How do I get my cat to stop playing so rough?

Our question this week was:How do you tactfully stop your cat from playing too rough and biting? My arms look like a war zone. She does it mainly with me and thank goodness not with my customers who come into my store. I’m sure I did not help by allowing her to play a little too rough with me. I feel there has to be a way of stopping this before it gets out of hand and she thinks it’s all right to do it all the time. She is about 3-4 months kitten.

Patricia Chase


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your cat is playing rough and biting. You are right – you may have aided this by allowing her to play rough with you.

I have a really good article about this you need to read – go to
Introduction to Feline Aggression.

Basically, what I’d recommend is when your cat starts playing rough – totally withdraw your attention. Ignore her. Walk away. When she is “Playing nice” – reward her with praise and petting or a treat.

You especially don’t want to perpetuate this if you have her exposed to your customers in your business environment.

So remember – As soon as she gets rough, put her down and withdrawal you attention. Ignore her.

Most cats will learn pretty quickly what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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