How to deal with an aggressive cat

Cats have many behavioral issues like human beings. Aggression is considered as the second most common behavioral issue in cats. Aggression is always due to an underlying reason. Your cat could be aggressive because of loneliness and anxiety. It is challenging to deal with an aggressive cat. Pet owners are petrified and terrified to see their cats in aggression. But don’t be worried if your cat has aggression. There are several ways to deal with it.

Body language

Every cat reacts differently when it comes to aggression. Some cats pounce at you. Some start nipping. Some try to scratch your face. Therefore, you have to understand your cat’s body language to curb this situation. You have to note the body language before, during, and after an aggressive attack. This can help you save your children and other animals from injuries.  

Types of aggression

Classifying the type of aggression your cat has is the first step to solve this equation. You have to take into account all of the factors that could trigger aggression. If your cat has always been aggressive, then immediately take it to a behaviorist. But if you have recently changed its behavior, then find the pattern. Knowing the pattern will make it easy to curb this problem. You can simply remove the triggering factor from your cat’s environment. If the aggressive behavior goes away, then you are good to go. Otherwise, some other factors could also be causing aggression.

Here are a few types of aggression:

  • Aggression induced due to other cats. This usually happens between household cats due to several reasons. This is also common among unspayed cats as they try to win a mate.
  • Petting induced aggression occurs when a cat doesn’t like being touch. It also happens when an outsider or stranger tries to touch an antisocial cat.
  • Territory induced aggression is because cats are territorial species. They love marking their territories. However, household cats aren’t possessive about their territories. Therefore, it could only occur if you have other pets in your house, and your cat suspects intrusion.
  • Pain induced aggression is also a common reason. It could be due to an injury or illness. Check with your vet immediately if you are unable to find a reason.
  • New mothers or mothers are generally aggressive when they fear something is going to attack their children. Therefore, cats act aggressively around unfamiliar faces.
  • Redirected aggression is the most dangerous type. It is unpredictable, and you can become a victim without any reason. It happens when the cat cannot attack the reason or person who induced aggression. Therefore, they attack the nearest and most comfortable option.
  • Play induced aggression occurs when the cat becomes competitive during playtime. It could lead the cat to destroy toys or attack you for making the game tight. This one is easier to detect and control.
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Techniques to calm an aggressive cat down

Here are 5 tips to calm your cat:

1.    Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement has always been used by trainers to train pets. It encourages positive and desired behavior by treating your cat. It will work if you start treating your cat on non-aggressive behavior. Do it when you know your cat is likely to respond aggressively. If you notice that your cat is about to lash out, then calm it down. Gently stroke the back and pet it. You can talk to your cat while giving it a little cat treat. Be consistent in this act. This will slowly modify your cat’s behavior.

2.    Energy outlet

Aggression is mostly due to pent up energy. Therefore, provide energy outlets to your cat. Arrange extensive or hardcore playtime routines. Increase the intensity of every playtime. Make sure you take your cat out for a walk as well. Setup playtime all around the day. Your cat should have enough physical exhaustion by the end of the day. This exhaustion would divert its attention, and it causes lesser aggression. 

3.    Calming sprays

Calming sprays with pheromones in it are used to calm cats down. You can spray it in your cat’s surrounding all the time. You can also start using it whenever you notice signs of aggression or any indication that your cat is going to be aggressive. These are beneficial when children are around or when there is probable danger of aggression.

Note: Always ask your vet before using a spray. Some sprays are dangerous for cats. Therefore, be careful before using it.

4.    Interruption

This one is necessary. Interrupting a cat when it is aggressive is the first step towards improvement. Cats start learning that their behavior is discouraged and is considered wrong. Do not punish your cat. You can simply make a loud noise near the cat to stop it. This could also cause more aggression. Hence, it depends on your cat and how it reacts. Do not scare your cat completely. Therefore, wisely decide how to interrupt your cat. You can neutralize it by cuddling with your cat later.

5.    Your reaction

Your reaction to aggression plays a considerable role. You could be a reason behind your cat’s aggression. Sometimes a cat is only aggressive because it wants to draw your attention. Therefore, start spending more time with your cat. Develop trust between you and your cat. It could be due to separation anxiety. Accordingly, change your overall attitude with your cat. Don’t overreact whenever your act behaves aggressively. This will cause your cat to resent. Therefore, stay calm and in your senses.

Conclusion

The above points are only to help you. But never take aggression lightly. It is mainly due to some other reason. It could quickly get out of hands. It could cause you injuries and several other problems. Aggressive cats are a potential threat to babies, kids, and other cats. Your cats can harm them, and it could be troublesome for you to guard them. Therefore, take your cat to an animal behaviorist as soon as you notice any problematic behavior. It is better to curb it before it is too late. Hence, take immediate action. Don’t worry if your cat has aggression. Cats can easily change their behavior. You just need to provide them a little push and the right environment.

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