If you share a home with a feline, you have probably already been surprised by an attack on the ankles. Many tutors are concerned with this habit of their cats to observe in it a possible symptom of aggressiveness. However, usually, a cat that chases the ankles of its tutors is simply boring and he finds no other way to positively exercise his natural hunting instinct.
Do you wonder why cats bite their ankles? So, we invite you to continue reading this article, to better understand the possible causes of this “cat attack” and know how to avoid it so that a game does not end in a wound.
Factors that influence this behavior
Although they have been “domesticated”, cats maintain innate the hunting instincts, as well as all the felines. However, unlike their wild relatives, our pigs stopped practicing their skills as hunters so notorious, since they do not need to catch prey to feed.
On the one hand, this home life protects them from numerous diseases and adversities of the environment, but when due attention is not paid to the environmental enrichment that a feline requires to remain healthy and balanced, different behavioral problems appear. You may wonder why your cat attacks you for no reason, however, all behaviors manifested in the cat have a cause and are carried out to achieve certain objectives: feed, release stress, seek attention.
Why do cats pull their legs and bite?
Most cats that bite the ankles of their guardians show some of the 5 symptoms of boredom in cats. By spending a lot of time alone and not having a enriched environment, or not receiving the proper attention from their guardians, a pussycat can find the perfect opportunity to exercise your natural instinct hunting on the ankles of their tutors. In addition, it is important to remember that a bored or sedentary cat becomes vulnerable to a series of diseases and behavioral problems.
We may not perceive it, but when we play with our kittens, we give them the opportunity to exercise their innate instincts. For example: the classic wand game (or fishing rod) aims to mimic the movement of a bird to stimulate the cat’s instinct to hunt. If we stop playing with our kittens or do not provide toys and accessories to remain active during our absence, it is very likely that they will find an exhaust valve for his boredom attacking our ankles.
Other causes that cause the cat to bite the legs
Although the bite in the ankles usually shows the boredom of a cat that does not have the necessary toys to positively exercise your instincts Without hurting their guardians, cats can bite for different reasons. Depending on the circumstance, a pussycat may bite as a sign of social interaction, for being over-excited during a game, as a demonstration of affection, for a poor socialization, for fear or distrust, for feeling vulnerable, among others.
If a cat bites you gently when you feed him or play for a while with him, he is probably showing you his love and gratitude. It is important do not reinforce this behavior and ignore it and teach him to express his affection in a safe and calm way, using positive reinforcement to recognize only his desirable attitudes. Remember that punishing, separating or scolding are also ways to reinforce behavior, because if the cat is seeking our attention, it is getting.
For extinguish a behavior, it must be ignored completely, only in this way the cat, not getting any response, will stop carrying it out. On the other hand, if a cat is sick or feel vulnerable In some context, you may bite as a form of self-defense, to avoid possible damage to your well-being.
If you notice that your kitten has symptoms of weakness, hides for a long time or is isolated, and uses the bite as a form of defense, it is very important to go quickly to the veterinarian. Some diseases can cause changes in their behavior and pain makes them feel more vulnerable.
In short . Because cats are the owners of a unique character, there is no exact interpretation for every sound, gesture or expression that felines use in their daily lives to express their feelings, desires and moods. Your cat is a unique and unique being, for which there is no previously established definition of his personality. Therefore, to interpret the meaning of the bites and the various forms of expression of your pussycat, it is very important that you take your time to discover their character and attempt to their body language.
However, if you notice that your cat has become aggressive or has negative changes in its behavior, it is important to consult a veterinarian who specializes in feline ethology. Together with this professional, you can find out the cause of these alterations and establish a treatment based on specific guidelines.
What can I do to keep my cat from biting the ankles?
Although we can understand that the act of jumping towards our ankles is instinctive and natural in our pussycat, the truth is that the bites in this sensitive region can be annoying and very painful. Therefore, we summarize some practical tips so you can avoid these attacks of your pussycat and generate a healthier coexistence in your home.
- Environmental enrichment: Surely, you have to go out to work and fulfill your responsibilities. It also means that you will have to leave your pussycat alone at home. To avoid behavioral problems and symptoms of stress or boredom, such as attacking the ankles, it is essential to enrich your environment with toys, scrapers, shelves to climb, hiding places, and other accessories that allow you to stay physically and mentally stimulated during your absence. In it, we also teach you how to make 5 DIY toys or an excellent DIY homemade scraper for your cat. They are cheap and fun: do not miss it!
- Quality moments: same that you offer many toys so that your pussy cat has fun alone, it is fundamental that you reserve a time exclusively to play with him and share quality moments. Even if you get home tired, remember to spend a few minutes with your partner. Without doubts, you will not regret it.
- Consider giving a partner: If you perceive that your cat is bored playing alone and episodes of boredom persist, you can consider giving it a “little brother” or “little sister”. However, remember to pay attention to your cat’s temperament and analyze its degree of sociability. If you consider that the presence of another individual can improve the quality of life of your feline, remember to socialize before imposing a cohabitation suddenly and correctly present the new cat to your cat.
- Preventive medicineAs mentioned, some pathologies can cause stress and modify the behavior of your pussycat. Therefore, to keep your cat healthy and balanced, it is essential to provide adequate preventive medicine throughout his life. Remember to make periodic visits to the veterinarian every 6 months, respect your letter of vaccination and periodic deworming, in addition to offering a balanced diet of excellent quality and keep it physically and mentally stimulated.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why do cats bite their ankles?, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.