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Discussion Starter #1
I think most, if not all cats have certain types of things that they don't like us to do to them. I always thought that if we do something to annoy them they'll simply go away.

I'll sometimes hold Toby on the ground or the bed, on his back and mess with his tummy or chest. He'll get in to rabbit kick mode, or use his mouth on my arm and we'll wrestle around a bit. (YES, I know about the danger of letting him get use to rough play). When he gets away from me, or I let him up, he doesn't go off, but stays around to play more. If I go away he'll either follow me or just stay where we where at.

I'm I being cruel or annoying to him? Like I said, I thought when you bother a cat they go away? Is he just being tolerant even though he doesn't like it because he wants to be near me? Or is it not really bothering him?
 

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I would stop what you are doing. You're over stimulating him and teaching him that your hand is a play thing. When my cats go after my hands, play time automatically stops. No if's, ands or buts about it. My hand is not a toy. My hand is a part of me, it's mine. I don't care if they play rough with their toys, but they do not play rough with me.

When you bother a cat, they do one of two things: they react or they go away. If they react, it may not necessarily be a great thing. Depending on his mood, he probably likes it or is envisioning chewing your head off for bothering him.

But in all honesty, if you want to play with him, use cat toys, not your hands. It will teach him to be respectful of you and your body.
 

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And furthermore, when you hold Toby on his back, most cats despise it. They are very vulnerable in that position. That's probably the reason he's kicking you.
 

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I have to disagree - I think it depends a lot on the cat whether they enjoy that type of play or not. I have one that has never allowed anyone to touch her stomach. She hates it, so I respect that.

But Moxie - my younger cat - voluntarily rolls over for belly rubs, and occasionally I play with her just like you play with Toby. I put my hand on her stomach, roll her around, mess with her feet, let her bunny kick and 'bite' me. She's just the gentlest cat in the world, and playing with her like this has never changed that. If she's got her teeth against my fingers or hand she's extremely gentle, and even when she bunny kicks me she keeps her claws off my skin. If that ever changed I'd remove my hand to remind her to be gentle, but as of yet I've never had that problem.

I think if you have a kitten you have to be careful not to teach them bad habits. But when you've got a gentle cat who already knows to be careful, and you both enjoy playing like that, I don't really see it as being inherently harmful. I'm sure you know Toby best, and if he really didn't enjoy playing like that he'd let you know. When Moxie's done playing that way she rolls herself over, I let her, and we play something else. If Toby was annoyed I really doubt he'd hang around afterwards or keep coming back for more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
IIf Toby was annoyed I really doubt he'd hang around afterwards or keep coming back for more.
He's kind of like a dog saying more, more, more. I know I can't let him treat me like he would a cat play-mate, but it's really kind of bonding.
 

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I agree with Cat. It's no big deal if you teach them WHEN it's ok and when it's not. Neither of my cats attack my feet or my hands or anything inappropriately and we 'wrestle' all the time.

I also agree that if it annoys him he'd leave or you'd see a shift from playful to angry/warning.

As for rolling them on their back I don't find that either of mine mind it that much. IN fact, that's one thing that gets MowMow more rev'd up than ANYTHING in play. If I put him on his back on the bed and lay my hands flat on him from chin to belly and BOUNCE him gently on the bed. On the last bounce and I let go.... man, he flips out and races all over the apartment like a MANIAC.

I tickle both my guys bellies in play. Yes they rabbit kick and yes they bite but it's a playful reaction. Not an angry ears back "Don't do that to me" attitude. If it gets to serious for them they just roll over and stand up.

I agree with you Hal, it's a form of bonding. It's a great deal of fun for all of us to rough house and play and then collapse in a kitty pile on the bed after. I wouldn't give up the fun that we all have together.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm going to re-describe it, as we just had another session - he loves when I make the bed as he gets to chase the covers and me.

I'm not holding him on his back, but rather he'll roll on his back as I hold my arm over him. I'll let him grab it like a big stiffed toy. - he definitely knows the different as he doesn't have his claws out. He'll wrestle around with my arm, and as I move my arm around the bed and he just drags along. As soon as I lay may arm limp he just stops and lays there or walks around the bed.

As I mentioned, I do understand the consequences of rough play, but at least it seems that he's not bothered and is enjoying my taunting, if you can even call it that.
 

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The thing with the bedsheets is so funny! Mine love a nice clean bed, but they get nervous when I'm flapping the sheets around :p I love reading your posts about Toby - he just sounds so adorable.

Moxie definitely knows the difference between my hand and her toys. She has a Kong Kickeroo that she just goes wild on - I'm shocked she hasn't bunny kicked the stuffing out of it yet! But when it's my hand she tones it waaaay down. Same with her teeth. Several toy mice have been thoroughly mauled, she can crunch her way through chicken wings when she wants to, but when it comes to my fingers she's always extremely gentle.

I agree that it's kind of a form of bonding when we're able to play like that with our pets. I know I can trust Moxie to be careful with her claws and teeth, and she trusts me to roll her around on her back and tickle her tummy. It's definitely a vulnerable position, and my Sassy isn't comfortable with it at all. So it's been pretty fun to be able to play with Moxie that way :smile:
 

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I agree! New videos are a must!! :)

I think as long as he knows what's acceptable there's nothing wrong with playing with him like that. I wrestle with all four of our cats, in slightly different ways, and they all enjoy it.

When my boyfriend plays with cats he play the 'annoy the cat' game. And they, as well as many other cats we have met, seem to enjoy it. My BF will wait until the kitty lies down and then he'll put his hand on top of one of their paws. The kitty moves, of course, and he does it again. He stops when they make an actual 'annoyed' face. Or he'll use his finger to poke their ear-hairs. Not touching the ear, just disturbing the hairs that poke out.
Despite the fact that the kitties obviously don't enjoy this game they always sk for more! It's so strange. I tell him not to do it, but my BF and Muffin play the game with each other. My BF will annoy Muffin, then Muffin will wait until 'daddy' isn't paying attention and rub his drooly face on my bf's hand. Repeat.

I think of it kind of like little boys annoying each other. "I'm not touching yoooouuuu!" lol.

*disclaimer* My SO only plays this game with cats he knows, and when they get actually annoyed he leaves them alone...and then the cat is back in 2 minutes asking for more. He is not actually intending to pester them until they can't take any more and he watches for that very carefully. In any case this isn't a game I would suggest playing unless you know your cat very well, and never with a new/strange kitty.
 

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I used to play a variation of that game with Samantha, I'd put my hand on top of her paw, she'd pull her paw out and put it on top of my hand.
This would be repeated until finally Samantha would pin my hand down with both of her paws and flex her claws this was a sign to leave the hand still of else.
Usually I'd then give her some ear scritches with my free hand.
 

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IMO, you're doing an amazing job with him. He's playful but VERY respectful. I don't think you're annoying him either. I think you two are having a lot of fun and bonding :)

Keep up the good work and WOW, he is absolutely GORGEOUS.
 

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I can blame you for using your hands to play with him - there is NO WAY I would be able to resist that spotted belly either!! :wink

And he definitely isn't annoyed. He's having a great time rough housing... well for a given definition of 'rough', because he definitely understands to be careful. I think the most telling thing is your hands. As far as I could see they didn't have any scratches or teeth marks. My uncle plays that way with his cat, and his hands are just COVERED in scratches.

(And omg, checked out the video with Toby playing fetch - he is such a smart little guy!! I've been working with Moxie but she can't quite understand what she's supposed to do. Toby is just adorable)
 

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9lbs at 6 1/2 months, he's going to be a big kitty.
Looks like he's playing very gentle, a cat can rabbit kick your arm and tear you up if they want to.
 
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