Cats and dogs have different vocalizations and body language that are easy to spot when you’re more familiar with them.
Both of my dogs sneeze while playing (to let each other know it’s all play) and do this thing where they lower their torsos with their bums up and tails wagging. Happy vocalizations are usually like an airy groan/ exhale, mad growls are usually a low constant rumble. My older dog also barks when she’s had enough play or isn’t in the mood.
My cat typically lays on his side with his body stretched and he paws at their faces to initiate play. Sometimes he will pounce my little dog. He really only vocalizes a distressed meow when the little one gets a good bite in to let her know it hurt and to ease up. He hisses occasionally when he’s scared (when he hears other cats fighting outside), and meows at me when he wants food or attention. Some cats also have a terrible growl yowel (I think there’s a video on YouTube called cat from hell- sounds kind of like screaming) when they are very distressed. Definitely a sign to back off
When animals are moving fluidly and kind of dancing around each other it’s usually a playful sign, but if an animal‘s body is frozen, they’re alert, and have a lowered tail and head they aren’t in the mood to play (or sometimes even approached) and you should give them some space. Some dogs show their teeth aggressively, some cats flick their tail when it’s resting on the ground.
Dog and cat fights are usually pretty loud, I’ve never seen them fight each other (just dog vs dog and cat vs cat). Never try to break up an animal fight yourself, it can result in injury. I’ve stopped a few cat fights with a hose, dog fights depending on the size of the dogs a broom between the two might do. My dad’s friend had two large dogs fighting and he tried grabbing one and ended up getting bitten and pulled, resulted in a large gash in his arm.
There are plenty of articles to read, but this is just some of what I’ve picked up having been around animals my whole life. Hope this helps!
Playing can include some growling/hissing – especially when one is about done with playing – but fighting would definitely be louder. At least for the cat… I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a cat fight, but when they progress from sustained eye contact to legit attempts to hurt one another it’s accompanied by an ungodly noise that you’re not going to mistake for playing. Look up a video of cats fighting on youtube – the sounds are very distinct.
Another big hint is that they’re both going in, neither is trying to run away. The cat backs off a couple times, but only a few feet, and then comes back towards the dog. And yes, that both aren’t trying very hard. The dog obviously, because if it were trying the cat would be dead. But the cat as well – it isn’t doing the ‘bunny kicks’ that cats will do when grappling, and its claws are certainly capable of drawing blood on the dog’s face if it were using them for real.
Thats why i said 3 months at the minimum, though 6 months to a year is better they are nearly adult sized, and close to their final personality, while being easier to introduce. Plus 5+ months is when bad people usually give up their kitten to shelters, because they are starting to not be cute to them anymore or their kids isn’t interested in their new “toys” anymore, especially after Christmas, so adopting them is a good.
They need to match the energy this guy as, no matter how well they are introduced, if they aren’t a good match, you will at best get 2 cats that tolerate eachother, especially if they get a shy to other cats cat or a more introverted cat, but add any adult cats with a too strong of a personality, and it may end in a blood bath or with a cat getting heavily bullied, 6 months to year if their personality match would be the ideal
Dog has a huge size and reach advantage and an effective jab. But cat has some real martial arts training and good ground game. Dodged a lot of hits and got out of grapples in expected liquid fashion.
He just does more crazy and annoying shit around the house now that he doesn’t have a friend to get his energy out on. We play with him a couple of times a day but they used to go at it like this for literal hours every day. He just seems like he has way more random outbursts of energy.