PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cats love to play. It’s an important behavior learned from a young age that helps to shape coordination as well as social skills. Interact with your cat and direct play towards a favorite toy. Provide a variety of toys and find those which your cat genuinely enjoys.
However, sometimes some forms of social play can be misinterpreted as aggression when in reality, your cat may be playing just a little too roughly. This becomes reinforced since the negative behavior has, unfortunately, never been discouraged.
Therefore, it’s highly recommended to redirect your cat’s playtime away from your hands and feet and towards a toy instead. Never ever physically punish your cat; aside from being wrong, this will only incite fearfulness, stress and possible aggression. Instead, use toys to redirect the behavior. You can also stop play immediately and leave the room the moment that playtime becomes too rough. You can also clap your hands loudly and quickly to refocus your cat’s behavior and then proceed to direct playtime back to the toy.
Be consistent and be patient as your cat begins to learn the new appropriate behavior.
Reported By Nan Talleno, KYW Newsradio