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C2007-42

Dear Christopher Cat

My normally sweet cat Odin sometimes behaves strangely when he comes indoors. He cries a guttural meow, grabs my leg with both paws and bites my ankle. Why does Odin do this, and how can I make him stop?

Christopher Responds

When I was a barn cat, I behaved just like Odin. I killed mice, fought with another cat and outran all the dogs.

Immediately after a victory, I was delirious with excitement. If a human happened by just then, I couldn’t help myself – I’d growl and strike out at that moving foot.

Sometimes I’d bite in play, but other times, if the foot reminded me of prey or an enemy cat, I’d really attack.

To prevent Odin from biting your ankle, keep an entertaining cat toy near the door. A fishing pole toy with a feather on the end of the string is ideal.

The moment you hear his guttural meow, flick the feather on the ground – away from your feet – to distract his attention from your ankles.

If Odin is like me, he’ll tussle with the feather for a few minutes, and then go take a nap in a sunny spot on the carpet.

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