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Curbing Aggressive Play In Cats

July 15, 2023

Does your kitty sometimes attack you playfully? Fluffy may be small, but she clearly sees herself as a lion or tiger … and isn’t shy about practicing her pouncing skills on her humans. This can be cute in kittens, but it can be problematic and even dangerous in adult cats. Read on as a local Burlington, ON vet offers some advice on curbing these bad manners. 


Whenever Fluffy attacks you, immediately react in a negative way. You don’t want to punish her or yell at her: that will only make her angry or frightened. Instead, blow in her face or clap your hands. These won’t hurt your feline pal, but they will startle her and annoy her, which is what you want. (Like most of us, cats don’t care for being startled or annoyed, so this may do the trick.)


When Fluffy attacks you, immediately walk away and ignore her. Cats find this extremely purrplexing! It may take time for your furry friend to get the point, but she’ll figure it out sooner or later.  

Start Young

Is your furball still a kitten? If so, time is definitely on your side. Start teaching your frisky ball of fur good manners from the start. It’s much, much easier to teach a baby feline good manners than to try and correct bad habits in a full-grown adult. 


Playing is a great way for our four-legged pals to get a workout in and burn off some of that angst. (It’s also great for bonding, and just keeping your furry little friend entertained.) Use toys you control from a distance, such as wand toys or laser pointers. This will teach your pint-sized panther to target that bird toy, not your hand. 

Just Say No

When teaching your feline friend not to attack, you’ll want to incorporate some vocal commands. Whenever your kitty pounces on your hand or kick-attacks your toes, just sternly tell her not to. You can use any word or phrase you like, whether it’s ‘No’ or ‘Don’t bite’ or ‘Put your claws away!’. The key is to be consistent. 

Taste Deterrent

No luck? The next tool in your toolbox is taste deterrent. Just be careful not to rub it on your face or eyes! 

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your local Burlington, ON pet clinic, today! 

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