How to Help Socialize Your Aggressive Cat
28 January, 2014
Some of our cats are the most social, calm cats that you can meet. They come to us when we call them, purr and play with us calmly and love being held. And, then there are the aggressive cats that have a little bit of spunk (sometimes too much) in them. There are different kinds of aggression and ways to try to help your kitty calm down and become more social.
Cats are inherently aggressive
Cats are normally aggressive animals as they are wired that way from the start. Aggression is considered a completely inappropriate response for us humans, but for cats it’s different. Cats are natural predatory animals if they didn’t use aggression they probably wouldn’t have survived to become the sweet domesticated pets that we love so much.
Sometimes a cat lashes out because he or she is scared
A cat will sometimes lash out simply because he or she is frightened. Maybe he’s been backed into a corner by a dog or another cat and sees no escape except to lash out. If this is the case, leave your cat alone and in a few minutes, he will forget why he or she was afraid. Depending on the situation, it might take longer, but let your cat come to you after he or she is scared.
In redirected aggression, the cat can’t get to the object of his anger, so he lashes out at whoever is nearby such as another cat or even you! Watch your cat for signs of anxiety like a twitching or lashing tail, growling, staring with narrowed eyes, or other tense body language. When you see the tension starting to build up, distract your kitty and turn the extra energy into a good play session
A cat can becomes aggressive with other cats
If your cat does become aggressive with another cat, try to interrupt the aggression with a loud noise such as clapping your hands or shaking a can full of coins. Do this in an emotionally neutral state because your cat will pick up on your own tension and it may escalate the situation. Do not try to interrupt it as you could get hurt!
Watch for the trigger points that make your cat lash out
If your cat tends to lash out when you’re petting him or her, be sure to watch his body language for signs that he’s had enough. You want to stop petting while your cat is still enjoying it. Be careful where you touch your cat; the majority of cats don’t like having their tummies rubbed or even their rears! If your cat does clamp down with claws and/or teeth, don’t pull your hand away because that will only make him latch on harder. Instead, push your hand toward your pet’s body, which will confuse him and cause him to loosen his grip.
If you can’t figure out the source of the aggression, take your cat to the vet
If you are still finding it difficult to socialize your aggressive cat, your vet will take some tests to make sure that there is nothing physically wrong with your cat. Your vet might also recommend some homeopathic calming drops that can sometimes help mellow out an aggressive kitty.
However, more often than not, an aggressive cat can become social with time, patience and knowing what triggers the aggressive behavior.