Actually it's more like she grabs fists full of skin and twists. Or sometimes she tries to pick her up by the tail.
All of our pets have plenty of places to hide and most of them stay clear of DD (occasionally coming up to her to give her a "kiss" or rub on her), but this cat is older and likes to lie on the floor on a mat next to DD's play area, and for some reason she won't move.
If I turn away (even just for a second), DD will often zip over there and start harassing her. I've tried putting the cat to new places (like on the back of the couch where DD can't reach her and it's very comfy), but she always hops down and gets back on this large mat on the floor. I'm always in the same room (though sometimes I try to get other things done) and she only has 3 seconds max to torment the cat before I grab her, but it is still horrible! Relocating the mat is not an option. It's huge and we don't have much room for it elsewhere. The one thing I'll say is the cat is amazing because she hasn't swatted or bit DD, but I'm not one to tempt fate.
As for DD, I've tried teaching her "nice petting." She actually remembers this 1/2 the time, but often resorts to grabbing the cat because it hasn't totally sunk in yet, and I think she likes to hear the cat react (yowl). I've tried diversion, but you know how tenacious a toddler can get. Sometimes, I have to resort to wearing her or taking her outside to get her to stop, and this sometimes angers DD.
I really appreciate anyone's ideas on how to deal with this. If there aren't any (other than sticking with what I'm doing) please someone tell me kids outgrow this...because I can't help feeling like my sweet little baby is going to because some animal abusing thug when I catch her doing this. LOL!