Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

Why Do Some Cats Bunny-Kick Things?

Cats bunny-kick for fun and to fight.

Have you seen a cat roll over on her back, grab ahold of a toy or someone's arm, and begin kicking at it with her rear legs? Why do cats do that?

Bunny-Kicking Can Be Playful

Cats sometimes bunny-kick during play, and you will often see this when your cat is interacting with certain toys. Cats grab ahold of each other with their front legs while playing and kick at each other with their hind legs. Your cat might also do this with your arm if you play with her with your hand, which is something that you should avoid doing. As much as possible, always use a toy to play with your cat, not your hands or feet.

Cats Bunny-Kick While Fighting

Cats also use their hind feet to kick each other and other adversaries when they are fighting. They will often lie on their backs or sides so they can use all four sets of claws and their teeth to fight at the same time. When they do this, they can inflict as much damage on their opponent as possible.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Play Kicking and Fight Kicking?

You must look at the other body language of the cat to help you determine whether she is bunny-kicking aggressively or playfully. If her ears are back, she is tense, her tail is swishing back and forth jerkily, and her pupils are dilated, she is probably feeling aggressive or defensive. If her muscles and face are relaxed, her ears are forward, and she is not hissing or snarling, she is probably being playful.

Always take care, even when playing with your cat, not to get hurt. It's best to play with your cat using a wand toy, so your hand isn't considered a toy for biting and scratching.



 

 

Rubbing a Cat's Belly Often Leads to Bunny-Kicking

If your cat rolls on her back and you reach to pet her belly, she will often respond by grabbing your arm with her front paws and bunny-kicking it with the rear. She may be playing with you, but some cats don't like their abdomens touched at all, and they will quickly become angry if you attempt to stroke them there.

If Your Cat Likes to Bunny-Kick, Provide Kickable Toys

If your cat loves to bunny-kick, provide her with some toys that are great for that activity. Here are a few:

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