A study that seriously investigated whether cat play is a fight or a play

Cats that are punching or fighting are sometimes indistinguishable to the human eye as to whether they are seriously fighting or just playing. A study that looked seriously at videos of cats showed that there are different types of cat flirting, and it may be possible for owners to distinguish between them.

An ethological analysis of close-contact inter-cat interactions determining if cats are playing, fighting, or something in between | Scientific Reports


Guidosh Kumekova, who belongs to Kosice Veterinary Pharmacy University in Slovakia, has established the hypothesis that cats' playfulness potentially includes elements of both 'playfulness' and 'hostility'. In order to verify this hypothesis, Mr. Kumekova and his colleagues obtained ``videos of cats'' from cat owners and YouTube, extracted six elements from the behavior of cats, such as ``fighting'', ``vocalization'', and ``chasing''. We grouped the cats based on

A total of 105 pairs and 210 cats were left as the final sample, excluding cats whose opinions were divided among experts, of which 118 were 'playful', 60 were 'belligerent', and 32 were 'intermediate'. was classified as

When Kumekova and colleagues compared these three groups, they found that cat-to-cat fighting was most closely associated with the 'playful' group, while vocalizations and chasing were associated with the 'aggressive' group. He said. From this, it seems that it can be said that the situation where cats are barking each other may be in a hostile situation. On the other hand, chasing is sometimes done as part of play, so it is not possible to estimate the situation of both parties only by chasing.

According to Kumekova et al., fighting between cats is the most 'playing' behavior, and frequent and prolonged fighting is one of the reasons cats are considered to be playing. Previous studies have shown that when cats are in a truly hostile situation, they avoid close physical contact and adopt defensive and aggressive behaviors that rarely involve direct contact. It is difficult to think that it is connected to sexual behavior. However, Kumekova and colleagues point out that fighting is a potentially aggressive behavior, so the act of fighting alone should not be used as an indicator of playfulness.

Based on the above, Kumekova et al. ``When cats wrestle without speaking, there is a high possibility that they are playing, while when cats speak or chase, they are in a hostile situation. It is possible,” he concluded.

However, Mr. Kumekova and others also emphasize that the relationship between cats cannot be estimated from a single event. ``Even if you fight, you may not need to worry about the relationship between the two in the long run if you are sticking each other to sleep or grooming each other. However, if cats are sleeping close to each other but are not in close contact or are not 'arorubbing' their heads and bodies against each other, they may be in a state of tension that poses risks to their physical and mental health. There is potential,' he said.

According to this discovery, there is a possibility that owners will be able to grasp the relationship between cats in the future and manage the relationship between cats well. Kumekova said, ``In future research, in addition to the way cats move their gazes, we need to record the movements of their ears and tails, as well as actions such as shaking their heads and licking their lips.'' I was.

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1p_kr