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How To Calm An Aggressive Cat

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: December 19, 2018
How To Calm An Aggressive Cat

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Like humans, cats have their own characters and personalities. However, it is one thing having a strong character and another being prone to aggressive behaviour. Aggression in cats is actually is extremely. In fact, according to studies, aggression is the second most common feline behaviour problem.

The good news is that you can improve or even reform your cat's aggression. This will, however, require patience and knowledge about how to do so. First and foremost, you should learn how to calm a cat's aggression. If you want to know how to deal with cat aggression you've come to the right place. Here at AnimalWised we will be uncovering how to deal with an aggressive cat. In addition, we will be mentioning which are the most aggressive cat breeds.

You may also be interested in: Caring for an Iguana

Aggression in cats: causes

Are you asking yourself ''why is my cat aggressive?" Well, your cat may be acting aggressively for many reasons. The first thing you must do is analyse your cat's routine. Is your cat's aggressive an isolated reaction or is it following a pattern? If your cat is always aggressive, we recommend visiting your vet or a feline behaviour specialist in order to get some advice for long-term improvement[1].

If your cat isn't usually aggressive but has reacted violently, the cat aggression causes of this include:

  • The cat is protecting its territory or itself because it feels threatened or afraid. In these cases it is important to respect its space and try to gain its trust, using treats and talking to it softly.
  • It might be the case that, after going on a long adventure, your cat has hurt itself. It is also common for cats to become aggressive or unsociable when are suffering from an illness or disease. Aggression or isolation is their way of expressing discomfort or pain.
  • Finally, but no as important, is boredom. Lack of activity and confinement in a cat's life can be the cause of an unpredictable and aggressive character.

For more, we recommend taking a look at our article where we discuss the 5 signs that your cat is bored.

How To Calm An Aggressive Cat - Aggression in cats: causes

How to deal with an aggressive cat

Sometimes, when your cat reacts aggressively, their carers tend to unconscientiously retract your hands away too quickly in an attempt to avoid getting hurt. Without knowing it, you are encouraging your cat to continue with this type of aggressive behaviour. This is because cats find this fast and abrupt movement threatening.

First of all, we recommend staying calm and pulling your hands away in the smoothest way possible, without shocking or giving your cat a fright it. Then respond with a firm "No!?' as often as necessary, until the feline makes the connection between the three behaviours: aggression - separation - rectification.

It may also be that, without meaning to, you're touching your cat more than it would like. When a cat does not want to be petted but is petted nonetheless, it will feel bothered and irritated. This will force your cat to become aggressive and uncomfortable. Is your cat suddenly aggressive? Remember that cats are living creatures and have their own personality, in addition to a defined language. Cat hisses or scratches are a simple way in which your cat is trying to tell you to leave them alone. It is important to understand cat body language in order to respect your cats space. This understanding will then, in turn, let you know when your cat does not want to be petted so that you can avoid making your cat more angry. To find out more about your cat's body language, we recommend reading our article on cat body language, with examples and pictures.

How To Calm An Aggressive Cat - How to deal with an aggressive cat

What to do with an aggressive cat

Another technique that can work well when dealing with an aggressive cat is by diverting this aggressive energy. Distracting your cat from its own aggressiveness is sometimes a useful method. When your cat starts to act violently, try to redirect its attention to one of its favourite toys. Throw the toy and you'll see how it should slightly catch your felines attention.

Cats love bed sheets and like to play between them. If you're cat is aggressive, try throwing a sheet on top of it. Your cat will feel removed from the situation and tension. Your cat will also think that you're playing a game with it and will most often forget that it was angry.

You can also use food and treats to divert a cat's aggression. This aggression will be diverted to their taste buds and stomach. Open a can of your cat's favourite food, put it in a bowl, leave it there and turn away; the rich smell will be enough to distract it from its anger.

If you can't think of any games you can play to deal with your cat aggression don't worry! We're here to help you. Take a look at our article on 10 games to entertain my cat.

How To Calm An Aggressive Cat - What to do with an aggressive cat

Cat temper: your cat's environment

Don't test your cat's tolerance. Provide it with a space to which it can escape and feel calm and relaxed. Just like humans, cats sometimes need their own space to calm down. When your cat is ready it will come to you for interaction.

Again, don't try to pet it any more than it wants or needs. Dim the lights in the room (this will calm its emotions) and leave it alone for about 15 to 20 minutes. For more, you may want to scan over 5 symptoms of stress in cats.

How To Calm An Aggressive Cat - Cat temper: your cat's environment

Aggresive cat behavior: understanding your cat

Cats are very sensitive animals and also react to their carer's body language and attitude. When your cat is angry or agitated, don't stand in front of it waiting for something to change. By doing this, you can make your cat feel more threatened as it will see you as an authoritative figure rather than a figure of justice. If you're not in a situation of immediate danger, lie on the floor or sit on a low chair and get down to its level. Make yourself as small as your pet.

Patiently accept that your cat might occasionally behave violently, because it won't always agree with everything that goes on around it (it is still an animal). If your cat is aggressive, don't punish it as this can only worsen the situation by increasing its fear and anxiety.

Animals don't act aggressively for the sake of it. Remember that this is its way of saying that they feel threatened by something or someone. The best way to calm an aggressive cat is by removing or distancing the threat or the source of the fear. Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to find out why your cat is suddenly aggressive:

  • Is you cat surrounded by a lot of people?
  • Are you dealing with an aggressive kitten towards older cat?
  • Is your cat pregnant or in heat?
  • Is your cat in pain?
  • Is your cat surrounded by a lot of loud uncontrolled noises?

All of these can factor into why a cat is aggressive.

How To Calm An Aggressive Cat - Aggresive cat behavior: understanding your cat

Aggressive male cat towards female cat

Both male and female cats are very territorial[2]. In fact male cats can be more aggressive than female cats. Here are some reasons your cat may be aggressive towards other cats or animals:

  • There is a new cat in the house.
  • The female cat is on heat and the males are fighting for her attention.
  • A cat has reached sexual maturity.
  • The male cat is in pain.
  • Their are two unneutered male cats in one house.
  • Redirected aggression: your cat is trying to get at something but cannot (window or wall blocking) therefore it attacks the closest thing to it, another cat or animal.

If you believe one of these above situations may be the reason your cat is acting aggressively, we recommend consulting a veterinarian or socializing your cat correctly. For more, take a look at how to socialize an adult cat.

How To Calm An Aggressive Cat - Aggressive male cat towards female cat

Aggressive cat breeds

Are you dealing with an aggressive ragdoll cat or an aggressive Bengal cat? It is true that some cat breeds tend to be more aggressive than others. Remember, that cats, despite their breed, should all be socialized correctly, offered a quality diet and adequate play time is order to prevent aggression in cats. Nonetheless, here is a list of some cat breeds, that are more prone to aggression when not socialized correctly:

If you want to read similar articles to How To Calm An Aggressive Cat, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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