Sometimes, your cat attacks your feet when you sit down for a rest. Or he may bite and scratch your feet as you walk around the house. Does your cat hate you? On the contrary, he is playing with you, and showing that he loves you. Nevertheless, all this biting and scratching can hurt, and is not fun for you.
There are several reasons why your cat will attack your feet and legs (besides the fact that he is short and can’t reach your face when he swipes those claws of his). First of all, when he stalks and pounces on your feet, he is just playing – enacting a hunting game. He is pretending that your feet are his prey, like a mouse or bird. He is just following his natural instincts. If you have ever seen a litter of kittens play with each other, you will understand. They tumble around, roughhousing. But there will also be one or two of them who will be stalking their playmates, bellies low to the ground, ready to jump and pounce on their target.
This leads to the second reason – kitty is just playing and wants the attention of his favorite human being – YOU! He has excess energy, and wants you to play with him. Although your little tiger is just doing all this to show you his affection, you want him to stop biting and clawing your feet and legs. After all, it hurts. But you also don’t want to punish him. After all, he is just doing this because he loves you.
The first thing you can do is to play with kitty regularly. You should do this two or three times everyday. Depending on how active your cat is, ten or twenty minutes of playtime in the morning and at night should keep him happy and satisfied. This will bleed off his excess energy and at the same time show him that he is Number One in your life. If he bites or scratches too hard, you may want to play with him using cat toys. A toy mouse which squeaks when your little tiger pounces on it will work well. Just drag the rubber mouse along the ground for him to chase.
Another thing you can do is to put a collar with a bell on your cat. This will help to give you a few moments warning when kitty pounces on you from ambush. At the very least, it will keep you from being surprised and tripping over him. If you carry a spray bottle of water, you can squirt him with a little bit of cold water just as he leaps on your feet. This won’t hurt him, but will surprise him and he won’t like it. You want to catch him in the act to discourage him, so do not spray him after he finishes pouncing on you. Remember: Only squirt him with water as he is pouncing on your feet!
Your cat attacks your feet because he is playing out his natural instincts as a hunter. He is also playing with you, just as he played with his litter mates as a small kitten. You can never really stop this behavior, but you can keep in under control. Regular scheduled playtimes, using cat toys instead of your hands and feet – these are just some of the ways you can use.