Cat Keeps Tripping Me

latenightknitter

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Hi everyone! I'm retired and need help to keep my cat from tripping me. I don't want either of us to be injured. I read that this is sometimes a cat trying to "herd" a person to the food dish but this doesn't seem to be the case. (My husband feeds him canned food in the am and he has dry food all day.) He does it wherever I am in the house. Basically he walks right in front of me while I'm trying to do anything like close the curtains or cook or make the bed. I've tried stopping when he does this but this doesn't seem to make a difference. I've also tried to gently push him out of the way with my foot but he generally just comes back in front of my feet.

Lately it has gotten worse and is more like stealth tripping. I won't even know he's in the room and then all of a sudden he is right in front of my feet. We also have another cat and they get along very well. They both get lots of attention and play time with various toys each day.

I would REALLY appreciate any help you can give me on how to stop this behavior.
 

ArtNJ

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This is something affection or attention seeking cats do sometimes, especially young ones. Anyone that has had a lot of cats over the years has stepped on paws or tails. It doesn't tend to do any lasting damage to the cat whatsoever. Of course, if your not as sturdy as you once were, then absolutely there could be a more serious risk on the human side. For anyone, its certainly something to be avoided on the stairs. And no one wants to step on a cat even if actual injury is unlikely. You need to demand your space a bit more assertively. You won't change your relationship with a well bonded cat by stomping your foot for some space. You might find a cane even more effective. (I have a crutch no one has needed for years by my door to help with door darting.) As you've seen patience alone, or patience and gentle nudging, doesnt work. You can carry something to throw and distract the cat, but that is a short term solution that doesn't really teach. So I think being a bit more assertive is the way to go.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi, and welcome!
I recall another poster with something of the same issue, and a couple of suggestions were to maintain a shuffle step. Regarding him doing it while you're cooking, you might want to contain him elsewhere, or see if your husband can play with him during that time.
 
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latenightknitter

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Thanks Furrballsmom and ArtNJ! I will try both those ideas and see if I can't fix this problem. He is definitely an attention seeking cat but I think I have to be more vigilant. You just kind of get used to a cat who is always winding himself around your ankles when watching but I am starting to worry this behavior is going to get worse.
 

JamesCalifornia

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~ Very dangerous !! Rub some peppermint oil on your feet and ankles. Cats tend to stay away from that stuff . 👌
{ Some say eucalyptus oil also works 🐈 }
 

ArtNJ

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Thanks Furrballsmom and ArtNJ! I will try both those ideas and see if I can't fix this problem. He is definitely an attention seeking cat but I think I have to be more vigilant. You just kind of get used to a cat who is always winding himself around your ankles when watching but I am starting to worry this behavior is going to get worse.
Definitely think your smart to get on top of it. The possibility for disaster is there on the stairs. And as a heavy dude, I always thought there was a possibility of actual injury to the cat, even if that seems very rare. My personal philosophy is that there is a time to be patient and kind, this is my starting strategy with the dinner table and countertops for example, and there is a time to scare your cat a bit -- like when they get close to the stove top, or swarm you on the stairs.
 

danteshuman

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From kittenhood I would shuffle through and not walk around the cats. Now my cat is only a tripping hazard when I’m feeding him (but I know to look for him and he mainly walks on one side of me.) I taught my cat to meow for wet food so o would know where he was when I was getting his dinner (he jumps over the counter and would sneak up behind me.)

I would try the shuffle walk except for on the stairs.After a couple of months you should be able to walk normally because the cat learns to avoid your feet.
 
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