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They are Friends! But...

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
#1
Jengo and Bizley have finally become buddies I believe. They chase each other around the house, not much hissing going on, lots of wrestling and tail swooshing in faces. Lots of nose bump greetings and sniffs. they "fight" between the curtains which I assume is fun for them. If Jengo doesn't like something he will run away. No yowling, howling or grwoling.

I am a very happy mommy! Only problem is when they play they tend to get rough. I'm a little worried about this. Jengo likes to hold Bizley down and bite his neck. I've read that cats rarely kill each other, that it's a territorial thing and very normal but I'm concerned without supervision because Jengo is MUCH larger than Biz and Jengo has PLAY AGGRESSION. Up until now it has not been much issue since he if he bites me I yell "No Bites" step away for a couple of minutes and then give him a toy large enough he can rabbit foot and bite. He's goes hard on these toys although he has yet to tear any to shreds.

How should I deal with his play aggression? I don't want to interrupt their fun but I want Biz to be safe. Occasionally he makes these small little whimpers and Jengo does not back off (it doesn't appear that way anyhow and I don't give it much time to go on either.) I've had to yell stop and then they look at me like I just ruined something.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#2
When Jengo releases Bizley does Biz run away or does he leap back into the fray? Savannahs are a high energy exuberant breed and yes they can play rough. Add to that you have two young males hence it is like human boys and they can play pretty rough too...

I wouldn't keep stepping in but give it time to see what happens if you don't.
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
#3
Biz usually recoils but never runs away. He will usually back up or walk a short distance away and then run at Jengo again. I've not found marks or blood. It just looks really bad with the biting and scares me. Jengo has always been really docile so it's a little frightening. I'll step back though.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#4
It's common tactics for cats to take a step back, regroup and go in again... some of mine will pretend to groom themselves for an instant and then throw themselves at the other cat when they think they aren't watching them. Given that Biz is running back at Jengo, I think they are still fine. I understand the concern but I don't think you will help their bonding if you keep stepping in and breaking this up...of course if you think real damage is occurring then you do need to break up the fight, but be aware of the possibility of "redirected aggression" at you if you step in the middle of two cats fighting..
 

Carykd7kau

Reincarnated cat Moderator
#5
Charley, I am the same way with my 2 girls. And I NEED to stop and let them come to terms. I know there will be some pretty serious spats, but they will never come to any kind of understanding or truce if I don't let them war.
Just got to standby and make sure they don't resort to using Nukes. LOL
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
#6
Reminds me of my first Himy Mandu. I brought her into a household with an adult male cat. Goldy and Mandu would play but when I would hear her yelp, I would come running and yell at Goldy to stop. Then one day when I heard her screaming bloody murder, I quietly approached. She was on the ground and Goldy was "holding" her down with one paw. That was it. At that point I told her to suck it up! I stopped intervening and they had great fun playing together.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#7
I agree with the others, as long as Biz isn't running away from Jengo they are playing like normal Savannah boys and no worse for the wear. Let them play and have their fun. If Jengo gets too rough I'm quite sure that Biz will let him know it.
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
#8
Biz tends towards being the instigator most of the time, lol. My bf saw the biting last night, it freaked him out too but we let it go, said nothing and it turned out fine. He doesn't seem to mind being held down and bitten so I suppose I shouldn't mind either. They run around and look for each other and then nose bump, swat and tackle.
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
#9
It's a parent's tendency to try to stop squabbling, especially when there is shrieking involved.

I think your boys are doing great together...good job!
 

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
#10
I'm learning to relax and let Oni and Ziggy deal with their relationship instead of immediately stepping in when there's chasing and yowling. Carolyn's a bit behind me on this, but is trying.

We're discovering (including Oni) that Ziggy really is play chasing and will almost always back off. Occasionally Oni will get backed into a corner and the batting continues too long for me. But I think I need to let them work it out themselves even then.

Oni used to love chasing and being chased and wrestling with Samwise. I think the best I can do is to let her get over her fear herself and start initiating play. The boys are ready.

When Ziggy and Jax are wrestling there's sometimes yelps, but not often, and they obviously respond to these warnings. I no longer worry about them at all--despite the size disparity.

Congrats on the boys! I really do think you're home free!