TL;DR: Cats scratching people when they walk away is a common problem. The answer to the question of why does my cat scratch me when I walk away might be misdirected predatory behavior, overstimulation, or seeking attention. To prevent this behavior, you should try giving your cat attention when you walk by and avoid surprising him. Also consider incorporating playtime into your daily routine, but don’t use your hands and feet or toys with short rods.
If you have a cat, you have probably had the experience of having him unexpectedly pounce on you and scratch you as you walk by. While your cat thinks this is a fun game, it can be unpleasant, startling, and even dangerous for cat owners and family members. Cat scratches can be painful and might even cause infections such as cat scratch fever. In some cases, this disease can cause serious complications.
Why does my cat scratch me when I walk away?
There are several possible answers to the question why does my cat scratch me when I walk by. First of all, movement can trigger your cat’s predatory instinct to stalk and attack. When you walk by your cat, he might think you’re playing a game and engage in predatory behavior by stalking and pouncing or simply swatting your ankle. If he gets carried away, he might accidentally scratch you.
If your cat is scratching you when you walk by because he wants to play, you can try to redirect him by offering him a toy or a treat when you pass by. In this way, you can teach him that he will be rewarded if he does not swipe or grab at you as you walk by.
If he is scratching you when you walk by to get your attention, be sure to acknowledge him when you approach. A simple greeting and pat on the head might do the trick.
If you walk by quickly or unexpectedly, it is possible that you are startling your cat and he is scratching you out of fear. The best way to avoid this behavior is to walk slowly when you pass your cat and to make sure he sees you coming. Avoid sneaking up on your cat, because this can cause fear and anxiety and lead to aggressive behaviors.
Most of the time, cats scratch people who walk by because they are playing or want attention. However, in some cases, the behavior is triggered by redirected aggression or fear.
Redirected aggression happens when an aversive stimulus is not accessible causing a cat to attack another stimulus in its place. This type of aggression is relatively common and can be dangerous and unpredictable. Loud noises, other cats, and unfamiliar people can trigger redirected aggression. The cat’s heightened state of arousal can last for a long time. If you think your cat has a problem with aggression, you might consider consulting a professional for assistance.
Why does my cat scratch me when playing?
Playing with your cat is important because it provides him with mental stimulation and exercise. It is also a great way to bond with your cat and enjoy your time together. However, you might find that your cat scratches you when playing. Instead of doing away with playtime, you can try to understand why your cat is behaving this way and find ways to solve the problem.
Usually, cats scratch you when playing because it is a natural part of their game. When cats play, they are exhibiting redirected predatory behavior. Cats’ natural predatory behavior involves catching and killing prey by using their claws and teeth. Indoor cats don’t have opportunities to catch real prey, so they use their claws when playing with toys and objects they find around the house instead.
A common cause of problems is when you play with your cat using your hands and feet or toys with short rods. Doing this teaches your cat that hands and feet are toys to play with. While cats love this game, it is very likely to get out of control and lead to scratches and bites even when you are not playing.
Another reason why your cat might scratch you when you are playing is overstimulation. You might be playing with your cat nicely and calmly and then suddenly it degenerates into a scratching and biting frenzy. This is not uncommon and should not be taken by owners to mean that the cat doesn’t like them. It might just mean they have had enough playing and are ready to move on. It could also be a sign that they are not feeling well.
There are some warning signs to look out for that cats usually display to let you know they have had enough attention. Narrowing eyes, rippling skin, flicking ears, and growling are a few signals to watch out for. If you notice any of these behaviors, it’s a good idea to stop playing for the time being before he gets too agitated.
The best solution for playful aggressive behavior is to redirect play towards objects instead of the owner’s body. Reinforcing the behavior should be avoided. For example, throwing a toy to distract your cat might be perceived as a reward. Moving during the attack is also not a good idea because this can trigger further attacks. If possible, you should stay still and calm rather than react to a cat who starts to scratch you during play.
By including appropriate play as part of your cat’s daily routine and avoiding playing with your cat by using your hands and feet, you should be able to discourage your cat from scratching you when you play. Cats in households with more than one cat are less likely to act aggressively towards people, so you might consider bringing a second cat into your home. However, if you decide to go this route, be sure to follow the proper protocol for introducing cats.