A ragdoll cat named Petunia has left the internet in stitches after her owner revealed that she’s obsessed with scaring her in a video that has gone viral on social media.
In the post, shared on TikTok earlier in February under the username Petuniatheragdoll, cat owner Grace asks the internet: “Can anyone explain why my kitten is obsessed with scaring me? This is Petunia, she’s a four-and-half-month-old ragdoll, and I’m Grace, and I’m a first-time cat mom, and I have so many questions about being a cat mom.
“But a big one is that my kitten is obsessed with scaring me, she will like stalk me, look me straight in the eyes and sneak up and then launch on me, or she’ll like hide behind a corner or behind a chair and jump or scare me. But the other interesting thing is, I live with my boyfriend and we got her together, but she only scares me and she doesn’t scare him. So is there like science behind this? Is this like a cat thing?”
Then, looking at Petunia, who could not be bothered and continued grooming herself, the cat owner asked her: “Do you have anything to say for yourself? No ok thanks.”
A cat that is obsessed with scaring her owner has left the internet in stitches. The footage has gone viral. Grace Rasulo/Grace Rasulo
The hilarious post comes with a caption that says: “Cat parents, I need answers, is petunia out to get me or is this a thing all cats do (also the way she’s chillin’ in my lap during this).”
According to pet wellness experts Rover, there are many reasons why cats attack their humans, which include fun, bonding behavior, defensive behavior, overstimulation, boredom and fun, although sometimes it may also be a sign they don’t feel well.
Patrik Holmboe, head veterinarian for Cooper Pet Care, told Newsweek that hunting and stalking is absolutely normal behavior for kittens and cats.
That’s because in the wild, a kitten will start to learn how to hunt and stalk via playing – preparing them over time for the real thing, and our pet cats have the very same wiring in their brain, so it’s completely normal that a kitten will stalk things that move in their environment – in most cases, their owner!
He said: “As to why the kitten only stalks the female owner (and not her boyfriend), there could be a few different reasons. Perhaps the woman reacts more in a way the kitten likes – giving it more attention basically. Our pets love attention from us – so if you give your kitten a lot of attention when it pounces on you, it will probably keep doing it!
“And secondly, remember that animals are individuals too, and have their own (sometimes seemingly random) likes and dislikes. Just like a human might simply prefer playing with one person over another, a kitten might as well simply prefer playing with one owner or the other.”
Hunting and Stalking
According to Holmboe, there are two main ways to reduce this behavior: “First – stop giving the kitten what it wants when it pounces. And what does it want? Attention and play! So if you react in a big way, and give the kitten lots of attention when it pounces – it will probably continue to do so. Instead, try to ignore the pouncing as much as possible.
“This leads us into the second point though – you need to give your kitten (or cat) appropriate ways to express this natural hunting, stalking, and pouncing behavior. So, you need to actively play with your cat in a way that provides it the ability to perform these behaviors in a way you want it to (generally – with toys). Your kitten will perform the behaviors whether you want them to or not – it’s up to you to provide them with appropriate ways to do so!”
The cat’s owner, Grace Rasulo, told Newsweek: “Petunia is a 6-month old seal mitted ragdoll kitten. Petunia and I play in a lot of different ways, but one of her favorites is to sneak up on me (or as it’s technically called, stalking) and jump on me. She mostly sneaks up on me when I turn my head away, and then stops sneaking up when I look at her. She also typically tries to hide behind something so she can jump out from behind it. She never does it in an aggressive way but always just jumps and runs away!”
The video quickly gained popularity all over social media, attracting animal lovers from across the platform, and it has so far received over 1.2 million views and 196,700 likes.
One user, Dalaine Jacoby, commented: “She is playing with you! You are her person so that’s why only you! She chose you. Try playing hide and seek.” And Tracy said: “its kitten play. it means she’s picked you for her person. I have 4 cats, one I’d a ragdoll. they are so sweet.”
Kaitlinadams wrote: “My kitten loves playing hide and seek too! She gets so excited when I hide and jump out at her too.” And Umokayqueen added: “MY KITTEN DOES THIS TOO. He’s a black cat which means intense stealth.”
Another user, Ashleigh Lakomy645, commented: “playing! run away and hide behind a door then turn around and play jump at her after she catches up!” And Jackie Hesley wrote: “She is playing with you. She needs a kitten friend.”
Popcorn_With_Pudding added: “My cats (one of them is also a ragdoll) are both obsessed with scaring me and will get upset if I don’t scare them back. It’s their love language!”
Newsweek reached out to Petuniatheragdoll for comment. We couldn’t verify the details of the case.
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