Rough Play in Cats

Do you have a frisky feline on your hands? Does your furball have a habit of pouncing on your toes, or biting your hand? One thing that is unique about kitties is the fact that they sometimes show their love by, well, attacking us. In this article, a local Greenwood, IN vet discusses rough play in cats.

Kittens

Baby cats are both playful and curious. Little Fluffy is born with a strong predatory instinct and a pretty impressive collection of claws and teeth, and will immediately start working on her hunting skills. Don’t let your rambunctious little pet practice her pounces on you! This can be cute at first, but can lead to some very dangerous behavior down the road. If your furry pal bites or scratches you, discourage her by saying “No’ or ‘Don’t bite’ in a firm tone, and then ignoring her for a while.

Frisky Felines

While even the most composed cat may not be able to resist pouncing on a pair of fuzzy slippers, in general, you should be able to teach your feline buddy to channel her excess energy appropriately. Make sure Fluffy has lots of fun toys to pounce on, and play with her daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Use a toy that you can control, like a laser pointer or wand toy. This will be fun for both of you!

Aggression

There is a big difference between playful roughhousing and true aggression. If Fluffy is just being frisky, she probably won’t attack full force, and may lose steam pretty quickly. Your pet may also give you a little nibble as she is licking your hand. These love bites may be unexpected, but they’re actually signs of affection. However, if your feline friend is truly angry, she may bite and scratch hard, flatten her ears, hiss, growl, and/or lash her tail. If your pet attacks you out of true aggression, don’t punish her: this could just make matters worse. Leave her alone until she calms down. We also recommend seeking advice from your vet or a cat behaviorist. Kitties can become aggressive for a variety of reasons, such as fear and territorialism. You’ll need to find out what’s behind your cat’s behavior before you can correct it.

Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Greenwood, IN animal clinic!

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