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Why Do Cats Hiss At You

Hiding Makes Cats Feel Safe

Why Do Cats Hiss?

In the wild, cats hunt alone. They depend on stealth to survive; not only to avoid enemies, but also to hide from prey they want to catch. Cats like warmth and small places help to retain their body heat. Smaller spaces that protect a cats back are also easier to defend. However, cats also always want an emergency exit. Thats why your cat loves that new basket you bought or the cardboard box you just unpacked.

Common Reasons Why Cats Hiss

Cats hiss when theyre feeling threatened, fearful, or extremely upset.

When a cat hisses, it is a sign that she is feeling threatened, fearful, or extremely upset. Hissing is a warning: Stay back! Dont approach me! A hissing cat feels that she is in danger. A cat may hiss at another cat, at a dog or other animal, or at people.

Here are some common scenarios when a cat might hiss:;

Cat Hissing At People

Its common for cats to hiss at the veterinarian, especially when they are placed on the cold exam table or when veterinary staff comes to poke and prod the cat. If past visits were frightening, the cat remembers the sights, sounds, and smells of the veterinary clinic. She may hiss as soon as you arrive, even if she hasnt yet been touched.;

Cats might also hiss if you bring them to another unfamiliar place like a boarding facility or groomer. Its normal for cats that usually stay at home to feel afraid of sights, sounds and smells that they are not accustomed to.

Cats frequently hiss when new guests or workers enter the home, or if they are around unfamiliar children who are being loud and boisterous.

A cat might hiss at you or another family member if you try to give her a bath, brush her, trim her nails, or give medication.

Cats might also hiss if someone is petting or holding them and they are not feeling comfortable for whatever reason. If your cat hisses when you approach her or try to touch her, it could be a sign that she is in pain. It is not unusual for cats with arthritis or an injury to hiss for seemingly no reason. In fact, they are communicating to you to stay away because they are hurting.;

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Reasons Why Cats Hiss

  • Fear: Your cat might be fearful of his new surroundings if you just adopted him. Even a cat youve had for a long time may feel threatened by the new vacuum cleaner. Whatever the case, be sure your cat has a few hiding places to retreat to until he feels safe enough to come out.
  • Anger: Even the gentlest cat may hiss if you make him do something he doesnt want to do, such as get into his carrier or move from his favorite spot on the couch. Keeping your cool conveys that theres nothing to worry about, which may help your cat calm down.
  • Dominance: The introduction of a new animal to the home, or even seeing another cat outside, can trigger a dominance display. Unneutered male cats on the verge of a fight hiss loudly at each other to convey their authority and displeasure at one anothers presence.
  • Anxiety: When a cat is stressed or anxious, everything that approaches him may trigger an aggressive response. This is common in cats that bounce around from foster home to foster home. Pheromone spray can be a very effective mood enhancer to help your stressed out cat relax.
  • Pain: If there doesnt seem to be an obvious trigger for your cats frequent hissing, he could be in pain from a chronic illness or acute injury. If your kitty hisses when you run your hands down his body, seek help from a vet right away.

Why Do Many Cats React To New Kittens This Way

Why Do Cats Hiss?

The first thing that is important to understand is that some cats are naturally very territorial. When Fluffy sees another cat taking over his space, he might feel like he needs to assert dominance over the new kitty. By letting out a hiss and a growl, hes saying, Hey, Im the boss around these parts!

Another thing is that cats can feel threatened any time something in their environment changes. Anything from another animal, a strange visitor, or even a piece of furniture can cause a cat to be upset. Bringing home a new cat or kitten might make the furbaby you have at home feel frightened. This, too, can result in hiding and hissing behavior. In this case, the hissing would be telling the newcomer to Stay away from me.

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Can I Leave My Kitten Alone With My Cat

We dont recommend leaving a kitten alone with a cat. Kittens need care and attention. If the adult cat is friends with the kitten and youre sure it wont hurt it when alone, you can leave them alone for a few hours.

If youre in doubt about leaving them alone, try not to do so. You can also keep the cats separated in different rooms when theyre alone, blocking all kinds of access. Such a strategy can also keep the kitten safe from the cat.

Sometimes Its Hard To Identify Why Your Cat Is Hissing

Hissing can be an outward sign that your cat is stressed about something or even in pain. If you cant figure out what is triggering your cat, a visit to the veterinarian is in order to make sure your cat is healthy.

If your vet finds no physical cause for your cats hissing, he or she might refer you to a veterinary behaviorist. These professionals are experts in understanding cat behavior. If youd like to consult with a behaviorist, your regular veterinarian can give you a referral.

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If Youve Recently Adopted A New Cat Or Kitten And Notice A Lot Of Hissing Give Each Cat A Safe Place To Retreat And Give It Time

It can take several weeks for new cats to settle in and adjust to each other. Dont force interactions and intervene if things get too heated. Pheromone diffusers and sprays can also help in this situation. Most cats learn to at least get a long, even if they dont love each other.;

If you suspect squabbles between multiple adult cats in your home, try to find out the source of the issue. If one cat is pestering another, try adding more litter boxes and food and water dishes. Make sure the cat that is being bothered has a safe place to retreat and try to intervene if one cat is ganging up on anther. Sometimes, pheromone diffusers, sprays and collars can help calm cats down.;

When Hissing Is Frequent Or Impairing Your Cat’s Or Another Cat’s Quality Of Life

Why Cats Hiss | Cat Care

If your cat’s hissing is a new behavior, is frequent, or you can’t identify one of the above causes, it could be a sign of a physical ailment, injury, or emotional problem. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out medical causes and possibly to work jointly on identifying emotional and/or environmental causes. Your veterinarian may recommend a cat behaviorist if the underlying problem is complicated, not readily apparent, or requires extended therapy to resolve.

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What If You Must Handle A Hissing Cat

The exception to the back off rule is if its a medical emergency. An injured, ill or in-pain cat will hiss because he knows he cant fight and he hopes that hissing will warn predators and people away.

Unfortunately, youre going to have to pick up your injured or sick cat so you can get him to the veterinarian. But youll need to protect yourself because a cat whos in pain;will very likely lash out with claws and teeth if you handle him. Here are some guidelines on safe ways to restrain an injured cat.

Cats Hissing At A New Kittens Or Other Pets

Given that cats base their social structure on available resources, a new pet can be seen as a threat to those resources, says Bennett. Since cats dont like to have physical confrontations, they often use the hiss as an initial warning with the hope that no physical fighting will be needed.

A cat hissing at a new kitten or catisnt unusual. Cats may hiss at new kittens to establish boundaries, generally when the established cats boundaries are being pushed, adds Demos. A hiss is a quick means to tell the kitten to stop.

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How To Get Your Cat To Stop Hissing At A New Kitten

Keeping a cat as a pet for a long time is always fun until you introduce it to a new kitten. You will see extreme changes in the mood and behavior of the adult cat as soon as it sees another kitten in the house. In most cases, it will hiss and growl to scare the kitten, which can be worrisome for the owners.

Do you want to know how to get your cat to stop hissing a new kitten? Giving attention to your older cat and giving her time to accept the change will stop the hissing behavior. You can also make her familiar with the new cats scent before the introduction. Give her some space and reward her for the times she shows good behavior in front of the new cat.

Today we are going to discuss why this behavior occurs, and how to slowly eradicate it, so read on.

Cats Can Hiss At Dogs Out Of Maternal Instincts

Why cats hiss, and how to react

Mothers protect their children fiercely from anything or anybody that poses a threat to them. This is not different from cats. A mother cat can hiss at a dog when she feels his presence negatively affects her kittens.

Mother cats tend to be very aggressive when defending and protecting their young ones, especially if they were given birth a few days ago.

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Why Does Your Cat Hiss At You Here Is What You Need To Know

There is no doubt about the fact that cats are one of the best pets in the world. But they possess a very unpredictable behavior. If your cat loves you today, it can make a grumpy face at you tomorrow. Hence, you must not be surprised when you see your cute little kitty hissing at you tomorrow, which starts each day with your cuddles. So, it is better to find out the correct reason behind your cats hisses.

Reasons Why Your Cat Keeps Hissing

Do you notice your cat hissing often? Have you gotten concerned about how often she hisses at you, other animals, or almost any intrusion into her space? If you are a cat owner, you may worry about hissing as an uncommon behavior in your feline friend.

In this article, we will explain six of the most common reasons why you might notice your cat hissing more often than she usually does. Read through these possibilities to see if you can narrow down the options, and dont be afraid to take your pet to the vet if she needs medical attention.

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What Is Your Cat Saying When He Hisses

Hissing is simply an expression of emotion; Im upset, I feel threatened, Im uncomfortable, or Im scared. Whether your cat is hissing at veterinary staff or a newcomer to the household, your cat is feeling vulnerable, threatened, or insecure. If you try to correct or punish your cat for hissing, you will only make a bad or scary situation worse, and make your cat more upset.

How To Calm The Hissy Fit

Cat Behavior: Why do cats meow, purr and hiss?

The best way to handle a hissing cat is not to scold or stare down your cat, but rather to give him space and let him calm down. If a new animal in your home has triggered the behavior, keep them safely apart and carefully supervise interactions when the time comes.

If an unfamiliar guest has triggered the hissing, allow your cat to sniff the persons shoes;so he can explore the new scent safely. Give your cat a little timeeventually, he should grow accustomed to visitors and may even start hanging out with the group.

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When Do Cats Hiss

There are two main reasons why a cat will hiss: fear and anger.

  • When approached by a stranger
  • When at the vet
  • When approached by another cat, or dog
  • Your cat may even hiss at you if he is in pain and you go near him

A hissing cat is warning you to back off. We have already covered injuries caused by cat bites and scratches. It is vital that we read their body language and signals that they are giving off.;;;A hissing cat is telling you to back off, even if it is your cat, who knows and loves you, hes warning you.

Recently Rescued Cats Might Hiss Out Of Fear

If you’ve recently rescued a cat and she is hissing at you or others, use the following tips to help her:

  • Take it slowly. Be patient. As much as is practical, maintain a calm, stable, and predictable household.
  • Provide your kitty with lots of hiding places,, perches, and other resources that cats crave.
  • Try cat-specific mood enhancers such as Feliway and catnip. Keep in mind that some cats don’t respond to catnip, that catnip’s effectiveness tends to decrease if it is given too often, and that some cats become aggressive while under the influence of catnip and should have a zone of privacy when given their treat.

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When Hissing Means More

In most cases, you can probably understand why your cat is hissing based on the situation. A cornered, frightened, or uneasy cat will naturally try to warn threats away, so hissing is understood.

But sometimes, your cat might hiss for an unknown reason, such as when you pick her up or pet her. If this suddenly becomes a new behavior, then a physical issue might be to blame. If you cant otherwise explain why your cat is hissing, then its best to bring her to the vet for a checkup. Your vet might find a source of pain, such as an infection or arthritis, that has developed without your knowing, especially if you have a senior cat who has different health needs. Treating the pain should make your cat comfortable again, and the unusual hissing behavior should stop.

It can be frightening to have your cat hiss at you, but remember that your cat is hissing as a warning. Instead of swatting or biting you, your cat will hiss to get you to back away and to show that shes uncomfortable. The more you learn to read your cats body language, the better youll be able to identify when shes feeling threatened or uncomfortable, so you can avoid actions that might make her feel unsafe. By giving your cat space and taking the right steps when she hisses, you can build her trust in you and shell probably hiss less often.

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She’s Telling Other Cats To Settle Down

Why Do Cats Hiss? Is My Cat Upset?

If you’ve recently brought home a kitten as a companion to your older cat, you may hear more hissing. This is normal and doesn’t necessarily mean that the cats aren’t getting along or that they are going to fight. Hissing from an older cat that is playing with a kitten can just be a way of telling the energetic kitten to settle down and not play as rough.

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Warning Humans And Other Pets

Your cat hisses to communicate that they do not want to be bothered. Some cats may simply hiss because they want you or another human member of the family to leave them alone and let them have their space, and they may also hiss at other pets in a similar way.

If your cat is not very friendly toward humans or other animals, she may hiss often to tell intruders to leave her alone. This is just a warning to let these people or pets know they may be scratched if they dont heed it. Continuing to bother her anyway may result in a swat or two!

Cat Hissing: When To Worry

A cat who hisses frequently should be evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out internal pain or discomfort, says Gibbons. An animal behaviorist may be consulted if the hissing is determined to be from psychological origin.;

And of course, this applies to signs of obvious distress. If your cat appears to be in pain, have an injury, or is at risk of injuring another pet or person in the house, dont hesitate to seek immediate help, adds Demos.

Other signs that could indicate that the hissing may be due to a medical problem include the following, according to Gibbons.

  • Poor appetite
  • Low energy
  • Reclusiveness or other changes in behavior

A cat who normally doesnt hiss, then suddenly starts up may be a cause for concern, says Demos. The first step is generally to try and get a video whenever it comes to unusual or new behaviors, she says. That way you can show your vet to get their specific thoughts on what is happening.

If youre in doubt about what the hissing means or you see behavior thats out of the ordinary, check with your veterinarian, advises Bennett. Any change in a cats behavior or normal routine should be viewed as a potential red flag.;

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Because They Are Uncomfortable

Similarly to hissing when in pain, your feline pet will also make this sound if he/she feels uncomfortable.

You may notice it if you pick your cat up in a position that he/she finds very unpleasant.

Also, if you try to pet its belly, and if the cat doesnt trust you enough, it will hiss and try to escape.

Belly rubs are reserved only to the people cats trust a lot.;


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