Busting Bad Cat Behavior: Playing Rough

Categories: Cats, Busting Bad Behavior

A cute kitten gently playing rough with the hand of its owner.

Cat's playful nature is one of the most beloved traits in kittens and young cats, but sometimes it can hurt! Stalking, chasing, kicking, scratching, pouncing and biting are all a part of kitten play - so what do you do when it's directed at your fingers?

The first step is to make sure your cat has plenty of toys, from small toys for batting across the floor, to string toys for one-on-one play. Spend ten minutes twice a day playing with your cat.

But here's the kicker, don't encourage any batting or swatting at your hands or feet. Direct their attention away from you with a dangly toy or by throwing their favorite small toy. For ambushers and ankle biters, carry toys with you to divert their attention as you walk by. The most important thing is to not direct any play to your hands, feet, or anywhere else on your person; no cat gloves with toys on the fingers!

Finally, remember not to physically punish your cat for rough play. Hitting or slapping your cat could be interpreted as play, or worse, make your cat fearful and lose trust in you. Instead, calmly leave the room when play gets rough - game over.