Playtime with kittens

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OWNERS of new kittens can be easily identified – all you have to do is look at their hands. Kittens are notorious for attacking hands during playtime, and those tiny teeth and claws can and do leave marks on delicate human skin. Some owners take pleasure in this form of play, at least while the kitten is young and the game is still relatively painless. As kitty grows, in a matter of weeks, many owners find that the cute game is becoming too painful. It’s time to teach the kitten to stop…

It should be stated at this point, that as with any behaviour trait, consistency is the key. Therefore, you would be advised to avoid any aggressive interaction between your hands and your kitten, as young as she may be. It may look cute now, but soon enough it will get nasty and you’ll have a bad habit to deal with.

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Your kitten is not being “bad”. When playing, all young mammals imitate some form of adult behaviour that will be useful for them as they grow up. With kittens it is either hunting or fighting. Watch a litter of kittens tumble around on the rug and you will see the same type of playful aggression. It is their way to practice hunting and fighting routines which nature intended them to use as adult cats.

Clearly, there is nothing wrong with aggressive play itself. The problem begins when the target is delicate human hands. The solution lies with redirecting the aggression to more suitable targets.

 


 

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