How to Curb Rough Play in Cats

Does your feline friend sometimes seem to see you as a giant kitty toy? If so, you’re not alone! Rough play is not uncommon in our feline friends. Most of Fluffy’s playful behaviors are based on hunting tactics, but sometimes kitties get a bit carried away with their antics. Needless to say, this is much more fun for your kitty than it is for you! In this article, a Livonia, MI vet offers advice on how to teach your cat to play nice.

Start Young

If you have a kitten, start teaching your little one good petiquette right away. It might be cute now when your baby cat pounces, but it won’t be nearly as cute later, when your frisky furball is grown. Nip this bad habit in the bud! Allowing little Fluffy to play rough can lead to serious behavioral issues down the road.

Say No

The next time Fluffy attacks your hand or foot, tell her ‘No’ in a firm voice. You can also say ‘Don’t bite,’ or tell your feline pal to put her claws away. Use the same command and disapproving tone every time. It may take time, but most kitties eventually get the hint.

Don’t Tease

We know, Fluffy looks adorable when she’s about to pounce, but don’t tempt your kitty by wiggling your fingers or toes.

Ignore Bad Manners

Ignore your cat when she’s being bad. The next time Fluffy pounces on you, just walk away, and refuse to pay attention to her until she’s ready to play nice.

Offer Suitable Toys

Give your cat plenty of toys to take her aggression out on. You can go with classic kitty toys like catnip mice, or something more modern, like a robotic mouse.


Play with Fluffy every day, using interactive toys like wand toys or laser pointers. This will burn off your frisky feline’s excess energy. Afterwards, you’ll probably find yourself with a sleepy furball on your hands, rather than a feisty one.

Avoid Punishment

Never punish your kitty for misbehaving. Cats don’t think the way we do, so negative reinforcement often backfires. Fluffy may not associate your reaction with her behavior, and won’t understand why you’re angry. This can lead to even more behavioral trouble!

Does your cat need shots or an examination? Contact us, your Livonia, MI vet clinic, today. We are here to help.

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