|To prevent your cat from scratching you it is important that you do not encourage any playtime that includes human hands or feet as targets. If teeth ever touch skin, all play and attention stops immediately. Simply walk away from your cat and ignore her for a few minutes. If your cat is on your lap, stand up and allow your cat to slide off your lap and walk away.
Your cat soon will learn that if teeth or nails touch skin, the fun time with mom or dad ends, which is no fun at all! Never yell at your cat or discipline her with your hands. This can send confusing signals since your cat cannot determine when your hands are safe (calm petting, food time) vs. when they are not. Your cat can learn to avoid you if, in their perspective, your hands are unpredictable.
Miranda K. Workman owns Purrfect Paws Animal Behavior Center, LLC in Western New York.
January 27th, 2011