Cat Switches From Cuddling Owner to Violent 'Bunny Kicks' in Hilarious Clip

A cat's hilarious "bunny kicks" are melting hearts on TikTok, in a video with more than 10 million views and 2.6 million likes.

In the clip shared by @paquito_thecat, Paquito can be seen snuggling with his owner, who is lying down on the sofa. The cat looks perfectly content, resting his head on his owner's outstretched arm.

"My cuddly cat being super cute and affectionate," his owner wrote in the video caption. However, the peace doesn't last long, as five minutes later, Paquito is furiously bunny-kicking his owner's tummy. This quickly proceeds to scratching and biting.

TikTok screenshots of Paquito the cat
Photos of Paquito the cat with his owner. The pet went very quickly from cuddly to biting in the viral clip that has received more than 10 million views. @paquito_thecat

Why Do Cats Kick, Bite or Scratch Their Owners?

Cats have a reputation for being ill-tempered or aloof, and anyone who has been on the receiving end of their murder mittens might agree.

However, a 2019 study by Oregon State University found that cats do love their owners—they just have a different way of showing it.

Felines were first domesticated around 10,000 years ago. Although that seems like a long time, canines were house-trained roughly 23,000 years ago.

So, dogs have evolved to communicate better with us. This is important, since they are dependent on their owners for survival.

The muscles in their face have evolved to express their emotions better, and even to manipulate humans, hence the phrase "puppy dog eyes."

As cats haven't lived beside humans quite as long, their body language is more difficult to read—and why their behavior may seem unpredictable.

Paquito the cat lounging on a sofa
A photo of Paquito on a sofa. He may love a cuddle, but when snuggle time is over, the "bunny kicks" come out. @paquito_thecat

Dr. Mikel Delgado is a cat behavior expert at Rover and affiliate member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. She told Newsweek that cats have a natural predatory instinct.

"Sometimes, their brains says, 'Treat anything that moves like it could be prey,'" Delgado said. "That switch can get turned on in a heartbeat."

If you allow your cat to playfully scratch or bite your hands or feet, then this behavior is more common.

"I don't encourage this type of behavior because it teaches your cat that sometimes it's OK to bite people," Delgado said.

"[Instead], direct this type of behavior toward interactive toys, such as a wand or string feather, or a kick toy."

But what about the "bunny kicks"? They may look cute, yet Delgado said this action is actually part of the predatory sequence.

"Cats would use this behavior to disembowel their prey, [but] it can also be a self-defense move," she added.

"Kick bag toys (long stuffed tube toys) or even a couple of socks rolled together can be a great outlet for cats who like to kick, so they don't do it on your arms!"

'Sometimes the Claws Come Out'

According to Paquito's owner, her 1-year-old mixed-breed cat loves to cuddle.

"Every morning, he asks to come into bed with me and falls asleep while purring in my arms," she told Newsweek.

Describing him as "affectionate and playful," she said that Paquito frequently requests forehead kisses or jump in his owner's lap.

Paquito the cat
Photo of Paquito standing on a rug. The handsome cat has 118,500 followers on TikTok. @paquito_thecat

"When he isn't cuddling up on me, he's demanding playtime," his owner said. "He loves to jump out behind corners and attack my ankles when I walk by."

Like most cats in a bad mood, Paquito knows how to make his discontent known. "He meows loudly at me with a stern look on his face, like he's scolding me," his owner added. "This is when I know he's demanding my attention to play with him, or he's hungry."

Although the "bunny kick" attack made TikTok users chuckle, it did leave a few marks on the poster. "He loves to play rough, and sometimes the claws come out," she said.

"I love that [the clip] is so relatable to so many 'paw parents.'

"Everyone always sees Paquito's cute and cuddly side, and this video shows that all cats, even the most affectionate ones, have their feline instincts."

'One Wrong Move and It's Over'

Fellow cat owners could relate to the pain, with @haylee13210 commenting: "the kicks hurt so bad."

"Relatable," posted tweek, while CassandraAnng wrote: "Those bunny kicks can be savage."

"[They] should be illegal," agreed ingrid, and Lyndsey Brown posted, "One wrong move and it's over."

"Mine be so cuddly and cute, licking my face then he attac[ks]," commented peanut.

Still, users couldn't get enough of the bunny kicks, with Katea calling them "the cutest thing."

"I love when they do those little bunny kicks," wrote gg, while beyonce commented: "Them bunny kicks are such a good pain."

Correction: 03/21/23 12.00 p.m. E.T.: This article was updated to correct the name of the university referenced in the 2019 study on cat attachment. The article originally credited the University of Oregon, not Oregon State University.

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