Does your kitty sometimes like to play rough? Is Fluffy trying to practice her attack skills on you? This may be cute, but it can also be dangerous. Read on as a local Pasadena, MD vet offers some tips on teaching Fluffy to play nice.
When your cat bites you, tell her ‘No’ in a firm, disapproving tone. You can use another phrase, such as ‘Don’t bite’ or ‘No teeth.’ Just be consistent, and use the same phrasing each time. Then, walk away and ignore her. Fluffy will probably look at you with a slightly ‘purrplexed’ expression, but she’ll eventually get the hint
One way to teach Fluffy better manners is to make her form a bad association with unwanted behavior. When she bites you, do something that will startle and/or annoy her. Clap your hands, blow in her face, or sound a bike horn. Your kitty will probably retreat to think things over.
It’s just as important to encourage good habits as it is to discourage bad ones. Take time to play with Fluffy every day. Use toys that you can control, such as a wand toy or laser pointer. This will give your furball a chance to unleash her inner lion on something other than you.
Never yell at or hit your cat for biting you. This will only make Fluffy feel like she needs to defend herself, which could just throw fuel onto the fire. Plus, kitties don’t really understand punishment: your furball won’t know why you’re angry at her. This can make her feel confused or scared.
There’s a significant difference between playing rough and true aggression. (Note: Fluffy reserves the right to go back and forth between the two at any time, with little or no warning.) If your kitty is just being frisky, she may only bite lightly. She may also stop biting you and start licking you. Cats that are truly angry, on the other hand, may hiss, growl, poof their fur out, and/or lash their tails. They’ll also bite and scratch much harder. If your pet is acting aggressive, you’ll need to sort out why before you can address the issue. Ask your vet for professional advice.
Please contact us, your Pasadena, MD vet clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs.