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My cat Dinger and 19 month old son Felix get on pretty well these days, he sometimes takes things a little far with her (ie. thinking she wants to play a chasing game when she doesn't), but is generally gentle and affectionate, and she likes him, rubs his hand and legs, tries to cuddle up with him etc. More often than not they can be left to play together with no harm done to cat nor toddler.

However, occasionally Dinger will do this thing to him where she rears up and puts a paw either side of his head then makes out she is going to bite him. She never does, and never hurts him at all. She has left a tiny mark before where she caught him, but it wasn't intentional and he didn't really even notice.

Obviously when she does this, we separate them. If it looks like he's annoying her, we'll separate them beforehand, but sometimes it's quite sudden. It doesn't seem to be a particularly aggressive action on her part - there's no ears back, fur up, hissing, growling etc. or any of the other warning signs beyond a little tail swish. It actually seems to me that she's trying to discipline him, like a mother cat would to a kitten - so almost an affectionate telling off.

Sorry this is so long, I just wondered if anyone could shed any light on the behaviour. Out of interest more than anything.
 

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weezypops said:
It actually seems to me that she's trying to discipline him, like a mother cat would to a kitten - so almost an affectionate telling off.
That was the first thought that popped into my mind....seems like she's trying to teach him limits.
 

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When my kids were small we had a siamese that adored them , he also didnt take any nonsense however and a toddler pulling a tail or being unduly rough would get a very gentle slap . An older child would get his hand gently "pinned" with nails . I always looked the other way .. IMO the child was being taught manners.

I firmly believe that a well behaved cat can teach small children manners as far as animals are concerned.

Freeway our silly ex stray who loves my kittens took a fancy to my 1 year old grandaughter this weekend .. she was allowed several liberties probably due to her age, but im sure she would get the same treatment "discipline" as she got older.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We do trim her nails already actually, just to be on the safe side.

Thanks everyone, it's nice to know you have similar feelings about it to me.
 
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