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Pet Peeves: Kitty Launches Attack On Unsuspecting Ankle!

Q: I have a new(ish) kitten who won't stop attacking me! At first I thought Sparrow just wanted my shoelaces, but she even pounces at my bare feet when I'm trying to walk around the house. I've had her for about four months now, and I'm worried that it's getting worse . . . before it gets better. Please help!

A: It sounds like you have an instinctive cat who's always looking to play! Cats have natural predatory instincts – some more than others – that make them want to hunt out moving "prey," in this case, your ankles. Make sure your kitty gets plenty of playtime to work out that energy. It helps to redirect her attention with a toy she can use to entertain herself like the Play-n-Squeak product line or an Undercover Mouse which is a battery-operated moving mouse on a string. To see my DIY idea,


Try securing fishing line to the top of a door by adding a couple of nails above the door frame and tying a string to the nail and a feather (or other small appealing object) to the bottom. Then set up a small fan pointing in the general direction of the strings and feathers – this should cause the lures to swing in the air and (hopefully) tempt your cat to bat, bat, bat away!


Join The Conversation
Nina_79 Nina_79 9 years
My cat used to do that when he was young. Even attack my feet while I was sleeping so I had to wrap my blanket around them. I sometimes put an old towel around my arm and play fought with him and he seemed to like that. He was an only can and couldn't go out so I would also consider getting a second cat that your kitty can play with. Otherwise I can just say that she will grow older and calmer.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 9 years
I have some furry Gap slippers that go up to my knees and Milo goes crazy for those, but I don't mind too much because they shield my legs from those sharp little teeth. I'm with aschwebb, I find it adorable, especially when he hides behind a chair waiting for me and rears up on his back leg (he has just the one) all shaky and ready to pounce. It's hilarious!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Little toys they can pounce on and play with to their hearts' content are the best :) When my cats were kittens (and one of them was a real terror, when he wasn't hiding under the sofa terrifying me with thoughts of him having escaped), they also really used to love the "mouse on a string" toys--they could jump so high! They do grow out of it, though :( and you'll miss that playfulness later on, so have fun with it!
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
Penny doesn't attack my ankles but she is ALL over the place. The only way I can keep her out of my stuff is to wear her out. I use a laser pointer. She runs after it full speed to the point where she has to stop because she's panting. After doing that for about 5 minutes she doesn't have energy for anything except a nap.
PirateKitty PirateKitty 9 years
My cat always did that too, she still does now and she is three. I have scratches all over my legs haha. I know you can redirect the attention, but how do you stop the from surprise attacking you??? I don't mind the pain, i just don't want scars
Rally-RE Rally-RE 9 years
when my cat was younger, he loved to attack my ankles and legs. i think he knew i was afraid of him because he only targeted me and no one else in the house. it got so bad that if he was sitting at the foot of the bed i'd take a running leap to avoid his paw reach! now that he's older he leaves my ankles alone ... and chases the three dogs instead :)
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
You might want to consider adding another kitten to the mix. I "babysat" a friends two 3 month old kittens this past summer. They were holey terrors, but they wore themselves out playing with one another! By the end of the two weeks, though, I needed a vacation! I have only adopted adult cats, and that's the way it will continue to be! :)
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Lol @ linb - I can take her. Sparrow is a cute name.
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
Sparrow is such an adorable name. Wish I had thought of it when I got my tiny puppy.
linb linb 9 years
My dog attacks me as well - don't worry, she's a toy poodle. I can take her :) When she was a puppy she began attacking our legs whenever we asked if she wanted to go outside (to use the bathroom, to go for a ride, etc). It was so cute, that we encouraged it. She barks and grabs the pants of our legs and tries to 'drag' us towards the door.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
My 10 month old kitten is the same. She is an only kitty so being 10 months she is very active and playful. When i walk out of a room or go by her she will jump up and try to scrtach my legs and feet and ankles! Honestly, I think it's adorable. She is young, and in a couple of years she will grow out of it. Right now, it's just her way of letting me know she wants to play! And the funny thing is she would NEVER do it to my boyfriend (who also lives with me). I think it's more because he the disiplinarian, while I am the sucky mama.
ALSW ALSW 9 years
One of my kittens is the same way - very active - loves to chase, pull hair, climb clothes, go crazy, you name it. I've found that he really enjoys those little dingle balls (I like them better when the dingle is out!) and we also bought a Cat Dancer. He goes wild for that thing! It's a little like PetSugar's DIY project and we found it online for $3 or so and in stores for $6 or so.
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