How to teach a kitten to play well

The life of a kitten is about play, and play is about prey. Kittens start playing almost as soon as they get up on their little paws. And if you look closely, you will notice that you now have a hunter at home.

 

How do kittens learn to play?

Kittens learn how to inhibit their bite, from their mothers and littermates. A kitten that has been separated from its family too early may not have learned proper play behavior, leading to unwanted bites .

Kittens learn from us too – if people use their hands and feet instead of toys to play with a young kitten , the kitten can learn that rough play is okay.

In most cases, it is not too difficult to teach your adult kitten or cat that rough play is not acceptable.

Rules for teaching a cat to play well

Don’t allow your kitten to play with your hands or feet (or any other part of the body). This sends the message that your fingers and toes are under attack.
Use a fishing pole-type toy or throw a toy for them to chase, this keeps them away from your hands and body.
Give your kitty something to fight with. This is one of the ways kittens play with each other, and how they are trying to play when fighting with human hands and feet, so it is important to provide this type of alternative.
Encourage play with a “fighting toy” by rubbing it against your kitty’s belly when they feel like playing roughly. Make sure to remove your hand as soon as they accept the toy.
Don’t hit or yell at your kitten when it bites or pounces. This will only make them fear you. The idea is to train them, not pnish them.

 

Avoid misbehavior by playing with a kitten

Playing is not bad behavior, but you have to set the rules for your kitten: don’t bite. All the people residing in the home have to follow the same rules to play with a kitten.

Your kitty cannot be expected to know that it is okay to play rough with certain people but not others.

Kitten biting while playing

If you pet your kitten and she starts to nibble on you , immediately say “no” and gently remove her hands. Give him a toy to play with instead and don’t try to pet him again until he calms down.

You can also make your hands unattractive to your kitten by adding a substance that tastes bad, but harmless, such as bitter apple or Tabasco sauce. Your kitty will quickly find out.

Teach a kitten what its toys are

Kitties always seem to want to play with whatever you are using: knitting needles, a pencil, headphone cords, etc. If your kitten starts to “attack” you when you are working, you should say “no” firmly to interrupt his behavior.

Next, give your cat one of her own toys. Make sure they are not attacking when you give them a toy or they may think they are being rewarded for biting.

 

Kitten that hides to attack you while playing

Kittens also like to “hunt” you while you walk. They jump from behind a door or under a chair and pounce on your ankles. If they don’t emerge but don’t pounce, praise them with “good kitty,” but if they point to your ankles, say “no” seriously.

Stop paying attention to your kitten when he bites you

Draw attention away when your kitty doesn’t get the message . If distraction and redirection techniques don’t work, the most drastic thing you can do to discourage your cat from rough play is to take all your attention away from him.

The best way to withdraw your attention is to walk into another room and close the door long enough for it to calm down. If you take them to put them in another room, then you are rewarding them by touching them, so you should always be the one to leave the room.

Remember, your kitty wants to play with you, not just toys, so be sure to set aside time for regular, safe, and interactive play sessions.

 

 

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