You and your feline BFF are happily playing or relaxing on the sofa until your hands become a blur of nails and teeth, bruised and shredded. The attack-beast then flees, leaving you to bleed out your own life force and wonder what happened. If you’re a cat mom, you’ve probably been here before—at least once.
But why do cats suddenly feel that peace is no longer an option?
There are a variety of explanations why cats go into serious predator mode, like good old-fashioned pet entertainment. Let’s look at some of the reasons cats strike unexpectedly and see how we can protect our skin and emotions from kitty-dearest.
Our little snuggle monsters, Natural Instinct Cats, have a long and ancient tradition of wild hunters in their genes. We miss this from time to time, but when the kitty gets a mouthful of our hand or foot, we quickly recall. Although they can feel protected and comfortable with you, predatory origins may entangle felines, causing them to flex their paws in an unexpected assault.
Cats Want To Have Fun
Cats like playing, but their version of fun isn’t always gentle. Our skin isn’t built to withstand their murder-mitten antics, but they like to use their teeth and paws. Cats, on the other hand, don’t seem to mind when they launch a surprise play assault!
Read more: TOP 9 Fun Way To Play With Your Cats
Cats Hate Boredom
Although cats love snoozing, they are sophisticated beings that need mental and physical stimuli to be content. And, let’s not forget, cat curiosity is unrivaled, so our curious felines need a constant supply of new things to explore in order to be content. And bored felines are more likely to act out in violent ways, such as launching surprise attacks on you.
Give the cats plenty of things to do as an attack aversion strategy. There are several ways to relieve boredom in cats, ranging from scratchers and games to catnip and food puzzles.
Too Much of a Good Thing
It’s Possible to Get Too Much of a Good Thing. Rats, like humans, may get overstimulated. It’s easy to get disoriented when there’s so many light, so many to look at, or so many of something. Cats will also be distracted by the tiniest of items, such as a violent scraping around their backs. It starts off great, but by the time it gets to the end, it’s all too much. And how can cats cope when their life is out of whack? Attack! You’ve got it!
Taking on the BFF
According to your cat, the two of you are felines together. Your cat now realizes you’re not a kitty, but as his bonded companion, he needs to do everything cats do with you. This involves having fun! And a sudden pounce is a common start to feline play. And how do you know if your cat adores you enough to pounce on you at any time?
Frustration in Your Company
Preening and poking at the cat can be a bad habit for cat owners. We just want the fur princes and princesses to look and sound their brightest, after all. However, our cats can get irritated by our intrusions, and if we don’t recognize the cues from tail swipes and ear flicks, unexpected attacks can occur. It’s the sign of an aggressive cat, and their way of saying, “You, stop it!”
Attack Aversion Strategy: Pay attention to the signals and look for signs of irritability and rage. Your cat’s irritation isn’t just shown by a thumping or swishing tail and flat paws. Pupil dilation or constriction may also be signs of impending attack. Keep an eye out for alarm meows that resemble a low-pitched siren or throaty growls.
Not Feeling Like Top Cat
Cats yearn for their own room, and if they believe anyone has encroached on it, they will develop behavioral issues. In order to demonstrate superiority, a socially endangered cat may behave aggressively, such as by attacking their human unexpectedly.
Although another cat in the house may be causing the attacking cat to become agitated, you may be the target of an unexpected assault due to the feline need for top cat status.
Make sure everybody has their own food and water dishes to help cats stay secure in their environment. Since the litter pan is a major source of conflict between cats, use the cardinal rule of using one litter pan for each cat, with at least one spare.
If your cat isn’t sure where they are, give them special care and let them know they’re still welcome.
Problems of Socialization
Cats aren’t really aware of their social signals. If a cat hasn’t spent any time with humans since finding their permanent home, you may notice unexpected attack behavior because the new house cat hasn’t yet understood what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to humans. Cats who grow up as singleton kittens don’t have littermates with which to wrestle and play, so they don’t understand the boundaries of play.
To help with play violence, the Cornell Feline Health Center recommends redirecting a cat’s attention, noting that “the intention is not to scare the cat, but to divert and refocus his attention.” Toys or fir trees are good distractions.
The Unattainable Lure of the Great Outdoors
Indoor cats like looking out the window, but there might be times when the bird in the bush outside distracts your pet with chattering and chirping. Kitty is so desperate for the feathered snack that she can almost taste it, which can make her irritable.
Attack Aversion Strategy: By studying a cat’s preferred prey, you can have toys that satisfy his or her desire to hunt. Observe which animals make your cat go crazy and choose toys that look, feel, and maybe even sound like them. You might also teach your pet to walk on a leash so she can see the world from a new perspective every now and then. Catios often allow you to spend more time outside but in a more regulated manner.
Fear can cause cats to attack unexpectedly. Lashing out to defend themselves while scared and trapped in a position outside their reach is a common defensive mechanism rooted in cats. A trip to the vet can trigger fear agitation in certain cats because they don’t know what to expect.
When cats are scared, don’t try to treat them. Allow them to retreat to their safe havens and be alone. Leave the cat in their carrier and cover it with a towel while you’re going to the vet. From a safe distance, provide cool, calming verbal support.
Illness or Injury
Cats who aren’t feeling well can use aggression to express their weakness. When you think about it, this makes more sense. When we are in pain or ill, we aren’t all in the highest of spirits.
Look for other signals that your cat isn’t feeling well, such as moaning and hunching, in addition to the unexpected changes in mood. If you think your pet is sick or injured, schedule a consultation with your veterinarian.
While the majority of unexpected attacks are harmless misunderstandings or childish antics, knowing the patterns that signal an attack will help you stop them. If you’ve done everything to deter your cat from attacking you and it’s not working, seek advice from a feline behaviour specialist.
Even if we know our cats better than anybody else, since we’re so close to the issue, we still miss the little specifics. Outside eyes will help, and when it comes to feline assaults, whether they’re all in good fun or out of rage, any help is welcome and, as pet owners, we want to do whatever we can to keep our feline friends safe and protected!
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