Why Do Cats Groom Each Other And Then Fight – A Surprising Discovery


I have two cats who are really close. They do everything together – play, cuddle, and follow each other around. They also groom each other almost every day. However, I noticed that after grooming, they would immediately start fighting.At first, I thought it was just a normal part of their relationship as my younger cat was growing up. But when the behavior continued, I became worried that there might be a deeper reason behind it. So, what is the reason behind cats grooming each other and then fighting?

Cats groom each other and then engage in play fights. The fights are a way for cats to release energy and have a good time together. Sometimes, the fights can become aggressive and involve biting. However, this behavior is typically not a cause for worry.

There are actually several reasons why cats groom each other and then fight. It could be because they are marking their territory or because they are still getting used to each other if they haven’t spent much time together. We will explore some of the more uncommon behaviors you might observe and provide suggestions on how to prevent them.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other And Then Bite

Cats groom each other and then bite because they are talking to each other.

I found out that when cats groom each other, it’s called allogrooming. Allogrooming happens in both wild and domestic cats, and it can occur between male and female cats, as well as cats that have been spayed or neutered and those that haven’t.

Cats find grooming to be a natural and comforting activity, similar to how we enjoy taking a bath or getting a relaxing massage.

However, if grooming each other feels nice, why do cats often end up biting each other afterwards?

The main reason why cats groom each other and then fight is quite straightforward. Biting serves as a way for cats to communicate, and it is not always intended to be aggressive. In most cases, when one cat bites another after grooming, it is a signal that the grooming session is over.

It’s like when your cat gets annoyed if you pet them for too long. The bite is a signal to their grooming partner that they are getting too stimulated and want the grooming to stop.

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However, there are other reasons why a cat may bite another cat during grooming.

Another typical reason is boredom. If your cat is bored or feeling confined, they may resort to biting as a way to initiate play. Observe your cats closely to determine if the biting ceases or if one cat is encouraging the other. If they are attempting to get the other cat to interact more, it is likely that your cat is bored and seeking playtime.

One common reason why cats bite each other during or after grooming is when they have different hair lengths. It is quite common for short-haired cats to bite the fur of long-haired cats while grooming, especially if they feel overwhelmed by the length or are trying to get rid of a knot or tangle.

Why Does My Cat Lick And Then Attack My Other Cat

When a cat licks another cat and then proceeds to attack them aggressively, it may appear more worrisome than when a cat grooms another cat and then bites them. Initially, this behavior might be confusing because cats usually only groom cats they truly like.

However, simply licking and then attacking another cat? Or swatting, or even just a bite, can appear quite distinct.

This is another way cats play with each other. You can consider the lick as a way of saying hello or indicating that the following behavior is intended to be friendly and enjoyable. After all, kittens frequently engage in play with one another, and even adult wild cats sometimes play with other cats, as long as they have been previously acquainted.

Playing is a normal thing for cats, and they often use the same muscles and instincts during play as they do during fighting or hunting. This is why cat playtime can sometimes resemble an intense wrestling match to us humans, especially if the cats are making some noise while playing.

Why Would Two Cats Suddenly Start Fighting

Cats can have many reasons to suddenly start fighting. Despite being somewhat solitary creatures, they may interact with other cats in feral cat groups or pods. However, these interactions usually occur with cats they have known for a while or are closely related to.

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Usually, when cats who are familiar with each other begin to fight, it’s often because they got scared by something. Cats have a tendency to respond to unexpected situations with aggressive actions and body language.

Cats may also get into fights if one cat is crossing the other’s limits or if they are super hyped about something. Occasionally, bringing in a new toy or treats can lead to temporary fights.

Do Cats Hurt Each Other When They Play Fight?

When cats engage in play fighting, they do not cause harm to each other. However, it is important to note that aggressive play fights can result in unintended injuries for your furry friend.

Fortunately, most of the time, play fighting between cats doesn’t lead to any serious harm. Even if your cats are biting and scratching each other without retracting their claws (which happens more often with younger cats and those that get easily excited), their fur usually provides some protection.

However, cats can accidentally hurt each other while playing, especially their eyes and ears.

Normally, injuries from playing are not serious, but it is still crucial to reach out to your veterinarian if you observe your cat squinting or displaying signs of another injury. Keep a close eye on small scratches to prevent them from getting infected during the healing process.

Do Cats Groom Each Other as a Sign of Affection?

Absolutely! When cats groom each other, it shows that they trust and care for one another. It’s a way for them to feel good and also to establish a strong bond based on trust, even though it puts them in a vulnerable position.

If your cats are comfortable enough to groom each other, it means they have a strong bond. This also increases the chances of them reconciling and returning to their friendship if they happen to fight later on.

Is Cat Grooming A Sign Of Dominance?

Indeed, grooming is an indication of who is in charge. It is also a display of fondness because if two cats dislike each other, they will not engage in grooming. However, the type of grooming and the roles of the giver and receiver demonstrate dominance.

When cats groom each other, the one who is more dominant usually does most of the grooming, while the less dominant cat is the one being groomed.

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When cats have a very close relationship, such as being littermates, it can be difficult to determine which cat is more dominant. This is because cats with closer relationships tend to have a less defined social hierarchy.

How To Stop Cats From Fighting

The main priority is to keep the cats apart. If you can’t approach them without getting hurt, cover your arms with oven mittens, a towel, or a thick coat and separate the cats. It’s a good idea to put them in different rooms so they can calm down.

After a fight, it’s crucial to examine your cat for any injuries. If you come across or suspect anything more serious than a minor scratch, make sure to get in touch with your veterinarian.

This is where things start to get complicated.

After both cats have been taken care of and given some time to calm down, you should begin reintroducing them. A good first step is to place them in adjacent rooms so they can sniff and interact with each other under the door. You can also exchange towels, toys, and cat beds between the rooms to share scents, which is similar to a cat handshake and helps them become more familiar with each other. You can find more information about this process at catsaysmeow.com.
If you can find a way to keep your cats apart but still able to see each other, that can be a good method to reintroduce them to each other.

To keep both cats calm and relaxed after a fight, you can try using calming treats, medication prescribed by your vet, or products that contain happy cat pheromones.

Regrettably, there’s no guaranteed fix, and occasionally cats don’t get along. Consult your vet for guidance on handling cats that fight and cats that don’t get along.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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