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I thoroughly enjoy rough play with my cat, and I encourage her to play rough with me. But everybody else in my home dislikes it.

It often happens that while I am in a rough play session with my cat, and another human passes nearby, she jumps to that human and starts playing rough, only to get severely scolded.

But when she is not deeply engaged in a play session she perfectly knows that she is allowed to play rough only with me and nobody else.

So is there any way to ensure that, even when the cat is deeply engaged in a play session with me, she does not forget that she is forbidden to play rough with anybody else?

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  • "But when she is not deeply engaged in a play session she perfectly knows that she is allowed to play rough only with me and nobody else." this is too large an assumption. I'm not sure what you mean by rough play. – user6796 Dec 9 '18 at 9:35
  • @YvetteColomb by rough play I mean the way two kittens engage in playful fight. – Sonevol Dec 10 '18 at 4:46
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Cats will learn the behavior of humans they often interact with - but they learn through trial and error. Not every cat will learn as fast, some may need a lot of repetition before they get the hint.

As long as you are always open for rough plays and the others always tell her off (or refuse to engage her), it will become apparent who does/doesn't allow for rough plays.

You can intervene here too. When you see the cat move on to someone else, catch their attention to redirect them to you. They may fail to do so initially, but the added reminder may speed up the process of them learning to only play rough with you.

Very young cats may simply be too excitable, to a point where they're not really able to adapt their playstyle to the human they're interacting with. That's not really misbehavior on their part, but rather an inability to assess the situation.

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