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How To Inform If Your Cats Get Alongside

These indicators of affectionate feline behaviour present that your cats are associates 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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In case you have multiple cat, it helps rather a lot if they’re good associates. Pressure between cats can lead to stress for them and maybe additionally for you. However how have you learnt if they’re associates?

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 a little bit hook on the finish, a bit like a query mark. You may additionally 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 method that cats who’re associates greet one another. By the way, canine who reside with cats can be taught that that is the precise method 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 might even rub their head and their entire 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 bunch 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 is likely to be about to do some head-rubbing too. Picture: Scalia Media

They groom one another, usually across the head and neck. That is known 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 good friend. That is most probably 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 associates 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 under 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 combating as an alternative. Chasing will be a part of social play, but when it’s one-sided it is also one cat attempting to get away, so concentrate. 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, comparable 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, comparable 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 associates with one another could often have minor disagreements, similar to folks generally disagree with their associates. However on the entire, you’ll see these pleasant behaviours from day after day. 

One factor you are able to do to make it simpler in your cats to get alongside is to make sure you are offering the precise 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 aren’t getting alongside would come with any apparent indicators of pressure between them, comparable to hissing, caterwauling, or combating. 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 refined 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 laborious for the opposite cat to get previous them. 

Should you discover a sudden change in your cat’s behaviour, schedule a go to together with your veterinarian in case there’s a medical trigger. In case your cats aren’t getting alongside, it’s higher to do one thing about it sooner moderately than later, so search assist out of your veterinarian, a cat habits advisor, or board-certified veterinary behaviorist as wanted. 

For tips about methods to care in your cat, take a look at my e-book Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Glad

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