Cats are often seen as contradicting creatures whose mood is difficult to read and can change quickly. Apparently, they switch from purring velvet paws to scratchy mini-tigers without warning and leave a question mark on the owners concerned – and sometimes deep scratches. What is behind cat aggression? Why can the cat only be petted when it reacts aggressively in the next moment?
With all personality changes – off to the vet!
If your cat suddenly shows a change in character, you should clarify a health cause behind this behavior with your veterinarian. Pain, discomfort, and some metabolic disorders can put such stress on the nerves that your cat expresses aggressiveness or other problem behavior. A veterinary examination should therefore be the first thing you should strive for.
It can also be useful to contact a behavioral advisor in your area, who will help you find out the cause of your cat’s behavior and work out solutions. A cat is never aggressive for no reason – it is not uncommon for fear and/or excessive demands to be behind the behavior.
Just purred, and then claws follow – what does that mean?
Relatively frequent and usually relatively moderate aggression in cats occurs in connection with – from the cat’s point of view – no (no longer) wanted petting. Your cat lies comfortably next to you, purrs and pats it – and ZACK – it puts its claws in your hand. What seems out of the blue to you at first, your cat probably announced beforehand – even if only briefly. When stroking, pay attention to the first signs of defense – a hit with the tip of the tailor the whole tail, a short twitch of the ears, or even a slight weight shift away from your show that your mini tiger still wants to be with you, but no longer wants to be petted by you. If the animal has learned that you will not react to this request, the warning is sometimes very brief, and it changes quickly from a relaxed cat to an angry wisp. In this case, it is helpful to stroke the cat just once or twice and then pause first to see to what extent it is signaling that it is with a short “mau,” the nestling of its head in your hand or another approach still want to be petted. Pay close attention to the defense signals described and immediately respect your cat’s boundaries if you notice them. So you can slowly feel your way back to a relaxed cuddle.
Redirected aggression in cats
Sometimes a misunderstanding between you and your cat leads to a very violent reaction from the velvet paw. She gets frightened if she shebangs, hurts if she falls, or you accidentally step on her tail. Your cat gets completely excited and rushes at the closest target – for example, your leg – with claws, bites, and loud screeches. The so-called ” diverted aggression ” can affect you as a loved one as well as another cat. The cat connects the sudden shock or pain with the directly achievable goal and shows a sometimes violent aggressiveness that can be disturbing for you and others involved.
What to do about aggression in cats
The most important and, at the same time, the hardest thing you should do now stays calm. Take a deep breath and realize that at this moment, your cat is just as confused and shocked as you are. If the animal is still near you, it may even growl at you, slowly move away from it without turning your back to the cat. Your eyes meet, blink slowly to show that you are still kind to her and that she can relax again. Move slowly out of the room, close the door behind you if possible and let it calm down first. Depending on how exciting the incident was, it may take a few hours for your cat to relax again and allow first careful contact. Better wait a little longer to be sure that she has digested the first shock. The more relaxed you can meet, the better your chances are to put what you have experienced aside quickly.
ALSO READ: Kitten food: this is how you feed your kitten properly
Feel free to talk to your cat, slowly approach them with a special treat or maybe their favorite brush, and see if they can stay relaxed. A little reluctance on their part is perfectly normal. However, if she hisses, growls, or shows other signs of defense, place a tasty bite in front of her at a greater distance and move away again. Apparently, she is not yet ready for a new contact. How exactly things can go on for you after such an incident is not easy to answer. If your relationship was previously very intimate and relaxed, we could quickly forget the horror with a little empathy. If you live with a generally anxious cat, your relationship of trust can grow may initially be damaged and take some time to be restored.
Clarify the causes of aggression in cats
If your cat frequently shows its scratchy side in addition to these two forms of aggression, it is also important to question the underlying causes and the level at which the animal needs your support. If it lies in wait for your preferred bare legs to attack them in an ambush at lightning speed, it may be a game of aggression – so your cat sees your legs and chases them. If she hums at you in narrow spaces like the hallway, it could be that you came too close to her there and scared her. So she tries to keep you at a distance.
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A cat growling at you, screaming, or even physically attacking you makes you scared and insecure. That is absolutely understandable. A trained look from the outside can help you rebuild trust in each other – because often behind an aggressive behavior are unconscious transgressions of human boundaries or an anxiety disorder of your cat.
ALSO READ: Taurine in cat food – why is it so important?
Discussion about this post