How to Get a Cat to Stop Biting when Playing
How to Play with a Cat
We love our cats and love spending quality time with them. I’m sure by now you’ve heard how important cat enrichment is in a cat’s life, both mentally and physically. You’ve probably also heard how cat play therapy can strengthen your bond and decrease cat behavioral problems. But what can you do when your cat bites you during play and petting?
How Cats Play
Cat play revolves primarily around a cat’s natural instincts of stalking, chasing, killing, and eating. It’s no wonder that cat play can easily get out of hand and too rough. A cat may even zone out during play—in his eyes, this is the hunt and kill. But don’t worry! Playing with your cat does not have to include being bitten in the process.
Here are four tips to get you started with appropriate cat play
- You are not the toy. Your fingers, hair, or clothing are not part of the game. Instead, ensure you have plenty of safe and appropriate cat toys.
- Bring the toy to life. If you are trying to engage your cat with a toy and he’s biting you or not interested, try to help bring life into the toy. Make the toy more enticing than your body. Each cat will have his own preference for play toys, style, and movement. Take the time to learn what your cat enjoys.
- Rough-housing and over-arousal can quickly lead to your cat biting. When playing with your cat, watch his energy and engagement level. If it seems that he’s getting a bit too stimulated, slow the play down. Your cat may do better with more frequent, shorter play sessions.
- Do not tease or scare your cat. I’m often saddened when I see cat videos of people scaring or teasing their cats. This is not play, nor is it fun for your feline. A cat that is often scared or teased is more likely to resort to using his fangs or claws in self-defense.
Cat play and play therapy provide amazing opportunities for our cats and us. Knowing how to play right is important. Remember, never scare or play rough with your cat. But do play often! Read more on cat games and play here.
What is your cat’s favorite game? Tell me in the comments.
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