How To Deal With An Aggressive Cat
20 December, 2011
As much as we love our cats, some may be more aggressive than others. My cat, Sammy, gets aggressive when he plays with me, but not to the point of hurting me or anyone else. There was one time, however, when he was scared straight and he was howling and would not let me near him and I wasn’t sure what to do. This article should help with both situations.
First of all, cat aggression and cat attacks may be either predatory or play aggression, and look virtually the same. But when a new kitten or cat grapples your bare feet and chomps down, it’s anything but fun and games for owners. You might worry that your cat is an aggressive type, but usually, this is normal kitten behavior and he’s not becoming an aggressive cat but is playing.
Cat Attack and Play Aggression
Both play aggression and predatory aggression include distinct body language: any combination of stealth, silence, alert stance, hunting postures, and lunging or springing at prey that moves suddenly after being still.
If you own one cat, you are the likely target of your cat’s aggression. Almost any type of movement, from walking to picking up an object, triggers the behavior. What begins as fun and play can tip over into dangerous aggression, bites, and outright attacks when the kitten or cat becomes aroused (if not taken care of properly).
I can be scary, sometimes. Sorry!
Targets of Play Aggression
Your hands and feet are typical targets of the aggressive behavior. But predation directed toward human infants or smaller pets represents the greatest danger. This happens with adult cats that trigger to the motion or sound that reminds them of prey and it switches on ‘attack mode’.
Over-the-top play is normal and hand raised kittens and those weaned early seem to have increased risk even as adults. Youngsters usually outgrow the behavior by nine months or so, and confident adult cats usually put these obnoxious felines in their place.
However, if you do run into aggressive behavior or an aggressive cat, the tips below should help.
1. If you have two aggressive cats, you should provide safe areas where the picked on felines won’t be molested, such as high perches or separate rooms.
2. Place a bell on the attack cat to warn victims in time to escape, and so you can interrupt and stop the behavior.
3. Grab a water gun or citronella sprays to stop the attack cold. Experiment to find what works best for your kitty.
4. A leash and harness can be attached to the cat for control and interruption of undesirable behavior. You simply step on the end of the leash to stop him in his tracks.
5. Play interactive games with all your cats to burn off energy. Move toys perpendicular to line of sight-across cats’ field of vision rather than toward or away from her-to spark the greatest interest. Interactive play encourages confidence in shy cats so they’ll kick Sheba’s furry tail and teach her manners.
6. Create a regular routine that includes specific playtimes, so the cats learn to expect fun interactive times.
Hopefully, you will only have to deal with aggressive times and not an aggressive cat. Neither is fun, but can be controlled. I hope these tips help.