Cat Owner’s Guide – The Causes and The Solutions of Feline Aggression
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So, you finally own a cat, and you’re both having a fun time together. Congratulations on that!
But, suddenly you’ve started noticing a behavioral change in your cat, something that you least expected. Your kitty is being more aggressive towards people, both the guests and the inmates and the worst part is that you understand nothing about the aggressive nature that she is showing.
In cats, aggressive behavior towards people can be a sign of stress. As the owner, it is important for you to know the cause of stress and find out a solution accordingly. Distinguishing between a genuinely aggressive cat and the one that needs medical attention is necessary.
Here, the article summarizes the three leading causes of feline aggression and their associated solution:
1. Play Aggression:
Causes- I agree you wouldn’t want to spoil your cat’s mood and make her angry, but you might trigger the mood unknowingly. You might contribute to ‘play aggression’ by using your fingers as toys. I’m sure you adore your kitty, but letting her bite your fingers (even playfully) sends a message that it is fine to eat flesh. Scratching and biting is a cat’s nature but inducing improved social behavior in her will avoid play aggression.
Solutions- Cats are hunters by nature, but that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to hunt human flesh. Using fingers to play with the cat is a corrupt practice; instead, it is recommended that you use an interactive toy (a fishing pole probably), maintaining a safe distance between the cat’s teeth and your fingers. Schedule at least two 15 minutes sessions to spend some time with your kitty, while letting her play and hunt simultaneously.
2. Fear Aggression:
Causes- Trying to intrude into a cat’s safe area will cause her to fight you. Any cat can exhibit ‘fear aggression’ as a normal survival response to a potential threat. A fear aggression posture is a combination of many conflicting emotions during which the cat avoids confrontation. She may choose to hiss and growl in the hope of scaring off the opponent, but if that doesn’t work, she might crouch. The cat’s crouching action sends a message loud and clear, “I will fight you if I have to, but I choose to get out of here!” Children usually become victims of fear aggression when they try to hold the cat against its will.
Solutions- Learn to accept that the animal might take you as a threat and not enjoy you trying to cuddle with it. Teach your kids not to intrude into the cat’s safe area or it might just scratch and bite them. If the cat hisses or growls back off! Offer a safe retreat because frightened cats often look for an escape. Try setting up a hideaway in the house or opt for a cat tree because most cats feel safer in an elevated location.
3. Redirected Aggression:
Causes- ‘Redirected aggression’ occurs when the cats are stressed or in a situation they cannot control. For example, if an indoor cat spots an unfamiliar cat in the yard. It might start scratching the windows in agitation, but in worst cases, it might even jump outside the window and attack the nearest animal or human without enough provocation.
Solutions- Try to figure out what caused the cat to show this unusual behavior and consider getting it removed from there. If there was something outside the house that resulted in this action, then try calming down the cat by bringing it into a closed room and leaving it on its own. Keeping a cat’s cool isn’t an easy affair, and it may take hours, but be sure once she returns to her usual self she’ll be fun to have around. Do not try to pet her immediately as she might consider it a sign of restraint and might attack you.
No one ever said being a cat owner is going to be easy, but they might not have told you about these forms of feline aggression as mentioned above. Usually, the owners are taken by surprise when a cat attacks someone aggressively, and they term it a violent pet. This, however, is not true! Understand the nature of your pet cat and the cause of aggression. Play sessions with your little purr balls including a lot of knowledge about their behavior will eventually turn them into loving and well-behaved pets.
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