If you are the proud owner of a cat, you must surely have already experienced this situation: when you approach your feline’s hand to play or to stroke it, it grabs you with its paws and starts to attack you. chew and kick your back paws. Therefore, it is particularly difficult to make them let go. But what do these kicks mean? Is this really a way to hurt you?
Good to know: just because your cat shows you their belly doesn’t mean it wants you to stroke them!
The goal: inflict as much damage as possible
If your cat kicks you, it’s not necessarily to hurt you. Indeed, there are two situations in which cats will adopt this behavior, whether with a toy or with your hand: when they are excited and when they are angry.
The excitement caused by the desire to play can push them to seize their “opponent” in this way. Likewise, if they feel in danger, cats will tend to attack what they consider their enemy in this way. It can also be a way for them to let you know that they don’t want to be petted.
The goal? Inflict as much damage as possible. Indeed, by lying on their backs or on their sides, this allows them to more easily catch the object of their excitement or nervousness and to hold it between their paws. But there is better, in this posture, they can use all their weapons at the same time, that is to say their teeth and the claws of their four legs.
In addition, this position allows them to strike the abdomen of their rival – which is the part of the body where most of the vital organs are located – and therefore to fight effectively. They thus put all the chances on their side to win the fight.
It is also for this reason that, when they fight among themselves, cats adopt this “combat” position which allows them to inflict wounds quickly. Indeed, in nature, cats do not like to fight for a long time.
A behavior that cats also have with their toys
Our feline friends don’t just kick us, they kick their toys too. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see them grab a toy, turn over on their back and pound it with their hind legs.
The reason is simple: they consider this toy as prey or a possible enemy. This is also the case for your hand.
For all these reasons, it is highly recommended that you never use your hand or foot when playing with your cat. Choose toys attached to a stick or a string, for example.
Also, to tell if your cat is kicking you aggressively or playing, observe it. If their ears are lowered back, it is vocalizing, and their tail is wagging, it is probably doing this to defend himself. Otherwise, it’s just their way of playing, like you when you played wrestling with your friends when you were a kid!