Play Aggression in Kitties

Does your kitty sometimes pounce on your toes, or grab your arm while you are petting her? Our feline pals are both frisky and playful, but they aren’t always the most polite playmates! Here, a North Phoenix, AZ vet discusses play aggression in cats.

Adorable Predators

We know, cats are, for the most part, floofy, quirky furballs that love to be petted and pampered. However, it’s easy to forget that Fluffy is a hunter by nature, and is instinctively driven to pounce on things. Your cat also won’t necessarily realize that your foot is not a mouse, so you may have to teach her some manners.

Kitten Petiquette

You’ll have much better luck if you start teaching your furball what is and is not acceptable while she is still a kitten. Baby cats love to pounce on fingers and toes! This is just little Fluffy following her instincts, and giving those claws and teeth a test drive. However, while playful kittens are super cute, it’s important to nip bad habits in the bud. An adult kitty that thinks of her humans as giant cat toys can be dangerous! Don’t wiggle your fingers at your pet: that’s just encouraging her. If your cat bites or scratches you, tell her ‘No’ or ‘Bad Kitty’ in a disapproving tone. You can also squirt her with water, or blow in her face. (Cats hate these things, but they are mild enough to annoy—not scare—your feline friend.) Then, just ignore your furry pal until she’s ready to play nice.


It’s important to know the difference between rough play and true aggression. If Fluffy is purring one moment, and then frolicsome the next, she may just be feeling frisky. However, if your feline pal has her ears back, growls, and/or lashes her tail, well, you have an angry cat on your hands. Just walk away and leave her alone for a while. If your kitty’s aggression is problematic, ask your vet for advice.


Make sure Fluffy has plenty of toys to take her aggression out on. Play with her daily, using toys you can control, like a wand or laser pointer. This will burn off your furball’s excess energy, leaving her calmer and—hopefully—better behaved after.

Do you have questions or concerns about your kitty’s health or care? Contact us, your North Phoenix, AZ pet hospital, today!

Comments are closed.