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Teaching Your Cat to Play Nice

Do you have a frisky feline on your hands? Kitties can be quite playful. While it can be super cute to watch a feisty furball attack a little catnip mouse, it isn’t quite so adorable when cats use us as toys. Those little claws and teeth can really hurt! Below, a Georgian Bay, ON vet offers tips on teaching Fluffy proper petiquette.

Correcting Bad Behavior

If your kitty attacks you, use a vocal command to discourage her. You can tell Fluffy to play nicely or put her claws away, or just tell her not to scratch or bite. Use a firm tone, but don’t yell. Then, walk away and ignore your furball for a while.

Playtime

Take time to play with your frisky pet every day. Use interactive toys that you can control, like wand toys or laser pointers. Just a few minutes of chasing after a toy bird on a string may tire your rambunctious furball out, and satisfy her playful streak.

Don’t Tempt The Furball

This may be obvious, but it still bears repeating. If you don’t want Fluffy pouncing on your feet, don’t tempt her by wearing furry slippers or wiggling your fingers at her.

Start Young

The sooner you start teaching your cat proper manners, the better! If you have a kitten, you’re ahead of the game, but even adult kitties can learn what is and is not acceptable.

Be Consistent

Don’t indulge your cat’s playful pouncing one day, and then reprimand her for it the next. Address Fluffy’s behavior every time she tries to nip or scratch.

Avoid Punishment

Don’t punish your feline friend for her feisty streak. You may just frighten Fluffy, or make her feel scared or anxious. This can lead to even more behavioral issues, including true aggression. Instead, reward your pet when she is being polite, and ignore her when she isn’t.

Offer Entertainment

Your cat will be more likely to treat you as a giant cat toy if she has nothing to amuse herself with. Make sure Fluffy has lots of fun toys to keep her amused. Birdwatching can be great mental stimulation for kitties, so we recommend giving your furball a good window seat.

Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? We are happy to help! Feel free to contact us, your Georgian Bay, ON veterinary clinic, anytime.

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