Limiting Your Cat’s Rough Play Behavior

Does your cat like to play rough, swatting and scratching at you as you pass by? You probably want to nip this behavior in the bud and avoid more painful claw marks. Learn how below from a Fort Bend veterinary professional.

Use Toys

Provide your cat with plenty of toys to play with. This way, he can get out his aggression on the fake mice and rubber balls instead of your hands. Choose the kind of toys your cat likes most, and switch them up every once in a while so your cat doesn’t get bored.

Introduce New Objects

Regularly introduce new objects into your cat’s environment—these could be paper bags, cardboard boxes, or paper towel tubes. These makeshift toys and obstacles can interest your cat enough that he’ll take out his energy on them, wearing him out in the process.

Redirect Attention

Does your cat like to swipe at your ankles when you walk by? Try carrying a small toy with you around the house. Just before your cat swipes or attacks, toss the toy ahead of you to redirect your cat’s attention. With any luck he’ll chase after that and ignore you, letting you pass.


When you’re playing with your cat and he becomes rough, give him a time-out. As soon as he bites or scratches, get up and leave the room for a few moments, ignoring your cat completely. This time-out can last for just a few minutes or longer stretches like a half-hour. If you do this consistently, he should get the message that rough play makes the play end completely.

Seek Professional Help

If you’re still having trouble with your cat’s behavior, make an appointment with your Fort Bend veterinarian. He or she can offer more helpful tips, and redirect you to a certified animal behaviorist if needed.

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