Why Is My Cat Aggressive
Generally, aggressive cat behaviour occurs for four main reasons:
1. The cat is behaving defensively for self-protection. A cats first strategy whenever faced with danger is to run away, but sometimes this isnt possible. When this happens, your cat might resort to aggressive behaviour instead. When a cat behaves defensively in this way it is because they are frightened. This may be due to a previous negative experience with people or a lack of socialisation as a young kitten, which is the time when positive lessons are learned.
2. The cat is playing, albeit roughly. Kittens often play fight with our hands which seems cute when they are young. As they get older and stronger the hand biting and scratching is no longer fun for us so we dont respond in the same way as before. This can be very confusing for the grown-up cat, who still wants to play in this way. The cat will likely feel conflicted as they dont want to experience the negative consequences that they now face when we try and deter the behaviour.
3. The cat is frustrated. This is often referred to as redirected aggression. A typical example is when a cat sees a strange cat outside through a window and then attacks the owner, or sometimes another cat who is nearby.
Dealing With An Aggressive Cat
While a cat doesn’t apply the same lethal force as a large dog, their attacks can be scary, painful, and leave their owners bloody. In other words: Cats attacking their owners isn’t something that can be ignored. The first step in correcting the behavior is discovering the cause. Possible reasons include:
Cats and kittens love to play, and they need to be taught what kind of play is acceptable and what kind is not. Make sure your cats have plenty of toys, and toss new toys into the mix on a regular basis so your cats won’t get bored.
When a cat is afraid or stressed out, they may attack just because they don’t know what else to do. One way to help your cat deal with fear is to make sure they have access to a place that makes them feel safe. This may be a perch atop a kitty condo, an enclosed bed, or even access to a rarely used room. If their fear seems extreme, consult a vet for advice.
You’re the Prey
Cats are hunters. It’s a natural instinct. This is similar to play, but look at it more like practice. They are honing their skills for when they are ready to chase their next insect or rodent. Encourage them to stalk other items, such as the dot from a laser pointer or a toy mouse tied to a string. Redirecting this behavior may help to turn their attention to their toys, rather than your legs, the next time they want to practice hunting.
You Spend The Most Time With The Cat
If you spend the most time with the feline and do most of the care, youll likely find yourself being attacked more often than other people. While your cat scratching you is never okay, if your cat does attack someone, its more likely to be you if youre spending all your time with them.
This is particularly true if you commonly do things your cat doesnt like, such as grooming. If you always do the grooming, and your cat always becomes aggressive while grooming, youre probably going to get attacked more than anyone else in your household.
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Context Clue #: Check The Ears
While feline body language is complex and complicated, I usually find that the ears make a great indicator of how your cat is feeling. Flat ears that are as close to your cats body as possible indicate a defensive posture and suggest that your cat feels threatened. On the other hand, a cat that is hunting or playing willkeep his ears forward to collect as much auditory information as possible to execute a successful pounce. If your cat is showing flat ears with a tense body then its likely they think theyre in a fight.
Why Does My Cat Attack Me For No Reason Help Please
Why does my cat attack me for no reason? Should I be worried?
We received this question recently from a concerned cat owner. Most of the time, these attacks are redirected aggression, meaning something triggered your cats aggression, and it happened that youre on the receiving end. There are a lot of potential triggers in this case, ranging from stress, fear, threat, and even medical problems.
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Reason : Its All About Territory
Weve already touched on this in some of our context clues but it could be because youre interacting with your cat at the wrong time and more importantly in the wrong place.
Cat are naturally territorial creatures so it should be no surprise that this is sometimes problematic inside our homes. The ASPA explains thatCats territorial aggression is usually directed toward other cats, but it can be directed toward dogs and people, too. A cat can show territorial aggression toward some family members and not others and toward some cats but not others.
In other words, your cat could be attacking you and not others because youre the only one encroaching on what they perceive as their territory or because youre the only one they see as a threat. The tricky part is figuring out exactly what your cat considers to be their territory. Your cats wild ancestors and feral friends control large areas of land and scientists found thatone male kittys range covered 1,351 acres .
The ASPCA also goes on to explain that a cats perceived territory could be the entire house or part of it, the yard, the block, or the neighborhood. So while it will be hard to figure out exactly what territorial line youve crossed, by paying attention to the context clues you can figure out where you went wrong.
As is the case with many issues of aggression, cats that havent been spayed or neutered are not only more likely to be aggressive but also more likely to be territorial.
Tips To Prevent Aggression Of Cat On You
- Cats attack due to fear: Observe your cat and look for hints of what is causing them stress and anxiety. It can be a person, color, or another animal in your house.
- Provide a safe and comfortable environment for your cat. For example, provide your cat with high perches to play or exercise their muscles regularly.
- Make sure your cat has plenty of playtimes. When the cat engages in active play, she stays happy, and it stimulates her brain to engage in productive work.
- When you interact with your cat, be respectful with your cat. Provide them their personal space, show gentle and slow movements.
- Never punish your cat or show aggression. Your pet doesnt understand when they indulge in the wrong activity. In addition, your aggression can make them frightened, which leads to future aggression.
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My Cat Keeps Attacking My Dog
See files for Cats
Although phrases such as fighting like cats and dogs remain in our modern vernacular, cats and dogs can truly live in harmony. However, if we want to share our home with a cat and dog at the same time, certain guidelines need to be followed. Much of this has to do with socialization and the personal history of either companion animal. This is why it is not unheard of for a cat to keep attacking a dog when they live together.
At AnimalWised, we show why a cat showing aggression to a dog needs to be looked at in context. Whether the cat starts attacking the dog all of a sudden, the cat’s attacks are unprovoked or if the cat and dog have never been cordial, we show you why this might be. We also provide the best ways to try to bring harmony between a cat and dog.
Your Cat Is Alarmed By Noise
Cats like to be aware of their environment. They want to be assured of whats going on. Unexpected noises are not on their favorite lists, given their heightened senses.
And if a loud, random noise alarms them, they may act out aggressively and fearfully.
Some also believe that high-frequency sounds trigger a hunting instinct, as it sounds similar to rodents or birds. Even a crying baby might cause a cat to react.
Some experts recommend trying to counter-condition your cat with rewarded behavior for staying calm as you play the noise. Start with a low volume and reward. Over time, increase the volume and continue to reward as long as the cat remains calm.
You could also try to minimize these loud sounds in your home. Be aware of the TV or radio for this approach.
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A Personal Account Of An Attempted Attack:
I was sitting a cat a few weeks ago who got increasingly angrier each visit. Her mom went away for about 10 days, and I only stopped by every other day. The cat mom didnt ever have an issue doing it this way so she thought there was no problem. On day 1, I got the sweet cat. She was playful, wanted head scratches, wanted to be brushed and wanted to play. Great! I thought. This is going to be easy. Well, on day 4 of mom being away, day 2 of our visits, she was territorial of her food and litter box, which were in the kitchen. She would howl and hiss at me. However, once we walked into the living room, she was the sweet, playful girl again. That all changed on day 6 of mom being gone, day 3 of our visits. When I walked in, she had anger peed and pooped outside of her box. When I was trying to clean that all up, she came up behind me howling and hissing.
I felt threatened so I grabbed a towel from the fridge door and tried to use it as a distraction. It worked for a hot second as I tried to get her to follow me into the bathroom where I could at least sequester her while I cleaned up the mess. She refused to follow me any further and continued to howl. Her pupils dilated, and the howls became more aggressive and frequent. At this point, I just wanted to walk past her. I very sternly and loudly kept calling her name and telling her No! That did nothing.
Contact A Professional Cat Behaviorist If Additional Help Is Needed
This is particularly important with a specific type of aggression called redirected aggression. This involves a single event that frightens one or more cats and, in this moment of fear, one attacks the other. A common example is if two cats are sitting on a windowsill and an outdoor cat appears which suddenly frightens the cats. A sudden loud noise or a sudden injury can also cause this behavior. Its extremely important that the cats remain entirely separated until both cats are acting like their normal selves and then a slow re-introduction is needed. This process can be a challenge and is best done under the guidance of a professional.
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Cats Can Attack Because They Are Bored
Veterinarian Crowell-Davis tells VetStreet, You need to look at whether your cat has adequate opportunities for acceptable types of play and realize that just bringing home a fabric mouse stuffed with catnip isnt going to cut it. Its good to keep a wide variety of toys on hand for your feline friend to stave off boredom and keep her active. If you work a lot consider getting another kitty with a similar energy level for your cat to play with or even hire a Rover sitter to stop by and and provide some focused playtime.
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.
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Cause Of Cat Aggression And Attacks
- Redirected Aggression: Lashes out at owner after sensing something it can’t access. May seem like it occurs for no reason because the source of agitation isn’t present.
- Petting-induced Aggression: When petting causes overstimulation or discomfort, cats may bite their owners .
- Fear: The root of most cat aggression.
- Territorial: Natural aggression all cats are prone to and can occur with other cats, animals, and humans.
- Maternal Aggression: The insecurity of a female cat with kittens.
- Pain-induced: Retaliation if an owner touches the cat in a painful area.
- Unprovoked Aggression: When a cat is aggressive for seemingly no reason. Rare, and hard to diagnose. Often mistaken for redirected aggression.
Many pet owners fail to become attuned with their pets’ mannerisms which may hint that an animal is becoming irritated.
Andy McLemore Via Flickr
My Cat Attacks Me Unprovoked
Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world and are savagely beloved by millions, although the dangers present from their razor-sharp claws and teeth, such as serious infection, are largely not taken seriously. But how much of a threat do they really pose to human health? Have domesticated cats ever killed a person?
In this article, you’ll learn…
- Can cats cause human fatalities or severe injury?
- Overlooked dangers of pet and feral cats
- Why might a cat become aggressive?
- A list of reported cat attacks and aggression
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Understanding & Avoiding Feline Aggression
Many people have experienced stinging cat scratches or the shocking pain of a deep cat bite. Most attacks occur under circumstances that are likely to induce an aggressive response, and theoretically should be easy to avoid. When your cat is afraid, feeling vulnerable, or is in pain, acting aggressively serves as a defense mechanism. But one can become a victim in unexpected ways as well. Some cats turn on their owners or other cats in the household after observing other cats or wildlife outdoors. Redirected aggression can also be triggered by other stressful events, such as a visit to the veterinary office. In this case, the patient comes home and may attack either the owner or another cat in the home.Play aggression is a common problem in young cats, especially those living indoors without playmates. While sometimes this behavior appears vicious, it is normal behavior for cats as they hone their predatory skills. The most disturbing form of feline aggression is intense, unprovoked attacks that occur without warning, often in cats that have been previously docile and predictable. On closer evaluation, some of these cats actually have redirected aggression or an illness causing discomfort, but a very few have “epileptic aggression.” This neurological condition may require use of anti-convulsant drugs. Aggression brought on by anxiety can also be managed pharmacologically, although removal of stressful stimuli is far more effective.
To avoid feline aggression in your home:
Sometimes When I Fuss My Cat They Seem To Be Enjoying It Then Suddenly Attack Me Why
Many people experience this with their cats and find it very confusing or upsetting as the cat appears to have asked for a fuss, only to then find that the cat shows random aggressive behaviour. As weve seen in other behaviour focus blog posts, cats dont behave randomly or do things out of the blue, even if we cant see a logical explanation. We need to look at things from the cats perspective, which can be very different from our own.
Photo by Adam Heath via flickr / Creative Commons
To be stroked by a human is not a natural behaviour for a cat to accept and some cats are more naturally reactive than others. This can also be directly related to the amount of human interaction the cat has had during the key sensitive period of two to seven weeks of age. The more positive interaction carried out during this time, the more likely the kitten will be well adjusted to everyday life and human interactions.
Photo by Michael Broad via flickr / Creative Commons
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You Are An Innocent Victim Of Redirected Aggression
You know what happens if you walk in on a tense situation and try to calm it down, only to have the conflict turn on you? Cats can do that, too.
A situation may arise where your cat is fearful or aggressive, and you inadvertently interfere or get in the way. It is quite conceivable that your cat turns that aggression onto you. Its not malicious, necessarily. Its just that youre in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Your cat may be agitated because its seen another cat or animal that triggered anxiety. Maybe it was a bird outside that he couldnt reach.
Thinking about getting your favourite feline a new collar? Check out my posts on 6 Stylish Leather Cat Collars, 6 Spooky Halloween Cat Collars, 8 Fun Christmas Cat Collar options, 7 Best Cat Tracking Collars, 4 Best Cameras for Cat Collars,6 Best Flea Collars for Cats choices and 5 Best Designer Cat Collars.