Rough Play in Cats

Does your cat sometimes pounce on your toes or bite your fingers? Kitties can be quite mischievous little furballs, and they don’t always play nice. Here, a Webster, NY vet discusses rough play in cats.

Your Adorable Predator

We know, housecats spend their days sleeping, judging us, and looking smug, but your cute little pet is actually a predator by nature. Kitties have a strong instinctive urge to pounce, bite, and scratch, and they often think it’s great fun to practice on their humans. This may seem quite rude, but it’s important to keep in mind that cats have their own opinions about what constitutes acceptable behavior. In Fluffy’s mind, rough play is purrfectly normal, as are stealing chairs, running out in front of people, and grooming herself in front of company.

Forming Good Habits

Cats are smart enough to learn what is and is not proper petiquette. If your furball bites or scratches, tell her ‘No’ firmly, then walk away and ignore her for a while. You can also make a loud noise, or squirt Fluffy with water. Sooner or later, she’ll get the hint!

Play and Entertainment

Make sure that your fingers and toes aren’t the only things Fluffy has to play with. To make your home fun, comfortable, and entertaining for your feline friend, offer her lots of toys; comfy beds; a good window seat; and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. We also recommend playing with your furry companion daily. Use something you can control, like a wand toy or laser pointer. This will burn off your frisky pet’s excess zing, leaving you with a calmer cat.

Play Vs. Aggression

While many kitties are just being playful when they bite or scratch their owners, sometimes cats are truly attacking. If your feline pal isn’t biting very hard, or tends to quickly lose steam and start licking you, she’s probably just being playful. If Fluffy has her ears back, and is hissing, poofing her fur, and/or lashing her tail, well, you have an angry cat on your hands. Never punish your pet for attacking: this will only make things worse. Just walk away and ignore your furry buddy until she calms down. Ask your vet or a professional cat behaviorist for more recommendations.

Please contact us, your Webster, NY pet hospital, for all your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re happy to help!