Dealing with Cats Who Scratch or Bite


Do you have a cat that gets aggressive when you play? Most of the time those are young cats, and it’s a very common problem. Learn how to deal with a cat that scratches or bites from board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. E’Lise Christensen, DVM in this Howcast video.



  1. Joan

    Jul 30, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    My cat is more interested in the stick than the toy at the end and she is interested with the hand holding the stick. I stop the play if she gets aggressive. Today we were playing . with her new wand toy I stopped playing because I saw she was getting aggressive. I talked quietly to her until she calmed down or so I thought. She was laying on her platform and I was folding laundry. Then suddenly she hit me with her nails out drawing blood. Then she ran into another room. I cannot play with her using the toys on a wand, because this is always the end result. I can only play with her if I use a ball. She likes to chase balls up the stairs. After the attack she was very cuddly. She is an 8 year old cat and I have had her since she was a young kitten. I never used my hands to play with her we only play with toys. Any suggestions?

  2. Rosa

    Jul 30, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I have a similar problem too. My cat will sometimes attack me out of nowhere. She doesn’t scratch, she’s more of a biter. I tell to be nice and not too bite me but she gets more angry. I usually just run off to the next room cause she scares me. But she won’t bite anyone else.

  3. Sarah

    Dec 15, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    This does not help me at all. My cat is so different. He doesn’t scratch, growl or hiss. He just walks up to me and bites. He was recently diagnosed with gout and before that he was very mellow all the time (he’s less than A year and a half) now that he’s feeling better he had loads of energy and the dog (4 lbs) refuses to play with him. He hops around the house looking to do anything he can to get our attention but when we do give him attention while he’s like that, he goes into biting mode. It doesn’t seem mean, just feisty rough play. He’s so bored with his toys that none of them get his attention anymore. He’s the cutest kitty in the world, and when he isn’t feisty he’s also the sweetest. He’s just reverted back to that teen-ager phase that he skipped past before because of his gout.

  4. Zahra Abu Lileh

    Dec 25, 2016 at 4:20 am

    I’ve always played rough with my cats over the years, but only when they’ve wanted to. The cat we have now has been with us since he was a kitten. While my son was young, the cat didn’t associate rough play with him, only with me. I’m used to the clawing and biting which has never gotten to drawing blood. Our cat is an indoor cat but still likes to hunt so we also use the wands, I also make catnip toys which the cat loves to play with on his own by throwing them up in the air and catching. I understand that most people don’t like to be scratched or bitten, I just don’t mind it. My cat knows when it’s time to rest.

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