Animal behaviourist Kathy Clayton, chairperson of the Animal Behaviour Consultants of South Africa – and a sought-after professional dog trainer, offers behavioural advice:
Question My Persian tomcat sometimes gets this wild look in his eyes, wraps his legs around someone’s arm, and bites down. Why does he do this?
Kathy’s answer Some cats have this problem and sadly they have never been taught that this behaviour is unacceptable. All cats like to chase and pounce on their ‘prey’, and then they grab it and bite down on it. This is what your cat is doing – you are the ‘prey’ and the cat is going into the grab and bite mode. He has not learnt to play nicely and not use his claws and mouth. You could keep a spray bottle nearby or a water pistol and spritz the cat when he does this.
He needs to learn that he can’t do this to you. You should encourage another form of play behaviour – toys on a string or rope that you drag around for the cat to pounce on. There are lots of cat toys in the shops and I would suggest that you get a selection for your cat and teach him to play with the toys.
Words and image: Fairlady magazine