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How to Stop Your Cat From Playing Rough

August 01, 2017

Does your cat have a habit of pouncing on your toes, or attacking your hand? Kitties may be small, but they have big personalities, and can be a bit temperamental. Of course, our feline friends also sometimes think of their humans as giant cat toys. Rough play can be both frustrating and dangerous, so it’s definitely something to address. A Los Gatos, CA vet offers tips on how to do that in this article.

Teaching Good Petiquette

Never punish your kitty for attacking you. Fluffy is just acting according to her natural instincts, so she may not realize what she did wrong. Instead, tell your pet ‘No’ in a firm, disapproving tone of voice. You can also say ‘Put your claws away’ or ‘Don’t bite.’ Just be sure to use the same phrase each time. Another option is to blow in your cat’s face, or squirt her with water. Then, walk away and ignore your furball for a while. Sooner or later, she’ll get the hint!


If you want your cat to stop attacking you, you’ll need to redirect her attention and energy towards a more suitable outlet. Make sure Fluffy has plenty of playthings to pounce on. Kitties all have their own tastes: some furballs like squeaky toys, while others prefer catnip. Offer your furry buddy a variety of toys, and observe her while she plays to see what she likes best.


Take a few minutes a day to play with your kitty. This will help Fluffy burn off any excess energy she has. After a vigorous session of Catch That Red Dot, your cat may be slightly tired, and will hopefully be more interested in cuddling you than attacking you.


While many frisky furballs certainly think it’s great fun to pounce on their unsuspecting humans, sometimes cats attack out of aggression, rather than playfulness. If Fluffy is truly angry, she may flatten her ears, lash her tail, hiss, and/or growl, and she’ll probably bite and scratch full force. Playful kitties, on the other hand, may pause halfway through their ‘attacks’ to lick you, or just lose steam and wander off. If your cat is acting aggressive, ask your vet for specific advice.

Please contact us, your Los Gatos, CA animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care. We are here to help!