Cat owners are all too familiar with fending off half-powered surprise attacks from our feline friends during cuddle sessions, but why do they pounce and what should you do about it?
If your kitty grabs you while you’re calmly petting him, he’s probably overstimulated. He lashes out when he wants the attention to stop. The best way to handle this is to stop the attack before it happens.
Be aware of your cat’s body language. It might seem like he swats at you without warning, but watch his tail carefully. If the tail is twitching in a jerky fashion, it’s time to stop petting him! Give him space, and resume petting after he calms down.
Once he’s already gotten those sharp kitty claws around your hand, the best thing to do is freeze. Don’t pull your hand back or struggle. That might trigger your cat’s hunting instinct and provoke a real bite. Usually, the cat will lose interest and release you in a moment. You can also try smacking your free hand on a hard surface, like a tabletop. The sound can startle him into breaking off the attack.
If you work within your cat’s tolerance levels and try to reduce triggers, you can keep your hands free from claw marks!