I work as a technician at a cat only veterinary practice and its really hard to lump cats into any one category. I've seen some who love being man handled and "beat up" we have one that you can roll on her back, shake her, spin her around, and when you walk away she comes back and rubs your legs. Most cats are weird. I've seen a handful that make angry noises, hisses, growls, and grumbles the whole time you pet them and they're rubbing and being super sweet. I've also seen a cat be really nice then turn and attack her owner with claws and teeth hard enough to send the owner to urgent care.
Deliberately provoking a cat is abuse, rough housing and occasional teasing is not. Try talking to Danielle again Little Leaf. Don't necessarily say she's abusing her cat because she'll get defensive. She just may not understand she's being too rough. Ask her about what her cat likes to do for fun and suggest games that are less likely to be rough. Like laser pointers or pulling a string for kitty to chase.
Roughing up young cats often makes them calmer adults (a lot of times the easiest cats to handle for us are the ones raised with little kids) but deliberately provoking the cat will lead to someone being bit, and trust me cat bites can get nasty fast.