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Teaching Your Cat to Play Nice

Does your kitty sometimes bite or scratch you? Kitties make wonderful animal companions, but they aren’t perfect. Your feline friend may need a bit of pet parenting to learn how to use those sharp little claws and teeth properly. A local Greensboro, NC veterinarian offers advice on teaching your cat to play nice in this article.

Discourage Rough Play

First and foremost, don’t encourage your kitty to play rough. Don’t wiggle your fingers or toes at her, and don’t let her use you as a cat tower. Avoid glove toys, as they could confuse Fluffy, and make her think that attacking your hand is acceptable.

Start Young

It’s always better to train a young animal to behave properly than to correct bad habits in spoiled adult furballs. If you have a kitten, teach little Fluffy proper ‘petiquette’ from the start. It may be cute now when your kitty playfully pounces on you, but it won’t be cute when she grows up!

Just Say No

While no one is sure how many words cats understand, they often seem to get the point when being verbally disciplined. Try telling Fluffy not to bite, or to put her claws away. Speak in a firm, disapproving voice, but don’t yell. Consistency is very important, so use the same phrasing each time.

Ignore Bad Manners

As soon as your kitty does something undesirable, such as biting you, reprimand her verbally, using the same, consistent phrasing described above, then walk away and ignore her. Sooner or later, Fluffy will get the hint!

Provide Proper Outlets

Give Fluffy plenty of fun toys to take her aggression out on. We also recommend providing your cat with a good kitty tower or scratching post. Playing with your kitty regularly will help burn off some of that excess energy, leaving you with a calmer, perhaps slightly tired, furball.

Nobody’s Purrfect

Sometimes kitties attack half-heartedly: Fluffy may grab your hand without really using her claws, or nip you lightly to show her disapproval if you stop petting her. This isn’t exactly ‘purrfect’ behavior, but it’s a far cry from true aggression. Learn to read your kitty’s moods. If your cat often shows signs of true feline anger, such as hissing, growling, or flattened ears, consult a professional.

Does Fluffy need shots or an examination? We can help! Call us, your Greensboro, NC animal hospital, today!

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