture looks like play to me. Young cats definitely do play fight and chase. I see why its hard to tell exactly whats going on. At 12 weeks your lil guy is still perfecting his manners so that could be part of it. And that would include practicing how to fight like a big boy. :crazy: Like putting ears back, the crab walk and puffing up, etc. Some cats are also more vocal than others with play fights. One of my mother’s cats would howl like mad if the other two (who were always romping around) tried to include her in their antics.:rolleyes2:

For me; the expression on their faces is often what tells me its play vs annoyance vs aggression. I don’t think you need to be too concerned yet; but keep an eye. If fur isn’t flying that’s a good sign. I’m sure others will have some good insight. 🙂
 

Katy Perkins

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Chasing is instinctive for cats. They do learn techniques from each other. But in fostering numerous kittens without mothers, some of whom have had to grow up as singletons without another cat to show them anything, I can attest that chasing is built into the system. A cat will do this even if they have never seen it done, it is instinctive. A cat showed a string drawn along the floor will perk up and watch it, and eventually will pounce at it and chase it. This is not a learned behavior but an instinctive one; it would undoubtedly be useful in hunting. The string resembles a mouse’s tail running away, and EVERY cat will run after that!
Just as with human children, cats play as a rehearsal for life. So they chase each other to hone their hunting skills, but even a cat who never hunted will certainly love to chase!
 

susanm9006

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Laying on the floor like that it is clear that they are buddies and that the chasing is just cat games that both enjoy.
 

blumarine916

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Someone once told me if they are chasing around without any sound, then it is okay. My cats do that all the time. There are times I do hear high-pitched growls from the older one so I’ll just have a look in case anything happens (they had issues in the past).

The arched back and flattened ears are also common part of play, along with the swatting/wrestling. As long as they’re not making sounds they will be fine.
 

ArtNJ

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Someone once told me if they are chasing around without any sound, then it is okay. My cats do that all the time. There are times I do hear high-pitched growls from the older one so I’ll just have a look in case anything happens (they had issues in the past).

The arched back and flattened ears are also common part of play, along with the swatting/wrestling. As long as they’re not making sounds they will be fine.
This, but note that the small one may occassionally feel uncomfortable enough to make some noises and run. Thats normal with a size difference. You can distract/gently separate if the small one seems miserable and unable to disengage on its own.
 

blumarine916

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I have also noticed instances where they are about to wrestle but somehow stuck in mid-pose and not moving, just the flattened ears, tail wag and then I hear a weird “Ooowwrrrr” sound from one of them. I usually stop those by throwing something to distract them. It’s like they can become too intense. 😓 So yeah, just keep a watchful eye.
 
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