Photo provided by Friskies Explorer miller1972.
Do you have a cat who waits under the bed until the moment when your feet hit the floor and then he’s off like a rocket to pounce on your unsuspecting feet? Or maybe you have a cat who hides behind the chair and when he sees you walk by he wraps his paws around you with lightning speed. Are you doomed to have to keep your feet wrapped in heavy socks to protect your innocent ankles? What is it about your ankles that fascinates your cat?
The truth is, your ankles are the target of your cat’s playtime focus because they’re often the only things in motion. One of the things that immediately triggers your cat’s play-drive is movement and if there isn’t enough stimulation happening in the home from kitty’s point of view, he’ll just have to take matters into his own paws. And that’s where your ankles come in.
There are two important steps involved in putting an end to ankle attacks. The first step is to make sure your cat has other, more enticing play objects. Engage him in a couple of interactive play sessions a day to work off that energy. Also, set up some puzzle feeders and other enticing toys for his solo playtime. If he gets adequate playtime with the correct type of toys, your ankles will lose their appeal.
The second step has to do with how to react if your cat does go after your ankles. To make them less appealing, stop the motion immediately. Then, say a high pitched “ouch” to let your cat know that this has hurt you. If he still has his paws wrapped around your ankles, reach down and gently remove him and then ignore him for a few moments. He’ll soon learn that biting your ankles doesn’t get him the reaction he was hoping for. Finally, redirect him to an appropriate toy.
Does your cat ever go after your ankles?