Is this cat really getting some enjoyment out of tripping up an infant in the kitchen by sticking out his paw to catch the right leg of the child as she passes?
To the untrained eye it looks like that. To some it is feline behavior which gives the domestic cat a bad name. The cat even meows after the child has fallen.
The media say the cat is evil. This is very far from the truth. The cat does stick his right foreleg out to catch the infant’s leg but this is a reflex action from a cat who wishes to play and interact with one of the humans in the home. It is instinctive. It is about making contact with a moving object and the cat knows that the object belongs to one of the humans living in the house.
Obviously the cat will not realise that his actions will trip up the todler. He hasn’t figured that out. Clearly there is no malice. He wants to interact and perhaps have a play session. He won’t ratonalise the fact that the human is an infant who probably does not have the ability to play in a way which suits him.
This sort of reflex action often happens to me in a different way but the principles are the same.
I’ll set the scene. My cat, Gabriel, is in his cat condo/cat tent. I come to him and pet him, kiss him and talk to him. When I move my hand from his side after stroking him as I leave he instinctively sticks his paw out to grab it. It happens at lighting speed. He wants me to stay petting him and he wants to interact with me. In order to prevent him scatching my hand I distract him with my right hand before withdrawing my left hand. I do this by sratching the cat condo scratching post with my right hand. He hears the sound and looks up. At that moment I withdraw my left hand and walk away blowing him a kiss. It nearly always works.
Also it should be said that domestic cats do react to fast moving objects within range. It is in their DNA as a hunting reflex action.
This is my explanation for the behavior of this black-and-white cat. Do you have your own explanation for what went on in the video?