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why does my cat bite my feet

Listen to the audio version of this article Does this describe your home? You get up out of bed and start walking to the bathroom, only to have your ankles become the target of a cat attack. Does your cat hide under the bed until the moment when she sees your bare feet hit the floor and then she sinks her teeth or
into your flesh? Perhaps your cat waits around the corner for that moment when you walk down the hallway and then she launches into a perfectly timed ankle. Is there a solution? Yes. The reason your cat targets your ankles is because theyБre a moving target and if thereБs no other option for play or stimulation, the catб will focus on what s currently available. The prey-drive is triggered by objects moving across or away from the catБs visual field. If your cat isnБt getting adequate stimulation and playtime opportunities through interactive play therapy or adequate then sheБs going to take it upon herself to find a substitute. Unfortunately, that substitute is a painful one to the human. In order to stop the ankle attacks you need to provide the cat with a better option and that comes in the form of playtime opportunities with appropriate. YouБll do this in two ways. First, set up a schedule of doing on a daily basis. Use a fishing pole-type toy so you can mimic the movements of prey. The fishing pole toy also puts a distance between your skin and the catБs teeth so it teaches the cat what is an acceptable target. Since cats would have several opportunities to hunt in an outdoor setting, schedule at least two interactive play sessions per day. Next on the list is to increase the fun factor in the overall environment.

This will enable your cat to have opportunities for playtime even when you arenБt home. Use for your cat so sheБll have lots of chances to БworkБ for. Puzzle feeders provide cats with a natural progression of the hunt and the reward. You can also rotate your catБs regular toys so they donБt become boring. Take a long look at the types of solo toys youБve bought and see if they could use some improvement. A fuzzy ball is boring when itБs sitting in the toy basket but if you place it inside of an open paper bag that on its side on the floor then youБve increased the fun factor. There are many ways to increase environmental enrichment in your home so that your ankles are no longer the most appealing target. Use your imagination and create homemade puzzles and toys. Set up a cat tree by a window. Install a bird feeder outside. Use a to looking at the environment from a catБs point of view. Is it a boring environment? If so, then itБs time to roll up your sleeves and add some fun into your catБs life. If your cat has her paws wrapped around your ankle and her teeth are sinking into your skin, whatБs the best thing to do? One thing you shouldnБt do is run or pull away because that will often only result in the cat down harder. Prey moves away so donБt act like prey when youБre bitten. Instead, confuse your cat by gently pushing toward her. This will often cause her to release her grasp because no self-respecting prey willingly heads toward the predator. Once the cat releases her grasp, stay still and ignore her.

SheБll soon learn that biting flesh results in an immediate end to the fun. Need More Information? For more specifics on play therapy and how to use toys for behavior modification and correcting cat behavior problems, refer to any of, including the brand new release,. We re sorry but Pam is unable to respond to comments. If you have questions about cat behavior you can find many answers in the books by Pam Johnson-Bennett as well as in the articles on our site. If your cat is displaying a change in behavior, contact your veterinarian because there may be an underlying medical cause. This article is not intended as a replacement for your cat s veterinary care. 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. В Cats 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. В She 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!

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