Cats are very adept at contorting their bodies, whether leaping from high surfaces or curling up right into tiny spaces. One inexplicable move you may have actually noticed is the cat bunny kick, when they kick their hind legs at you, a toy or one more cat. Why execute cats bunny kick? For more factors than reflecting off their martial arts skills, that"s for sure.

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What Is a Cat Bunny Kick?

You"ll know a bunny kick when you see it, normally in the time of playtime. Your furry frifinish will wrap their front 2 legs approximately the intended tarobtain (say, for circumstances, your arm) and also, like a tiny thumper, will certainly kick at the targain through their hind legs. Cats commonly perdevelop this bunny-kick move as soon as engaging in aggressive play or when they"re attacking their prey (i.e., your arm).

Why Do Cats Bunny Kick?

Although a bunny kick sounds cute, it"s a stealthy and also perhaps dangerous actions.

Whether percreated by a domestic cat roaming the rooms of a home or a big cat prowling the jungle, the cat bunny kick is both a tactical self-defense relocate and also a searching maneuver. When a cat is lying on their back with all four paws and claws on display — either in play or real-life battle — their enemy does not stand also a opportunity.

In the wild, cats usage the bunny kick to capture their prey simply prior to killing it. If you"ve ever before watched a residence cat capture a mouse or bird, you might notification this same behavior, but the cat does not constantly kill the creature, especially if they"re not hungry. In addition to bunny-kicking, cats might simply toss the prey around in their paws for a bit.


Even if you and also your feline friend are goofing off, the usage of the bunny kick is an aggressive move. And cats are great at tricking their opponents right into thinking they"re docile, particularly once exposing their belly. Your kitty might look at you as if to say, "Don"t you desire to rub my soft belly?" and many times, they really carry out desire a belly rub. But if they"re feeling feisty, they"ll clutch your hand also the second you touch their fluffy hair.

Can I Anticipate a Cat"s Bunny Kick?

As a pet parent, understanding cat behavior is one means to tell the difference between relaxing or attacking. If their ears are flattened against their head or their pupils are dilated, your cat is ready to rumble.

The more time you spfinish via your kitty, the sooner you"ll uncover their likes and dislikes. "Some cats do not choose their abdomens touched at all," advises Cat Health, "and they will certainly easily come to be angry if you attempt to stroke them tbelow." Suddenly, a belly rub turns into an ambush. Your cat will not hesitate to let you know as soon as they"re unhappy.

Can I Reduce the Use of the Bunny Kick?

First, keep in mind that when your cat offers the bunny kick in the time of playtime, they do not intfinish to harm you, yet also in times of tranquility, you have the right to be scratched and/or bitten.

2nd, the use of a bunny kick is instinctual for your cat. Internationwide Cat Care points out that as much as this point in time, "just the ideal hunters were able to endure and reproduce, meaning that our pet cats this day are descfinished from the many adept hunters." A cat"s searching instinct runs deep, and bereason the bunny kick is component of that ingrained behavior, you cannot soptimal it. But the good news is that you can redirect it.

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One method to save bunny kicks to a minimum is to refrain from participating in aggressive play with your cat. Roughreal estate, such as utilizing your hand also and/or arm as a chew toy, is not an excellent concept bereason it motivates hostile actions. Another method to discourage cat aggression is to carry out your kitty through a stuffed pet (via or without catnip) that they deserve to stalk and also attack. (Your arm will certainly give thanks to you.)

When hanging out with your feline friend, cat bunny kicks deserve to be all fun and games until you get scratched. Engage in positive playtime, such as with food puzzles or cardboard boxes, to keep the cat shenanigans to a minimum.

Contributor Bio


Christine O"Brien

Christine O"Brien is a writer, mom, and long-time cat parent whose two Russian Blues ascendancy the house. Her work additionally appears in, What to Expect, and also Fit Pregnancy, where she writes about pets, pregnancy, and also household life. Find and also follow her on Instagram and Twitter