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You are watching: Why do cats kick with their back legs

My cat, Mazel, is just about the sweetest small smushed-faced angel. We spend lot of our time snuggling, stop paws, and also sometimes he also licks me.

That being said, even during the many tender moments, there room times once it appears as though a switch has actually been flipped.

In the middle of giving me kisses, he"ll unexpectedly wrap his body roughly my hand and use his back legs to shot to revolve my wrist into skin confetti.

Mazel"s kicking behavior doesn"t show up to be comes from a ar of fear. What specifically is keep going to do my tiny fuzzy pants walk from tender to the Terminator in the blink of an eye?

I turned to Dr. Susan Krebsbach, a veterinarian with behavior expertise, to get some answers and also sent she the adhering to footage of Mazel"s kicking behavior.

This certain incident to be on mine leg and I removed the audio because this is a family-friendly website

What is a “Bunny Kick”?

"Bunny kicking is once a cat rolls top top their earlier or side, wraps their front legs around an object (e.g., a toy, another cat, your arm…) and also then start kicking in ~ it v their hind legs, usually with a vengeance,” explains Dr. Susan.

Why perform Cats rabbit Kick?

“Bunny kicking is an wild move,” says Dr. Susan. “It is both a self-defense move and also a searching maneuver. As soon as a cat is lying on your back, or thrown top top their ago in battle, their breakable abdomen is exposed (which is the only component of the body that is not defended by bones). So, come guard their innards, lock grab the ‘attacker’ and also ward them off was powerful thrusts of their behind legs.”

“This same action may likewise be offensively aggressive, together seen as soon as cats record their prey. That does no always an outcome in the food being killed but a prelude to the ‘play’ that complies with with the cat tossing castle around.”

Is it it s okay to Let my Cat Bunny kick Me?

"The short answer is "No." even in play, bunny kicking is an aggressive solution that you do not desire to promote with your cat." Dr. Susan adds, "Though your cat might not mean to harm you and is just engaging in aggressive play, the damages their claws can cause your hands, arms, feet, or legs have the right to be severe.

"So, if your cat begins to "wrestle" with one of your limbs, redirect your bunny kicking play come a cat toy instead. And the following time her cat plops on their back, seemingly come invite a ship rub, refrain from doing therefore if over there is a background of grabbing your hand or Thumper-like moves."

Dr. Susan Krebsbach is the owner and founder of biology Counseling and has been helping animals and also their humans prevent and resolve habits issues.

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Give her Cat Something else to beat With

To save your kitties entertained and enable them to usage their prey drive, below are some principles for cat enrichment the don"t involve beating girlfriend up. Ns would likewise highly imply a toy prefer the one watched below, which Mazel gained as a holiday gift. That is pretty lot obsessed with it and, together you deserve to see in the video, it enables him to obtain lots that bunny-kicking exercise throughout the job (and native what I deserve to hear, at night together well).