Ever catch your pampered kitty hunched down, tail twitching, and huge eyes locked on you as you cross the room? You’re not alone! You’ve received a stalker in your house, and it’s your pampered little kitty channeling their interior wild cat.
Watching my cat getting ready to pounce on his favourite toy by no means fails to place a smile on my face. In his thoughts, he’s a wild predator and his toy is his prey. Admittedly, it’s not as enjoyable when his goal is my ankles!
The reality is that stalking is simply part of cat nature. On this article, we’ll speak a bit of extra about why your cat is perhaps stalking you, and what you are able to do to discourage them from pouncing out on you unexpectedly.
Why Do Cats Stalk?
Regardless of their cute and fluffy exterior, our pampered pets are nonetheless associated to fierce wildcats. Actually, our modern-day feline companions share 95.6% of their DNA with the African Wildcat—or the Felis Silvestris Lybica.1
Within the wild, cats are extremely expert predators that depend on their stealthy stalking instincts, their heightened senses, and their athletic construct to hunt and catch prey for themselves and for his or her younger. Briefly, they hunt to stay, and though our domesticated cats get their meals served up in a ceramic bowl twice and even 3 times per day, their searching intuition nonetheless involves them naturally.
However don’t fear! In case your cat is stalking you, that doesn’t imply he’s eyeing you as his subsequent meal. Moderately, he’s doing it as a result of intuition compels him to.
Why Is My Cat Pouncing on Me?
So, if he’s not attempting to eat me, why does my cat pounce on me? There could possibly be a number of causes, however stalking and pouncing behaviors often imply that your cat needs your consideration. Boredom conjures up damaging conduct in pets, and cats aren’t any exception.
Whereas stalking and pouncing are utterly regular and even wholesome cat behaviors, you in all probability wish to discourage your pet from selecting you—or another person—as their goal.
High 5 Tricks to Discourage Your Cat from Pouncing On You
1. Keep away from Unintended Reinforcement
Should you give your cat consideration when he pounces on you, he’ll get precisely what he needs. Your consideration will likely be a reward that reinforces the very sort of conduct you wish to keep away from.
As an alternative, when your cat does unexpectedly pounce on you, attempt to not give him an excessive amount of of a response. Actually, if you happen to can, ignore your kitty and stroll away.
2. Redirect Your Cat’s Consideration
Keep watch over your cat’s physique language. I can often inform when my cat is in play mode as a result of he’ll hunch down and begin wiggling his bottom! That is the proper alternative to seize considered one of his catnip toys and toss it throughout the room. He’ll fortunately pounce away and begin taking part in appropriately earlier than he’s had the prospect to pounce on me or another person.
Catnip toys, feather wands, laser pointers, and different interactive toys can all work nicely as distraction instruments. Strive them out and see what works finest in your cat. The primary trick right here is to redirect the conduct earlier than he has the prospect to pounce on you.
3. Schedule Play Periods
As unbiased as they appear, cats nonetheless want every day stimulation, and in the event that they don’t get it, they will get bored and infrequently flip to damaging conduct. Attempt to schedule not less than two 10-minute play classes along with your cat every day. Not solely will they love you for it, however you might also discover that it helps you loosen up! Research present that spending just a bit time along with your furry companion can decrease your stress ranges.2
Feather wands and different toys that simulate pure prey are good for these play classes. They are going to present your cat with the chance to observe its predatory instincts appropriately, with out danger to your ankles. Don’t neglect to present them a small deal with on the finish of every session!
4. Reinforce Constructive Habits
Cats study finest by means of optimistic reinforcement. When your cat performs appropriately or shows different fascinating behaviors, keep in mind to deal with them instantly in order that they affiliate the reward with that conduct. Rewards can embrace tasty treats, catnip, or your consideration.
5. Seek the advice of a Veterinarian
Whereas it’s regular for cats to pounce and play, if it turns into extreme or uncontrollable, then your cat may be susceptible to injuring himself.
If regardless of your efforts, your cat nonetheless pounces on you—particularly if it’s to the purpose of inflicting harm—it’s finest to ebook an appointment with a vet. A veterinarian will have the ability to rule out any underlying well being points which may be contributing to your cat’s aggressive conduct.
Stalking and pouncing are a giant a part of a cat’s pure feline instincts. Our cute little predators might look lovely once they’re getting ready to pounce on their toys, but it surely’s finest to not encourage this conduct when the goal is you, or one other particular person or animal. Scheduling a few play classes will give your cat the proper alternative to observe this intuition in a secure and painless means! Now… the place’s that feather wand?
Featured Picture Credit score: JumpStory