Rough Play in Cats

Rough Play in Cats

Does your kitty like to pounce on your toes? Does your feline buddy think that your hands are toys? Kitties can be very playful. Unfortunately, sometimes our feline friends seem to think of their human buddies as giant cat toys. This is not only bad petiquette: it can be very dangerous! In this article from River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Fox Chapel, PA area, a local veterinarian discusses rough play in cats.

Don’t Encourage Bad Manners

Cats are quite capable of learning what is and is not acceptable behavior. Teach your kitty good petiquette from the start. Also, don’t tease Fluffy by wiggling your fingers or wearing fuzzy slippers. That’s just asking for it!

Proper Play

Make sure Fluffy has plenty of fun toys, and play with her daily. Use toys that you can control, like a wand toy or laser pointer. These are great because they mimic live prey, which is lots of fun for kitties. These fun play sessions will burn off your cat’s excess energy, and let her channel her playfulness in an appropriate direction. After playtime, your frisky pet will be more interested in napping than in attacking your toes.

Breaking Bad Habits

Never punish your pet for roughhousing: you may only make her scared or angry. The next time Fluffy pounces on you, tell her ‘No’ in a firm tone of voice. You can also say ‘Don’t bite’ or ‘Put your claws away.’ Just use the same phrasing each time. Then, walk away and ignore your cat for a while. If your feisty furball doesn’t get the hint, try using a taste deterrent on your hands. You can find these online or in most pet stores. Ask your vet for more recommendations.

Rough Play Vs. Aggression

While Fluffy often just wants to play, at times kitties bite and scratch out of aggression. Learn the difference between a frisky cat and an angry one. If Fluffy is being aggressive, her ears may be back, and she may hiss or lash her tail. She’ll also bite and scratch with full force. Playful kitties may do a pre-launch butt-wiggle before attacking, and often bite lightly. If you know or suspect that your cat is being aggressive, consult your vet immediately.

Does your kitty need veterinary care? Contact River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Natrona Heights, PA area, anytime. We are happy to help!

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