What To Do If Your Cat Becomes Aggressive


Ever had your cat turn on you? Often a cause for concern amongst pet owners, aggression in cats can be displayed through a variety of different behaviours. Scratching, biting and pouncing can be harmful for both yourself and your pet, and may leave you both with a rocky relationship.

However, it’s important to identify the differences between aggression and typical play - especially when it comes to younger kittens. Playing is vital for their development and if your feline has plans to become an outdoor cat, they’ll use their indoor playtime as a chance to prepare them for life on the outside.

If you’re noticing that your cat is becoming aggressive with other felines, humans or even you, read on to find out how to recognise the difference between playing and intentional aggression and what to do about it.

Understanding Aggression

When you suspect that your cat is being aggressive, carefully observe them to see which behavioural patterns they display.

Whilst cats are notorious for being unpredictable and difficult to read, the following body language indicators can help you to determine why they’re acting out:

  • Offensive postures – direct staring, constricted pupils and a stiff tail hanging close to the ground.
  • Defensive postures – crouching, open-mouthed hissing and quick strikes with their front paws.

Along with these types of posture, you can often distinguish aggression by looking for shrieking, growling or biting in your pet.

Aggression When Petting

As a cat lover, there’s probably nothing you love more than curling up with your pet on the sofa. However, for some pet owners, this can be accompanied by biting and scratches from your cat.

This is called petting aggression and can occur for a variety of different reasons; from your cat having a sensitive spot on their body or simply having a limited tolerance to being touched. The amount of tolerance that cats have vary, so it’s best to get to know your pet’s typical behaviour as scratches can be unpredictable.

The most common signs of petting aggression include restlessness and a sharp meow. Once you’ve realised that your cat is becoming agitated, immediately stop petting them and allow them to move on their own accord.

Aggression Over Territory

Once of the biggest reasons for aggression in cats is because the feline feels like their territory is under threat. It is especially common in outdoor cats; territorial aggression can range from hissing to physical fighting.

Most often directed towards other animals, this type of aggression is hard to control as you may not have full visibility on your cat’s habits once they leave the house. However, it can also be directed towards a new human or canine that comes into your home as your pet will view the area as their own.

This type of aggression can be controlled by monitoring the places that your cat has access to. For example, if you’re planning to introduce a new pet into your home, it’s best to give the new cat a room in your home that isn’t often visited by your existing cat. This will allow both cats to more easily adjust to living nearby, without feeling like their territory is under attack.

In Summary

As you can see, there are several reasons why your cat could be displaying signs of aggression. Ensure that you protect yourself with cat insurance to avoid being landed with an expensive vet bill especially if aggression is common with your cat, as they may end up being hurt.

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Useful Websites

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  • Cats Protection League
    Oldest and largest cat welfare charity gives help and advice, games photos and prize competitions
  • Cats Protection Inverurie
    Rescuing and re-homing cats in the North East of Scotland, see some of the lovely cats for adoption, find out how you can help, some puzzles and fun stuff for your entertainment
  • West Riding Pet Cat Club
    Promote the interests of cat owners and to provide welfare for stray and unwanted non-pedigree cats and kittens who are in need of attention, and to acquire suitable homes for such cats and kittens in
  • Pedigree Cats UK
    Photographs and information about the different breeds of cats that are currently available in Great Britain, links to cat breeders, registering organisations and other cat related sites
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    Professional dog walking, pet sitting and pet transport service for London
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