Most individuals who choose to have a feline companion in their life are doing so because they enjoy interacting with cats. Cats can be friendly, loving, whimsical and a pleasure to have around. But when a cat begins to hide under furniture and attack anyone who walks by – including their owner – it can become a frustrating and unpleasant relationship.
There may be a rare few cat owners who have feline companions that enjoy hiding and jumping out at them in a manner that they find to be whimsical, playful and harmless. Perhaps these “attacks” only occur at certain times, and perhaps they are always gentle, paw-only attacks. This may lead some owners to believe that such attacks are entirely harmless, and in fact a normal part of raising a feline companion. But there may be a better way to stimulate one’s feline friend, without being the effects of these constant attacks.
About Cat Attacks
It is true that domesticated cats are descended from wild cats, and that wild cats must develop the skills to stalk and attack their prey in order to survive in the wild. In fact, many adolescent wild cats will engage in games that include stalking and attacking one another in order to develop and hone these skills, and this is perfectly natural. That said, when one is raising a domesticated cat, one should not expect their cat to practice their stalking and attacking skills on their ankles, legs and knees. This is actually considered play aggression, which means the cat is acting in a predatory manner while playing by stalking and pouncing, and it usually means that the cats needs more healthy stimulation.
Stopping Cat Attacks
Even though a domesticated cat is not living in the wild and in need of stalking and killing their prey, they yet need the physical and mental stimulation that comes along with participating in these activities. However, this does not mean that one should surrender their ankles, knees, legs or other body parts to their cat just to satisfy a primal urge. Instead, there are other ways that one can satisfy their cat’s needs to be predatory, while also stopping their cat from attacking humans. Following are three ways to stop cat attacks from occurring:
- Find out what stimulates your cat and enrich their environment accordingly. Some cats will just openly run up to their owners and attack their legs, while others hide in low places, like under tables and other furniture pieces, and jump out unexpectedly. In order to understand your cat’s needs, you need to first find out what stimulates your cat. If they enjoy running down the hall and pouncing, perhaps you can find a toy that will roll easily. If they enjoy hiding and jumping out unexpectedly, perhaps you can create a hiding space for them and then find a toy that can be moved quickly around corners so that they can jump out at it from their hiding space.
- Play with your cat. This may seem simple, but the fact is that few individuals understand just how much interaction a domesticated cat needs. Cats can be very independent and self-sufficient creatures, causing many owners to simply let them be. However, interacting with and playing with your cat can help to stimulate their mind and body, and make them less likely to attack humans, even in a playful way. Cats do well when their owners spend time playing with them every single day, engaging them in some sort of stimulating hunt and capture.
- Establish an everyday routine for your cat, but vary the toys. Cats enjoy routines as these can help them to feel comfortable and calm. However, cats also like having a variety of different toys to play with, as each toy can stimulate a different part of their brain.
It is very rare that a cat attacks humans out of true aggression, more often it is simply a desire to satisfy their predatory instincts. By understanding your cat’s needs, playing with your cat every day and adhering to a routine you can help regulate your cat’s behavior to maintain a healthy, happy and mutually beneficial relationship that keeps your ankles, legs and knees away from harm.