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If your cat is acting aggressively it can often be hard to know how to address the issue. It doesn’t help that sometimes, cats can switch from being perfectly fine, to angry within seconds.
There are all kinds of reasons why your cat might be acting aggressively, and it is a good idea to find the cause so you can take the necessary steps to prevent it.
These are a few things that you should do when your cat is starting to act aggressively towards you, other animals, or people.
What to Do When Your Cat is Acting Aggressive
Cats are easily riled up, so it can come in handy to know how to address the situation. You don’t want to add fuel to the fire. These tips should help you calm your cat down and figure out what’s wrong.
1. Avoid Triggers
Any animal will start acting aggressively, given the right kind of trigger. In fact, anyone has triggers that can result in aggression. Just try poking someone repeatedly and see what kind of attitude that action triggers!
Cats are sensitive animals and are more susceptible to triggers than dogs are. They hate loud noises and fast movements. As any cat owner knows, they have areas where they do not want to be touched!
Cats can have plenty of triggers that can stimulate a negative and sometimes aggressive reaction.
Every cat is going to be different, so try to understand what your cat’s triggers are. Is it touching the base of their tail, startling them, or playing too rough? Watch their behavior and try to see what makes them react aggressively.
2. Recognize the Type of Aggression
Many cats have certain kinds of aggression that you will see. If they are acting aggressive, there is usually a reason behind it.
Some types of cat aggression can include play aggression, aggression to other cats, fear, or being territorial.
These are the most common types of aggression, and it is important to identify them. Once you understand the type of aggression that your cat is having, you will be able to understand the cause.
This can help you to avoid triggers and remove whatever is causing the sudden aggression, making a safer and more peaceful environment for you and your cat.
3. Don’t Overstimulate Them
Cats are very easy creatures to overstimulate, which can result in them acting aggressively. They are not like dogs and have to be treated as such.
People who do not understand their cats often overstimulate them and kick-start that aggressive reaction, turning their usually loving and gentle cat into a raging ball of fur!
Overstimulating a cat can come in the form of too much movement, loud noises, talking to them loudly, getting too close, or petting too aggressively.
It’s important to watch your cat’s body language to understand when they are getting upset. If they are beginning to get overstimulated, their hair might be raised, their pupils may dilate, and their ears may go back.
4. Redirect Their Anger
If it is too late to turn back and your cat is already acting aggressive, you can always try to redirect their anger.
Do this by bringing out their favorite treats, or try grabbing a large toy for them to take their aggression out on.
Try to avoid having any other animals around or children when they are acting aggressively. The less that they have around them to focus on the better. If nothing seems to be working, you could even keep them separated in a room until they calm down as a last resort.
5 or 10 minutes by themselves should be enough to calm them down after seeing red.
5. Avoid Touching Them
When your cat is acting aggressive, it is oftentimes best to not try to handle them too much. This can further stimulate them and lead to you getting scratched in the process.
Cats can also see physical contact as aggressive behavior from you, which will ultimately lead to them being more inclined to attack you.
Try to avoid any physical contact and distract them with other objects that they can freely scratch and bite.
If they do attack you, try to remain calm and remove them gently. If this happens it might be best to let them cool down away from everyone else to avoid any other attacks.
6. Take Them to The Vet
As a last resort, if you are noticing growing aggression in your cat, you can take them to the vet. In rare instances, an aggressive cat can be a sign of something more serious, especially if your cat usually isn’t prone to such aggression.
Sometimes an illness can bring on aggressive symptoms in a cat. It could mean something serious like an infection or psychological disorder, or it might just be that your cat is experiencing some pain.
Because cats can’t let us know what’s going on in their body, they have to get creative with how they get our attention.
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