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How To Deal With An Aggressive Cat

Signs That A Dog Is Cat

How to Deal with an Aggressive Cat | Cat Care

Start with a diagnosis before you plan out the possible household training and discipline that you will conduct to your dog. Dog aggression can vary from cats, territory, food, and even dog owners. For a better understanding of high prey dogs and why they act that way, here are the following signs that your dog is cat-aggressive:

  • When he does not want to share his sleep territory with a cat.
  • When he inserts himself between you and the cat.
  • When he barges through the door as soon as he sees the cat.
  • When he barks excessively whenever a cat is around.
  • When he stares at the cat and growls continuously.
  • When he chases any moving objects such as cats.

Do not risk a fight in the house between your cat and dog. Observe the signs of a cat-aggressive dog, and if you see any of them, make sure to contact a professional immediately. They will be able to determine the dominant behaviors of your dog towards cats. Confirmation from a professional serves as a signal for you to train a high prey drive dog.

Why Is Your Cat Aggressive

In most cases, a specific trigger can cause your kitty to act out, but sometimes a health condition may be behind your cat’s aggression. Before attempting any behavior modification, visit your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital to rule out any medical condition that could be the cause of your cats behavior. If your kitty has no underlying health issues, we may suggest some ways to curb the undesired behavior, or if needed, we may refer you to a feline behaviorist for further evaluation and help.

How To Get An Angry Cat To The Vets

Here at petGuard we firmly fall into the cat lovers category, but even as feline fans, there are times when our moggies can drive us crazy. Just as children hate going to the dentist, many cats are terrified of the vets. Unless your cat has always had good vet experiences, they may have some residual trauma from a previous trip. After all, most domestic pets do get neutered or spayed, which as you can imagine is not a pleasant experience for them! That may explain some of those horrible growling, howling or hissing noises which cats make, that when combined with the vicious swiping and baring of their sharp teeth makes them seem like guardians of hell.

Don’t forget that these are mini versions of big cats like tigers, and though too small to kill you, can certainly do some damage!

So, if your cat has become wary of the vet, here’s a few tips to stop that simple visit from turning into a nightmare.

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How Do I Deal With An Aggressive Cat

Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:

~ Crystal

Thomas: Aggression is one of the most heartbreaking forms of kitty behavior there is. You adopt a cat, treat him with love and kindnessand then something happens and hes attacking everybody, seemingly for no reason. And Mama certainly understands how cats can be life savers when youre going through depression or other mental health crisesshe says weve saved her life more than once!

Bella: But this is a behavior that can be corrected, and weve got some tips for you on how to deal with an aggressive cat.

Tara: The first thing you need to know is that cats are never aggressive because they dislike the people or animals they attack. Aggression is a response to stress. Either the cat feels threatened or theyre bored and need something to entertain them.

Thomas: There are several kinds of aggression cats can manifest. The most common of these is play aggression: a cat starts playing with a toy or another cat, or a person, and they just get so wound up that the teeth and claws come out!

Bella: The best way to resolve play aggression is to use a thing on a string toy to help Diggie enjoy his hunting with an appropriate target. Our favorites are Da Bird and Neko Flies, but you can find lots of toys like this at your local pet store or online. Experiment with different types of string toys, too: some cats like noisy toys, some cats like feather-light toys, and so on.

Signs Of An Angry Cat

How to Deal with an Aggressive Cat

It is important to recognize what an angry cat may look like or what kind of behaviors they may display. Heres what you can expect from them:

  • Growling
  • Hiding and refusing to come out
  • Ears are flattened back and sticking out
  • ;Biting when you try to pet them
  • Twitching tail
  • Purring*
  • Clawing at furniture

*Purring can mean so many things. It is a cats primary way of communicating with other animals and humans and can both be a sign of distress and happiness.;

Before you attempt to calm an angry cat, the next best step would be to try and find the source of its aggression. Some reasons they may be angry include fear, pain, conflict with another cat, or territorial aggression.;

Once you pinpoint where the aggressive behavior is coming from, you can then try to help your cat. Here are 3 ways to help calm an angry cat.

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Fifth: A Veterinary Consult And Examination

If youve tried all that and your cat is still aggressive, a vet check is a must. Sometimes, theyll give you advice on environmental modifications to implement. Sometimes its as simple as making sure that a cat has access to additional clean litter boxes, that food and water sources are appropriately placed throughout the house, or providing access to a climbing perch or the ability to look out the window. However, we need to make sure there arent any medical problems that are causing the aggression or altered behavior. Sometimes an ear infection, sore mouth/infected tooth, urinary tract infection, bladder stones, osteoarthritis, overactive thyroid gland, or even secondary pain may be causing the aggression. Once underlying medical problems have been ruled out, a vet-recommended behavioral prescription medication may be necessary.;

Prescription medications

Some cat parents are hesitant to medicate their cat. However, keep in mind that it may be better for your cats welfare if the aggression is severe. Other medications may include oral sedativesthese are used more for travel or stress-related matters and include classes of drugs like gabapentin or trazodone. These cause sedation and are really only used prior to veterinary visits, groomer visits, or changes in environment .

Lastly Consult A Veterinary Behaviorist

OK, youve tried it all. Youve gone to your vet. Your cat is on drugs. And its still not working? Its time for a pro: the veterinary behaviorist. This isnt an online trainerthis is a veterinarian who has done an additional 2-3 years of advanced training in the form of a residency program. These are veterinarians who have the added letters DACVB behind their name, as this stands for a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior. While veterinary behaviorists often work with animal trainersand your veterinarianthese are the pros to go to with severe cases of cat aggression that arent responding to the above care. .

Next month, well talk about what else you can do to help prevent aggression in cats. Tune into Part 2 for more!

Cover photo by Kim Davies on Unsplash

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Aggression In Cats Toward People

Is your cat biting or scratching you, stalking and pouncing on you? Is he biting you after you have been petting him for a short period of time or after you touch him in a certain place? Dont despair: There are ways to deal with aggressive behavior in cats.

Below are some general recommendations for dealing with feline aggression problems. Before treating your cats aggressive behavior at home, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Occasionally, medical problems that can cause pain or irritability will lead to aggression; treating these conditions may resolve the behavior.

Some displays of seemingly aggressive behavior are actually normal ways for cats to communicate. Cats use behaviors such as biting, scratching and pouncing to tell other cats that they do not wish to interact, to protect their territory or valuable possessions , and in play. Cats may hurt people or other animals simply because they dont know how to play appropriately. Your cat may need to be taught more desirable ways to interact or you may need to help him become more comfortable in certain situations so he doesnt feel the need to communicate in an undesirable manner.

Ways On How To Stop Dog Aggression Towards Cats

Simple way to help deal with aggressive cat(s)

Cats and dogs are known for bickering each other. While it looks cute to some, its not fun when your house is in constant chaos because your dog keeps on chasing your cat.

As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog gets along with your male cat. Bringing peace between your two fur friends is possible with practical obedience training. That way, the three of you can live under the same roof without constant fighting.

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How To Deal With Cat Behaviour Problems

Most pet owners will experience bad cat behaviour at some point or another, but sometimes what we view as bad behaviour can come from a lack of understanding as to why cats do what they do. There are many different ways to remedy cat behaviour problems, but the key is to try to understand your cat better. Read on for some training tips to help solve some cat behaviour problems. Keep in mind that some training techniques that work for dogs arent always the most effective on cats.

An Aggressive Cat Might Be Responding To Trauma

Dont laugh: Cats can suffer from post-traumatic stress. Their brains are wired similarly to ours, and the effects of chronic anxiety from past human violence or struggling to survive on the streets can lead cats to become aggressive. In order to resolve this issue, a short course of anti-anxiety medication , homeopathic remedies or flower essences can help make a cat less reactive to triggers.

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Build An Outdoor Enclosure For Your Cat

Provide a more challenging environment for your cat. This will irritate him and does not require your attention. The outdoor enclosure not only allows your cat to stay indoors, but it can also drive away other animals. Make sure you include platforms and places for it to explore and rest. The cat can watch the leaves blowing in the wind, the birds flying, and the squirrels running for hours. If you dont have an outdoor fence, try to have a window so that your cat can easily sit on it and stare out of the window.

When Is Play Aggression A Problem

Dealing With an Aggressive Cat

Play aggression that gets a bit out of control is common in kittens and young cats, according to;Pam Johnson-Bennett;who havent learned to control their behavior.

An increase in this behavior often coincides with kittens developing stronger hunting instincts. However, when an adult cat plays too rough, this can be a sign of aggression issues that need to be checked.

An adult cat who plays too aggressively may have been poorly socialized as a kitten or been taken away from the mother too soon. When your cat missed out on the chance to learn how to play like a kitten, its up to you to help guide him or her into more appropriate behavior. Making some changes to how you play with your pet can make a difference.

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Relaxing With Valerian Root

Valerian root has been used countless times throughout history to treat stress, insomnia, nervousness and headaches. Although there is little research that connects stress or anxiety with this natural herb, it hasnt stopped modern day users from sharing their positive experiences.

Similarly, cats tend to love it as it also mimics catnip. The herb is known to naturally trigger an increase of gamma-aminobutyric acid found in the brain. This acid produces a relaxing effect, causing cats to nap or rest peacefully.;

What Should I Do Before Taking My Cat To The Vet

  • Carrier: appropriate size, secure, and with a removable top. They should get the cat used to the carrier beforehand.
  • Feliway: spray Feliway solution in their bedding at least 30 minutes before the trip to the vet.
  • Prescribed medication: If the patient has a history of aggression, help manage the fear by reminding the owner to give some medication before the consultation.
  • When carrying the cat to the vet: the owner should minimize movement by supporting the carrier from the bottom with two hands.
  • When transporting the pet to the vet by car: the carrier should be secure on the floor or the passenger lap.

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Picking The Right Time For Playtime

The best time to schedule play for your cat is during times when they are more restless. An ideal schedule for many cat owners is to do one-morning play session before work and a night session when youre home for the night. Youll find it easier to avoid attention-seeking behavior that can turn into aggression.

Because cats tend to have nocturnal schedules, you might find your cat misbehaving when youre trying to sleep. You can avoid this situation by doing the evening play session just before your bedtime. Be sure to give your furry friend something to eat so theyll be set for the night.

When youve been playing with the cat, make sure theyve been able to capture the toy on several occasions. He or she should have ample time to settle down, instead of having you stop the play very abruptly. If the cats still feeling energetic after play, he or she might be more likely to get involved in an;aggressive play.

Provide A Safe Environment

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Providing a safe place for a cat to release their aggression can help calm an angry cat. A scratching post can act as a great alternative to your furniture and cat towers or condos are perfect places for your cat to hide, sleep or have some privacy.

If your cat is angry, he or she might also want to hide more than usual. Make sure that your cats kennel, bed or condo is in a quiet room and undisturbed area. This will allow your angry cat to have some space until they are ready to come out again.;;

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If Your Cats Keep Fighting

If your cats aggression is severe or becomes unmanageable, contact a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist for guidance. These professionals can provide deeper insight and guidance on behavioral modification for your cats.;

Unfortunately, some cats simply cannot live together peacefully. If youve exhausted your resources, time, and energy in the hopes of resolving aggression or fighting between your cats, it may be time to consider finding a new home for one of them or keeping them permanently separated.;

Always Work With A Professional

Aggression can be a dangerous behavior problem. It is complex to diagnose and can be tricky to treat. Many behavior modification techniques have detrimental effects if misapplied. Even highly experienced professionals get bitten from time to time, so living with and treating an aggressive cat is inherently risky. A qualified professional can take a complete behavior history, develop a treatment plan customized for your cat and coach you through its implementation. She can monitor your cats progress and make alterations to the plan as required. If appropriate, she can also help you decide when your cats quality of life is too poor or when the risks of living with your cat are too high and euthanasia is warranted. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or board-certified veterinary behaviorist in your area for guidance.

Hetts, Suzanne. . Pet Behavior Protocols. Lakewood, CO: AAHA Press.

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Hormones May Cause A Cat To Become Aggressive

A cat who is not spayed or neutered is much more likely to be aggressive. Male cats in particular are biologically wired to fight with other male cats when females in heat are present. If you see two cats fighting, do not physically intervene because you will almost certainly become the target of the cats aggression.

Tips To Curb Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive Cat Behavior Can Be Fixed

Redirect Aggressive Behavior: Get to know what triggers your cat’s undesired behavior and keep an eye out for signs your cat is moving toward aggression. Immediately distract your cat by throwing a toy or treat, or even shaking a jar filled with coins. Never attempt to touch or pick up an agitated cat.

Use Calming Sprays or Diffusers: There are products you can purchase that are designed to calm cats down. These sprays or diffusers mimic the feline pheromones that make cats feel safe and secure. A less anxious cat often translates to a less aggressive one.

Keep Your Cat Engaged: Provide a stimulating environment to distract your cat. Scratching posts or climbing perches give your cat a chance to play and also provide quiet areas for some quiet, private time. Play with your cat, but make sure you don’t do so when your furry friend displays signs of aggression. If your cat begins to act aggressively, stop playing, and wait for your cat to calm down. If your cat is playing nicely, reward the desired behavior with a tasty treat.

Recognize Maternal Aggression. Cats often become aggressive after giving birth. They instinctively protect their offspring from potential dangers. Provide a quiet, low-stress environment and keep visitors to a minimum. Move slowly and take your time approaching your cat. Once the new mom feels safe, you will see a marked improvement in her behavior.

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