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Why Does My Cat Chase Me?

Learn why your cat might hide, pounce, and chase after you.

Some people have cats that have a tendency to jump out at them, attack their feet, or even chase them around the house. Here's why cats chase their humans and what you can do about it.

Cats Chase Because They're Predators

Cats chase things because it's innate behavior. They're predators, so it's second nature for them to chase things. For some cats, that drive is so strong that your moving feet will trigger it, and that's especially true of kittens. Chasing things is fun for cats, and most of the time, if your cat chases you, it's because she's playing.

Most of the time, chasing behavior in cats is harmless. However, if the chase ends with a pounce on your feet or ankles with teeth and claws engaged, you'll need to curb it.

How to Stop Your Cat from Chasing You

If your cat chases you and stops short of pouncing, you might not need to curb the behavior. If it's constant or does end with a pounce, here's what you can do.

Keep a throw toy in your pocket. When your cat begins stalking or chasing you, toss it away from yourself to redirect him. Give him praise for chasing the toy, and spend a few minutes playing fetch if you can.

In general, increase your interactive play time with your cat. In particular, use wand toys that encourage your cat to chase and pounce, which exercises his hunter instincts. If your cat is able to get these urges out at other times, he shouldn't feel the need to chase and pounce on you as much. Just be sure to put the wand toys away when you're done because your cat should only use them when supervised.

Give your cat puzzle toys and automatic toys to occupy him when you can't play with him. These can get some of that energy out in positive ways.

Switch your cat's toys often and don't leave too many out at once. Otherwise, your cat might become bored and go back to looking for something more interesting, like your moving feet, to play with.

Remember: While it might be cute and not painful to have your tiny kitten pounce on and gnaw at your feet, it won't be cute when he's bigger and can hurt you. That's why you need to make it clear that it's unacceptable early because it will be harder to curb the behavior later if you allow it for a while.

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