Tuesday 24 February 2009

My Cat Bites My Ankles Advice Please

I'd like some advice as my cat attacks my ankles and it is getting to be a problem. This is the plea from a cat keeper and the answer is pretty clear. This cat might be young, probably is. What the cat is doing is playing, chasing and, yes, practicing hunting skills. Nothing wrong with that, totally normal for the cat. What we as humans forget is that what we perceive as "cat behavior problems" are, in fact, human expectation problems.

We expect and/or hope our cat will behave as we want him or her to. We want the cat to fit into our life style. This attitude is manifest in many ways, the most cruel of which is declawing cats. We should accept that the domestic cat is a whisker away from the wild cat. After all the domestic cat was a wild cat some 9,000 years ago. They are still very close in character. A domestic cat can leave our home and survive with nothing. We couldn't do that.

So, if our cat is chasing and biting our ankles, we should rejoice in the play and play back. Playing with our cats is an important part of our relationship with them, particularly indoor cats, when it becomes essential to alleviate the boredom of an unnatural habitat. As to the bite, cat bites can be nasty because as an "expert" said, cat's mouths contain lots of bacteria. So do ours. But this can lead to an infection. My stray cat, Timmy, has an infected cat bite (but he is on the mend with antibiotics etc.). See cat fights can cause an abscess.

An expert said to reprimand the cat by saying "no" firmly if the cat is playing with our ankles. I disagree whole-heartedly with that. This is bad advice as the cat is behaving normally. How does the cat feel being told off for being normal. How would we feel under those circumstances? The cat might become confused. No, I'd spend time playing and build a stimulating environment for the cat. That will probably resolve the problem but in a much more constructive manner.

My Cat Bites My Ankles Advice Please -- Play back and enjoy it.........! This is how it can be done!


1 comment:

  1. Take an empty soda can and put half a dozen pennies in it. When the cat misbehaves, shake the can vigorously and tell the cat to stop in a firm tone. Cats don't like the noise and this can be a behavior modification technique that will work, It has for me, with several cats. I don't promise 100 percent success, but it's a proven means in my experience over four decades of owning mischievous felines.


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