is this just playing??

haleyrose99

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Hey all, I have two kittens around 10-11 weeks old from the same litter, and I just want to make sure they are only playing and not actually fighting. They do the typical "kick each other in the head" and nip at necks and arms, and every now and then there is a meow in there. It's mostly chasing each other around, and I do notice that they flip over on their back and roll (in what I assume is an inviting and playful way) and then one pounces on the other. Tails do wag and I don't see any hunched backs or raised fur, and theres some tittering and meowing while walking around my room like they are calling each other(?) When not playing they do snuggle on the bed together and Phoebe (the tiger) does groom him, so that leads me to believe they aren't aggressive or hateful to each other. Phoebe just got back today after a week of medical boarding and they are going BONKERS, so I will add a video if I can to show what the play is like. I've never had kittens this young so I'd love some advice to make sure I'm not possibly damaging their relationship by not seeing the signs.
Here is the video: Thanks!
 
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haleyrose99

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I will also say this is their tamer play, they do get rougher but it essentially looks like this usually.
 

ArtNJ

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Yes, 100% play. Remember, cats are predators, and like all predators they practice hunting and fighting via play. So there is play biting the neck (the kill move in the wild). There is play raking with the back paws, which is the classic cat defensive move. There is play pouncing.

Two kittens this young always become friends. And that is what you have, friends playing. At this age, you literally do not need to watch for signs of trouble, because there will not be any. There may be exceptions, but it is certainly unlikely for a kitten relationship to sour before around a year of age.
 

danteshuman

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Jackie & Nick (black) are littermates/brothers. Around that age they started nipping each other in the balls as they wrestled! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Luckily they stopped completely after 2 weeks. They are 4 years old and their play still looks like fighting/wrestlemania. They love to play fight & each other!

I once photographed the beginning of their play session. They start by cat A tapping the paw/arm of cat B. Cat B taps cat A back. Then they begin their intense wrestle mania.

Real cat fights have blood, yeowling, sometimes a cat pee of pooos & there are clumps of fur.
 

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haleyrose99

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Yes, 100% play. Remember, cats are predators, and like all predators they practice hunting and fighting via play. So there is play biting the neck (the kill move in the wild). There is play raking with the back paws, which is the classic cat defensive move. There is play pouncing.

Two kittens this young always become friends. And that is what you have, friends playing. At this age, you literally do not need to watch for signs of trouble, because there will not be any. There may be exceptions, but it is certainly unlikely for a kitten relationship to sour before around a year of age.
WHEW okay that is so relieving to hear, thank you so much for explaining!! I think the meows and biting was what scared me most, but I'm so glad that's normal. Thank you again!!
 
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haleyrose99

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Jackie & Nick (black) are littermates/brothers. Around that age they started nipping each other in the balls as they wrestled! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Luckily they stopped completely after 2 weeks. They are 4 years old and their play still looks like fighting/wrestlemania. They love to play fight & each other!

I once photographed the beginning of their play session. They start by cat A tapping the paw/arm of cat B. Cat B taps cat A back. Then they begin their intense wrestle mania.

Real cat fights have blood, yeowling, sometimes a cat pee of pooos & there are clumps of fur.
Oh my goodness the balls that's brutal!!:lol: Okay definitely no blood, poop, pee or fur so that's a great sign, seems like I just happened get two psycho playful babies! Jackie and Nick are super adorable❤ Thank you so much for your reply!
 

danteshuman

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Oh yeah ball thing. The kittens would wrestle, inevitably end up with thier head around the other kitten’s tail end, someone would nip the other kitten’s balls, the injured kitten did this high pitch squeal meow..... then ignored the nipping kitten for a bit. They just had to learn where to nip and how hard to nip during play. Both cats are super gentle with humans because from the time they were babies I worked to convince them that all humans were furless wusses & all play with humans involved throwing toys, hand under a thick comforter or wand toys. I like to joke that the runt (black) bulked up just to win against his brother (lynx) in their play fights! 😉

Cat play looks rough but remember they have fur to protect themselves. If you are worried, trim their claws. Your kittens are at the age where they learn how hard to bite and claw. Which is why I told you the ball story. This is an important stage because now when Jackie is being naughty and play attacks my leg while I’m on the loo, he doesn’t hurt me at all... even when I’m in shorts! I still correct or distract him though so it doesn’t become a habit.
 
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haleyrose99

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Oh yeah ball thing. The kittens would wrestle, inevitably end up with thier head around the other kitten’s tail end, someone would nip the other kitten’s balls, the injured kitten did this high pitch squeal meow..... then ignored the nipping kitten for a bit. They just had to learn where to nip and how hard to nip during play. Both cats are super gentle with humans because from the time they were babies I worked to convince them that all humans were furless wusses & all play with humans involved throwing toys, hand under a thick comforter or wand toys. I like to joke that the runt (black) bulked up just to win against his brother (lynx) in their play fights! 😉

Cat play looks rough but remember they have fur to protect themselves. If you are worried, trim their claws. Your kittens are at the age where they learn how hard to bite and claw. Which is why I told you the ball story. This is an important stage because now when Jackie is being naughty and play attacks my leg while I’m on the loo, he doesn’t hurt me at all... even when I’m in shorts! I still correct or distract him though so it doesn’t become a habit.
I have noticed the high-pitched meow and then they separate, so that's a good sign that they're learning boundaries! I have also definitely been utilizing the "humans are babies" method, they have LOTS of toys and I avoid hand or feet play, plus Milo actually reacts to a soft (never a yell) "Ow!" from me now and he stops biting my hands, he's so smart! I will definitely trim their claws over the next few days though, Milo's were easy because I can do it while he sleeps but Phoebe is still warming up to having her feet handled so I've been doing it incrementally. The fact that he doesn't hurt your leg is incredible though! Definitely the end goal with these little monsters :) Thank you again you're amazing!
 
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