How to Get a Cat to Stop Attacking Your Feet: Easy Solutions for Every Cat

The cat is a beastie, and he keeps going for your ankles. Those scratches hurt! Has your pet lost its’ mind? Maybe you got the wrong one from the litter, or perhaps there’s a more straightforward solution. Your feline friend isn’t trying to be mean. Instead, what you have is a failure to communicate. Cat behavior is notoriously mysterious, but it’s not genuinely unknowable. I’ve had cats for years and dealt with all types of behavior issues as a result. A little research and some patience are all it takes to help a naughty kitty.

Stop Cats From Attacking Your Feet

When your cat attacks your feet, they are just playing with you. Their kitty instincts tell them to hunt. Similarly, they also say that you are like their mommy. What your pet is doing shows that they want you to know they’re practicing their job. Here are the eight steps to resolve this little problem.

  1. Identify the behavior. By reading this, you have already done this step.
  2. Rephrase the problem. Instead of punishing a “Bad Kitty,” understand that they are playing. Don’t be mean to them.
  3. Find an outlet. Make sure they get what they need, which is a chance to hunt.
  4. Play with them daily. Some cats are pickier than others when it comes to their toy preference. However, daily hunting play will give them what they need to stop attacking you.
  5. Be patient. This fix will not work immediately. It may take several days or even weeks. Instead of getting mad, redirect the cat when they go for your feet.
  6. Give them places to hide in ambush. This step may seem counterproductive, but kitties who jump out at you are showing their readiness to do the job of being a cat.
  7. Let them hide and jump the toys instead of you.
  8. Reward them for choosing the right target. Give your pet treats, kind words, and petting when they leave your feet alone and instead choose to ‘hunt’ a target (toy) you give them.

Cat Instinct to Hunt

We like to think our foot-attacking cats are domestic animals. However, that is only part of who they are. All the instincts your pet would have in the wild are still right there in their mind, driving your pet to go for your ankles.

Your first thought might be that this means your cat needs to go outside and hunt real prey. Unfortunately, that’s not the safest option. Moreover, it can result in messy dead ‘presents’ for you to clean up. Luckily there are plenty of ways to keep an indoor kitty occupied while satisfying their primal needs.

Cats aren’t necessarily killers by nature. Their instincts to hunt and catch are natural. However, killing is a learned behavior they acquire from their mothers. It’s a taught skill for most cats. Your indoor pet doesn’t need to taste blood to feel happy with their efforts.

Instead of promoting the requirement to make a kill, you can allow your pet to hunt for sport. Toys that help them stay fit by chasing and capturing fake prey work just fine. Choosing the right toys can seem baffling if you have a picky cat, but I can help you sort out what your kitty really needs.

Choose the Right Toy for Hunting

Some cats ‘refuse’ to play and opt to attack your feet instead. They aren’t being rude. More importantly, they don’t want to hurt you. Your feline friend knows you’re big and strong. That means you can handle whatever they dish out. At least, it does in their heads.

Cats love hunting By going for your feet, especially from an ambush position like around the corner or under a table, they are showing off. In essence, your cat is proving they can play with the big kitties. This is a good thing. So how do you find the right toy for your stubborn cat?

While most kitties will respond to feather wands, or at least laser pointers, especially stubborn kitties, may benefit from a change in feeding. An option like the SmartCat Tiger Diner feeding bowl also satisfies their need to hunt, while also helping your pet maintain healthy eating habits and proper weight. To find out more about this superb feeding toy, click here

What Are Hunting Toys

Many cats will give up on a toy that doesn’t move or respond correctly. Does your kitty like to tear up their toys? That’s not a bad thing, but rather their hunting instinct trying to finish the job they started. Let your cat have toy mice they can ‘gut.’ It’s worth a little cleanup if it keeps your pet from trying to hamstring you.

Cats are smart animals. They enjoy a good puzzle or challenge. You can use this to your advantage when finding the right toys to satisfy that hunting need. Interact with them by flicking a feather wand, but let them catch it now and then. A puzzle box full of treats will also satisfy their hunting needs, though some cats have more trouble with this than others.

Similarly, a laser dot is an easy way to interest most cats and get them up and moving. Better yet, you can set up a fantastic automated version of this toy for your cat. I suggest the PetDroid Boltz because this motion-activated toy will free up busy pet parent hands. Anytime your cat passes by, it will send out the mysterious dot in a random pattern to keep your cat on the move. You can get one from Amazon by clicking here

When Cats Don’t Hunt

All felines hunt. Whether they do so by attacking your feet, or in a healthy way, is mostly up to you. With no outlet for this instinct, cats get bored. Bored kitties become inactive and lazy. In short, a cat who doesn’t hunt will get fat and lose the sleek muscle they’re known for.

It’s vital to your pet’s health to prevent them from getting chunky. Although fat cats are adorable, they already have a health problem. Moreover, feline obesity shortens their life expectancy. Plus, it’s likely to lead to other unhealthy issues.

Over half the pets in the US, a massive 59.5% of cats, and 55.8% of dogs are overweight. Overeating and inactivity are the most common culprits. While around twenty-eight percent of those overweight kitties are just ‘fat,’ the rest are clinically obese.

Changing a Fat Cat’s Diet

All too often, pet owners fall into the diet trap. They ask generic questions like, ‘how much do you feed a cat.’ Resultantly, they get generic answers that don’t apply to their specific pet. You do not need diet foods to help your kitty get back to their sleek, healthy selves. What you do need is better information.

Talk to your vet about dietary changes. They will help you determine exactly how many calories per day is the right amount for your kitty. For example, a purebred Mainecoon cat is going to need more than a Siamese runt of the litter based on their sheer size.

Whatever your cat needs in calories, you can work that out based on their current diet. Don’t let them eat all day. Instead, work on portion control and let them eat the foods they like unless your vet says otherwise.

Getting Veterinary Help for Fat Cats

Expect your pet doctor to ask some questions about their lifestyle. When you have a fat kitty, they will also suggest some lifestyle changes, like more exercise. You should always take that to heart and provide more entertainment for your pet.

It is easy to fall into despair and guilt if you’ve let your cat get overweight or ignored their needs. After all, you love them and didn’t mean any harm. However, try to remember it’s an easy mistake to make. Instead of sorrow, guilt, anger, or other unhealthy emotions, change your inner dialogue. Tell yourself that you can help your cat live their best life, and then act on those ideas.

Consider getting your feline friend an excellent toy like the SnugglyCat Ripple Rug. Tunnels to play in are great for ambush ankle-hunters. Your cat will undoubtedly thank you for your efforts. Moreover, their health will improve when they get more playtime. Hide a few low-calorie treats or some catnip inside each day to help stimulate their senses and entice them to get involved. You can pick one up for your pet when you click here

Final Thoughts

When your cat expresses boredom by attacking your feet, they are trying to tell you something. Whether you have a fat kitty who is demanding playtime, or a slim pet who needs to burn off high energy, give them what they need. They will live longer, healthier lives, and your feet will bleed less often as a result.

Finding the right combination of toys and hiding spots for your pet can be a challenge. However, once you work it out, your cat should come around and stop going for your feet. Keep in mind that kittens are not cats. They will still play the way all baby animals are wont to do.

Rather than getting angry, get proactive about what your cat needs. Make sure they can fulfill that hunting instinct with something other than your toes, and you’ll both be happier.

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