My cat likes to play rough and I don’t like it.
You may notice that your cat or kitten likes to play a bit rough at times. This may be fun for you at first, but sometimes they can go too far! With cats, anything that can be chased, batted or bitten is fair game—including your ankles! Having consistent play times using toys every day can teach your cat that he or she doesn’t have to initiate play time and will help your cat distinguish between toys and body parts, household decorations and other items that aren’t playthings.
Withdrawing your attention when play goes too far can also help—cats will quickly learn that rough play isn’t acceptable. Simply leave the room without saying anything. Don’t pick up the cat, talk to her or give any form of attention that could be interpreted by the cat as a reward. Touching, pushing the cat away or removing the cat may actually escalate the situation. Scruffing (picking up the cat by the scruff of its neck) or yelling can quickly transform the play into real aggression.
Consistency is key. It will confuse your cat if sometimes ankles, fingers or pant legs are playthings and other times they’re not. And remember, everyone in your house must be consistent in order for your training to be effective.