why does my cat attack my feet in bed
We all know it. I think all cats have done it. You are lazily waking under your covers when your cat launches herself at your feet. Sometimes we anticpate and egg it on, but sometimes, it is a bit of a shock if you are comfortably snoozing when the attack occurs. You can make it a game or you can just bump her off the bed. Given the unpredictability of your reaction, why does your cat seem to find the lure of your hidden feet so irresistible? That s just it itвs irresistible. ВCats are hunters and their prey drive is hard wired into their very being. The presence of prey, its movement and sound, triggers a response inside your cat s brain that is reflexive. He probably knows it s your feet (or at least knows that what it is an awfully large prey item for him), but the signals prompt him to act, regardless. As the game moves forward, of course, his cognitive brain starts to catch up and he relishes the capture and loss and recapture of your elusive feet just for the fun. Think about sport fishing. I used to wonder why in the world a fish would try to eat or attack a plastic lure. Sport fishing is successful based on the very same concept.
It is not really about the lure or the material (because letвs face it, artificial lure is like your foot, never edible), but instead it is whether the lure can trigger the fish to instinctively attack. Here is where the skill and art of fishing come in. The fisherman wants to use and move the lure in a way that will cause the fish to react without thinking. Your feet may do the same thing for your cat, but there is probably more to it than that, given that your cat likes you and wants your attention. ВShe gets the fun of the chase and catching of your feet and sometimes, you respond with a game. She never actually ingests your toes, so she knows in her thinking brain that this is not a hunt. If she is truly hungry, she will abandon the game in search of real food. Hunting and prey apprehension are so important to cats that those deprived of it are at a greater risk of medical and behavioral disorders, so indulge your cat s desire to stalk your feet, even find other things that she can sneak up on and pounce on. If she s interrupting your needed sleep time, make sure you indulge her hunter instincts in deliberate games before you retire for the night.
Appreciate that she needs these types of activities for her overall mental and physical health. If it turns into a fun game ritual, it is even better! Do you love cats? Find me on Facebook at. We talk about all sorts of fun animal things!
love to and theyвre usually ready for a game at any time. While a pre-bedtime playtime session is a great way to encourage your cat to sleep through the night, the one place you shouldnвt conduct that game is on your bed. Consistency is important in training and if you send the message that itвs ok to leap, pounce and play on the bed then she may also feel itвs ok to jump on your wiggling toes when youвre sound asleep in the middle of the night. If she begins to associate the bed as a giant playtime trampoline, then you canвt blame her when she sits on your chest in the wee hours of the morning and paws at your face in an attempt to rouse her favorite playmate. She may also learnВ it s acceptable to attack your feet under the covers and trust me, having your cat your toes in the middle of the night isn t a fun way to wake up.
In addition to the typical areas you may choose for playtime, such as the living room or family room, you can also use the opportunity to help your cat associate a particular location with a positive experience. If your cat gets nervous in the front hallway near the, for example, you can gradually work your way up to playing in that area so she associates having and feeling confident in that spot. В Playtime location can be an important factor in modification so use it to your advantage and don t set your cat up to receive. If you want the bed to be a place where you can enjoy cat cuddles, and napping, don t use it as a feline playground. Additionally, if you don t want your cat on the kitchen counter or dining room table, don t encourage playtime there. Be consistent in your messaging. Please note that Pam is unable to answer questions posted in the comment section. If you have a question about your cat s behavior, you can find information in the articles on our website as well as in Pam s books. If you have a question regarding your cat s health, please contact your veterinarian. В
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