What To Do When Your Kitty Plays Too Rough
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Cats and Rough Play

Playtime with your cat is a treat for you and kitty. Interactive play offers exercise opportunities for cats of all ages, as well as a chance for you to bond. However, if you're not careful, gentle play can quickly turn rough – with full-sized teeth and claws to back it up.

Kittens play with just about any thing – including hands and furniture – if they are not quickly directed to more suitable toys. The danger of using your hands and feet to play with a kitten is that as he grows to adulthood, he will see them as moving targets for his teeth and claws. Teach him early on that hands and feet are not toys. Instead, encourage him to play with appropriate cat toys.

Not only will exercise and play help maintain your adult cat's weight, it is also a positive way to release negative energy or aggression. Some adult cats, if they are bored or stressed, can resort to rough play or biting. To avoid the encouragement of unwelcome behavior, never pet or play with your cat when he is in an overly aggressive mood.

Offer him an outlet of play that allows him to express himself. Use small stuffed toys or feather toys that he can tumble with when he feels rough. Reinforce positive play behavior with verbal praise and an occasional food treat.

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