The way cats play can reveal a huge amount about their personalities, and about cat behavior in general.
Anyone who’s ever owned more than one cat will know how different each and every one’s character is. Even cats from the same litter have totally different personalities, and this becomes apparent in very early stages of kitten development.
On this page we’ll look at the behavior of two Ragdoll kittens, Charlie and Trigg, who have been raised in the same home with exactly the same treatment. Charlie is about a month older than Trigg but quite a bit bigger.
These two adorable Ragdoll kittens have been raised with love and care in a great environment, so their personalities are “true” – in other words, they haven’t had to change their behavior (and characters) due to fear, hardship or any other reason.
Watching the way these two cats play and interact reveals a lot about their personalities.
Videos of Charlie show him to be a gentle character who’s laid back and pretty much takes in his stride whatever comes his way. He’s got an air of confidence – for example there’s a video that shows him striding straight out into quite deep snow with no hesitation! He also seems very capable of amusing himself, and seems to be quite happy playing on his own.
Trigg, on the other hand, is very different. I think he tries extremely hard to give off an “I’m Mr. Super-Confident” appearance, but behind this he’s a bit timid and unsure of himself. He seems to follow Charlie around quite a bit – for example when Charlie went confidently striding out into the snow, Trigg followed Charlie to the door but hung around inside. Trigg was much more reluctant to go outside.
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Trigg also tries to show an air of confidence when he’s playing and even when he’s being fed. When he’s playing, he pounces and leaps into the air. A cat pouncing and jumping in this way is a sign of dominance or would-be dominance – in other words little Trigg is trying to prove to the world (and I suspect himself!) that he’s the boss! When he pounces on his food, he’s “killing” it – in other words, showing dominance again.
When these two cats play, Trigg seems to rely on Charlie quite a lot. He’ll follow Charlie round and join in with whatever Charlie is doing. I believe Trigg knows he’s the less confident of the two but tries to prove otherwise, and laid-back Charlie really doesn’t mind and takes it all in his stride!
This post is written by Liz Allan, owner of Cat Behavior Explained, a website with lots of useful information on caring for cats and kittens with photos, videos, behavior advice and health advice.