Why Do Cats Play Patty Cake? (3 Simple Reasons!)

Last updated on October 23rd, 2022

Why do cats play patty cake? I’m sure that this is one of the questions in every cat owner’s mind.

Cats are loved and adored by many around the world. Pictures and videos get millions of likes and thousands of shares on the internet, bringing joy to all the people that get to see what these furry felines are up to.

One of the things that cats sometimes do that their owners can capture on camera is when they play patty cake. Whether they play this fun game, known to some as “catty cake”, with other cats or people, it’s undoubtedly adorable.

Cats play patty cake with each other when they have a strong connection with the other furry feline, especially if they grew together from kittenhood. When you see cats playing patty cake together, more often than not, they are play fighting.

cat playing patty cake 13 08 2021

Cats Playing Patty Cake with Other Cats

But why do we see cats play patty cake? And is it okay to let this behavior continue when it’s occurring?

This very relaxed and nonaggressive form of play can be very stimulating for cats, and can even bring them joy.

If you see some cats playing patty cake together, you can assume that these cats have a very strong bond and actually enjoy spending time together.

You needn’t worry about separating the animals. You can stay close by and keep an eye on the cats to see if the interaction starts turning in a bad direction, but most of the time patty cake is a harmless game that cats like to play.

But how do you know if your cats’ game of patty cake is starting to become more than play fighting?

Well, there are a few different things that cat owners can keep their eyes open for. The first thing you’ll see if a game of patty cake is turning into a fight is more aggressive swatting.

Instead of the gentle back-and-forth batting, that occurs with patty cake, your cat might start to take swings with more force.

A cat that’s playing patty cake may also start to vocalize if the innocent game is coming to an end.

It’s also possible that an irritated or annoyed cat may start to go for bites when playing patty cake if it’s tired of the game and ready for more quarrelsome play.

If you notice that your cats are starting to show signs of more aggressive behaviors when playing patty cake, it may be a good idea to separate them to avoid injury.

Cats Playing Patty Cake with People

Some cats have a strong relationship and in some cases a strong attachment, to their owner.

When an animal has a significant bond with a person, you might see them following that person around the house, sleeping in their room, and even invading that person’s personal space.

One thing that cats will do if they’re particularly attached to one person is exhibit behaviors with them that cats would typically reserve for other cats. One of these behaviors being patty cake.

If you’re one of the persons that have a strong bond with your cat, you should feel lucky, especially if your cat partakes in playing patty cake with you. Not many people get to have this experience.

However, as stated above, when cats play patty cake, they’re actually play fighting, and play fighting can easily lead to more aggressive behaviors.

Why is this, and what do you do if your cat takes play fighting with you a little too far?

Well, cats are animals that are easily overstimulated. This means that after some time playing or loving, your cat may become overwhelmed with all the experiences and sensations happening at the moment.

Becoming overstimulated is not something cats can control, and when it happens they usually give warning signs stating that they’re ready to be done with whatever is happening.

However, it’s harder, much harder for cats to warn people that they’re done with patty cake, and much easier to switch to roughhousing.

When your cat starts to rough house a little too much with you, the first thing you need to do is to remain calm.

Acting out rashly can cause your cat to resort to his fight or flight mode, potentially creating a situation where both the cat and owner could get harmed.

Be sure to slowly move away from your cat, allowing him space to act as wildly as he wants.

You can even toss a toy for your cat to chase after he starts to get too aggressive when playing patty cake.

How to Avoid Aggressive Behavior Becoming a Habit in Cats

When something is reoccurring, a cat may develop a habit. Many cat owners see this around breakfast or dinner time.

Their cats will start to have an internal clock letting them know that it’s time to get fed.

Cats will then start to let their owners know that it’s time for food. But this isn’t just seen with food and treats.

Cats can develop a habit of bad behaviors also, including aggressive play. So how do you avoid this?

By replacing this bad habit with a more desirable one.

If you’re someone who plays patty cake with your cat and it typically ends with your cat becoming aggressive or attacking you, don’t worry. There’s a way for you to correct this behavior.

For starters, you’re going to want to get a toy that your cat particularly loves and keep that close by when you’re playing patty cake.

When your cat starts to become a bit too rowdy, gently and slowly remove your hands from your cat’s space and replace your hands with the toy.

Any time your cat starts to get too aggressive when playing with you, give your cat this toy.

Make sure that you’re giving your cat the same toy every time. Eventually, your cat will start to associate that toy with rough house style playing, and start to go to that when he has the urge to play roughly.

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