Rough Play in Cats

Does your cat play rough? Fluffy is super cute and cuddly, be she can also be rather feisty at times. Our feline friends tend to think of ‘playing’ and ‘attacking’ as more or less the same thing, which can make for some frisky pets! Here, a Westside, IN vet discusses rough play in cats.


Baby cats are very playful! Little Fluffy is very curious about figuring out how all of her claws and teeth work, and may want to practice her pouncing and jumping skills on you. This may be cute when your feline pal is little, but it can be very dangerous in adult cats. Therefore, it’s important to nip your furball’s bad manners in the bud.

Discouraging Bad Behavior

Never punish your cat for playing rough. Fluffy is just following her instincts, and won’t know what she did wrong. Instead, you want to discourage bad behavior, and encourage good manners. To stop your furball from biting or scratching inappropriately, try simply telling her ‘No’ in a firm tone of voice. You can also say ‘Don’t bite’ or ‘No scratching.’ Just be sure to use the same phrase every time. Then, ignore your cat until she is ready to play nice.

Promoting Good Petiquette

Make sure that your feline buddy has plenty of fun toys, so she has an appropriate target to take her aggression out on. Be sure to praise and reward your kitty when she uses her toys! Some of your pet’s playthings should be toys you can control, like dangling feather toys or laser pointers. Use these to play with Fluffy every day. This will help her burn off her excess energy.


It isn’t always easy to tell the difference between aggression and rough play in cats. (It doesn’t exactly help that Fluffy can go from one to the other at any time, and for no apparent reason.) However, there are a few indicators. Playful cats usually don’t bite very hard, and may lose steam rather quickly. However, if your pet has her ears back, is hissing or growling, and is attacking full force, well, you probably have an angry furball on your hands. Ask your vet for advice on solving your kitty’s aggression issues.

Do you have questions or concerns over your pet’s health or care? We are here to help! Contact us, your Westside, IN veterinary clinic, today.

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