Cat Attacks Feet

“Help! My cat is attacking my feet at night!”

It's a common problem.

Talk to other folks who share their home with a cat and you will hear many tales of pet kitties launching an attack on their human's feet when the human goes to bed.

It's as though cats see the lumps made by feet under the bed covers as some sort of prey that has to be jumped on, scratched and bitten.

They are not all aggressive cats that do this but are often cats that are normally very affectionate to their humans.

It's just that those blanket mice are irresistible.

If you have this problem then you will want to end this behavior. Cats teeth and claws are s-h-a-r-p and they hurt!


So what can you do to stop your cat attacking your feet at night?

The obvious answer, the very obvious answer, has got to be stated.

Do not allow your cat in your bedroom at night.

There it has been said. And you have just answered in your head, or maybe out loud, the reason why your cat absolutely, no question about it, has to be in your bedroom at night.

I hear you. My cat is in my bedroom at night, and there are reasons for that, which I won't go into here.

But my cat does not attack my feet at night. (He has done, and there is every chance that he will play “hunt the feet mice” again, but it's not a constant problem at the moment.)

You though, do have a problem. Your cat, who is normally loving and affectionate, morphs into a beast at night and assaults your feet. It's painful!

Still say that your cat absolutely, no question about it, has to be in your bedroom at night?

“Yes because that's where the litter box is!”

Oh, OK, your cat has to have access to the litter box 24/7 no mistake about that. Alright, here comes the obvious question “Can you move the litter box somewhere else?”

Yes I know that you would not have the litter tray in your bedroom if it could be placed somewhere else. Sorry but I had to ask.

Moving a litter box is no simple task anyway. Move it and your cat will likely not use it, and you don't want to swap the problem of kitty attacking your feet for the problem of kitty going anyplace but the litter tray.

cat showing teethYour cat's teeth are sharp, you do not want her biting your feet at night.

You have to try moving the box bit by bit.

Moving it by stealth sometimes works, note I said 'sometimes.'

Another option is second box. Site the second box so your feet attacking cat can use it at night when she or he is shut out of your bedroom.

May take a little perseverance but you now will not be forced to have your feet scratched to pieces.

Alright, I hear what you say. There is nowhere to move the litter tray, or for a second one, your cat absolutely has to be in your bedroom.

You could try a couple of thick blankets on the lower part of your bed. Or a couple of pairs of thick fisherman's socks. Will not stop your cat from pouncing when the 'blanket mice' move, but should help to stop your poor feet from being scratched and bitten.

There is a snag to that solution though. It may help if you live someplace where it is chilly year round, but not so good in most places in the summer when all you want covering you at night is a thin sheet.

The good ol' squirt bottle. The squirt bottle gets recommended by many people who have suffered their cat scratching their feet at night.

Cats, as you know, should never be punished for bad behavior.

They do not associate their behavior with the punishment, they associate the punishment with you. But for many cats the squirt bottle works, possibly because it is remote.

The spray of water hits them, and they don't like that, but you are standing a way off.

“Huh! I attacked these 'blanket mice' and suddenly I get splatted with water! It happens every time, maybe I should just leave them alone.”

Give it a try, it may work, plenty of folks say it does.

Possible snags with the squirt defense are: You end up with a wet bed, (and that hasn't happened in a long year!) Also, if you are anything like me, it is enough of a shock to be awoken at 2AM by my cat clawing and biting my smelly old feet (hey, maybe that's what attracts him, he does rather like cheese,) without having to fumble for the bedside light switch – and try and focus my eyes, while still half asleep, to take aim with the squirt bottle. But . . . folks say it works.

Cats don't like the smell of citrus. Correction, some cats don't like the smell of citrus.

You could try spraying your duvet and blankets with lemon, lime or orange. If it works it will not only keep your cat from attacking your feet, but keep your cat off your bed at all times.

Alternatively you could just spray your feet, in my case to have my tootsies smelling of lime would be a vast improvement. Unfortunately it is only some cats that are repelled by citrus. Whenever I peel an orange Mr Robin sits there and begs for a piece.

black cat showing teethYou do not want your cat attacking your feet, or any other part of your body for that matter!
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The tire them out technique. The theory is you have a playtime with your cat before you go to bed so he sleeps all night. Might work if your cat goes outside in the daytime and expends some energy climbing trees, chasing other cats and doing other cat things.

But if your cat is a home alone all day kitty, he or she likely spends most of their day time snoozing. . . . then you are not likely to tire them out enough so they sleep all night.

A playtime for your cat is always a good thing though. Make it fun for both of you and remember that the idea is not to exhaust your kitty, just let them expend some energy.

It would be best not to have the play session just before you hit the sack. Your cat is just as likely to become excited by the playtime as he is to being tired. So if you go to bed right after, your cat won't be able to resist attacking those blanket mice.

Put a little time between playing and going to bed, that way your cat can settle down a bit. And when you do retire hopefully your cat will agree that it is time to snooze and leave your feet alone.

Of course if you have the time for another play session during the day, as well as the one before bedtime, that may work even better.

OK, so what worked with my cat? Well the worst attack of the feet was when he got under the bed covers. Man did that hurt! I awoke and let out a loud Ouch! (It might not have been ouch, but something less printable.) At the same time I must have jerked my leg to get my foot away from the scratching and biting beast.

It must have given Mr Robin a start. “Oh, these blanket mice fight back!” he was only about twelve weeks, or so, old at the time.

He has not got under the covers to attack my feet since.

But that doesn't mean that he never will again though. He does sometimes still jump on the bumps that my feet make under the duvet, but I make a point of not moving my feet so the game is no fun. He soon gives up.

Occasionally he stays on the bed and curls up, purring. When he stops purring I know that he has fallen asleep.

Other times when he realizes that the blanket mice are not going to play he jumps off the bed and finds someplace else to sleep, anywhere but his basket of course. Either way I get to go to sleep without my feet being attacked.

However you do it, I hope that you succeed in stopping your cat attacking your feet. I know just how painful it is.

Please don't ever consider declawing your cat.

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