How To Calm An Aggressive Cat

Aggressive Cat

According to pet studies, the majority of individuals are interested in adopting cats as pets because they feel that all cats are nice and affectionate. The reality is that this is not the case in every situation. Some cat owners are dissatisfied with their animals’ aggressive behavior. It was not your intention when you brought the meowing pet into your home that he or she would constantly hiss and paw at you, much alone bite you. Because the majority of cat owners are oblivious to this hostility, their cats end up at the nearby animal shelter.

Provide a Safe Place

Aggression in cats, according to animal behaviorists, may be a signal that the cat needs assistance. It’s possible that your cat is anxious and would appreciate a comfortable area to rest. Despite the fact that all of your pets get along, cats still require some alone time. A cat condo, steps leading to a high shelf, or a separate room dedicated just to your feline buddy are all things you may provide. This calm environment will assist your aggressive cat in calming down.

Check With Your Veterinarian

Animal experts advise that if your cat exhibits unexpected hostility, you should take him or her to your veterinarian right away. This rapid shift in behavior might be a symptom of a more serious underlying health problem. Pet owners should note that their feline companion’s hostility may be caused by discomfort caused by illnesses such as arthritis or infection. The sooner your veterinarian recognizes this health concern, the sooner your cat can return to his or her friendly self.

Keep Small Kids Away

Regardless of the situation, animal experts consistently stress that small children and newborns should never be permitted to engage with pets unaccompanied. However, despite the fact that your cat has shown to be a loving and kind companion, a swift tug of a pointed ear or a sudden touch of fuzzy skin might result in a scratch or a bite. According to animal behaviorists, cats are rarely tolerant of a child’s actions when it comes to their territory. It is essential to keep your little children and cats in separate rooms in order to avoid unnecessary trips to the ER or the veterinarian’s office.

Don’t Yell

When people wish to put a halt to a problem or chastise someone, they often resort to yelling as a solution. This may be effective on your dog, but it will never work on your cat. Cats, according to animal specialists, do not respond to anything that is harmful to their health. You should build on your previous interactions with your cat if you want to calm him down completely. Your relationship with your cat is strengthened as a result of your bonding. This will communicate to your cat that you are just there for his or her own safety and protection.

Nip Fights in the Bud

According to research, having more than one cat in the house increases the likelihood of a fight, especially if the cats have not been neutered or spayed. Make sure you have something like a spray bottle, a piece of cardboard, or a blanket on hand to prevent eye contact between the two cats from occurring. These are helpful strategies for preventing hostility and bringing the situation back to normalcy. If you understand the demands of your beloved cat, you will be able to bring her back. When it comes to your cat’s behavior and overall health, we at The Little Cat Clinic are always available to assist you.

We welcome you to stop by our clinic in La Mesa, California, for a no-obligation consultation. You may also reach us by phone at 619-465-4900 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

How to Calm an Aggressive Cat

Sharing your house with energetic cats adds a new dimension to everyday life. However, if your kitten has a propensity to become violent, particularly unjustified aggressiveness, you may be at a loss as to how to handle the situation. Cats that are aggressive are relatively uncommon, although they might be difficult to interpret at times. Discovering how to calm an angry cat can assist you in developing a strong and loving relationship with your feline companion.

Identifying Aggressive Behavior

The ability to read a cat’s body language under “regular” conditions might assist you in recognizing when they are performing in an unusual manner. “It helps them to more accurately’read’ their cats and better comprehend their sentiments and motives for doing what they do in their daily lives. It also enables them to respond more effectively to behavioral concerns like as aggressiveness and oppositional behavior “explains the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

Some cats are naturally rambunctious, engaging in bizarre behaviors such as sprinting up and down the hallway (usually in the middle of the night), hurling their toy mouse in the air, and yowling in delight.

There’s no mistaking the following symptoms of aggressive behavior:

  • Hissing, biting, swatting, growling, exposing claws, opening mouth, and adopting a stiff stance

To rule out the possibility of an underlying medical condition in your cat, take them to a veterinarian’s clinic as soon as possible if they suddenly display these or other indicators of violent behavior that are out of character and for which there is no evident reason. Once your cat has been given a clean bill of health, you may look for and deal with any other potential causes of his mischievous behavior.

Causes of Aggression

Always remember that cats may be feisty; as the Cornell Feline Health Center explains, “Aggression, defined as aggressive or violent behavior designed to dominate or intimidate another individual, is a very typical behavioral issue in cats.” Age (kittens and young cats up to the age of two are the exact definition of “rowdy”), lack of socialization (this is especially true for cats that are secluded during their early life stages), and maternal instincts are only a few of the factors that contribute to hostility (mama cats are very protective of their babies).

Three types of redirected aggressiveness are the most often seen causes of aggressive cat behavior: play, inter-cat hostility, and territorial aggression.

Play or Aggression?

Cats like playing, but this enjoyment may occasionally devolve into hostility. This is a normal occurrence among kittens, who are still learning about their surroundings.

If they bite or slap their littermates too hard, their siblings will snap them back into shape fast. It is common for cats who are going to engage in more vigorous play to shake their rears and flatten their ears, and their eyes may dilate.

Inter-Cat Hostility

According to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, inter-cat aggression is the second most common type of aggression (the first being play aggression). “Cats may not cohabitate well for a variety of reasons, including incompatible temperaments, territorial competitions, or as a result of overcrowding.” For example, if two cats who were previously friendly suddenly become antagonistic, it might be because one of them has a new scent after seeing the veterinarian.

Territorial and Fear

Many cats go into attack mode when they are threatened or provoked by people or other animals. This is why your cat may be perfectly friendly with you, but then growl and swat at a guest, or whack the family dog if they attempt to snuggle on the sofa with them, for example. When a cat perceives that someone or something is attempting to intrude on their territory, they will strike out. But, fortunately, there are methods for controlling your cat’s aggressive behavior.

How to Calm an Aggressive Cat

Following the identification of the source of your cat’s hostility, you may more effectively regulate their behavior. Some reasons, such as maternal hostility, are transient and relatively simpler to deal with because you know exactly what to do in these situations: Keep your distance from Mama Cat and let her to do her job. You may need to be a little more inventive when dealing with other instigators. According to the information provided above, play aggressiveness is a highly prevalent kind of feline aggression.

  1. This type of play, in which your cat strikes your body with their mouth and/or claws, encourages aggressive behavior in your kitten.
  2. Unlike most cat toys, stuffed animals produced for dogs are excellent for aggressive cats since they are constructed of a more durable substance than most cat toys and will not dissolve after being attacked.
  3. Depending on whether you’re introducing young cats to each other or if one cat begins to aggressively dominate another after they’ve been living together for a long time, you may need to segregate their feeding, living, and litter box spaces and reintroduce them gradually to each other.
  4. Whenever two or more cats begin to fight, make a quick, loud noise or create another diversion to break them up and keep them apart.
  5. In order to avoid approaching or touching them until they are ready, refrain from doing so.
  6. According to a popular joke, cats train their pet parents rather than the other way around.
  7. “This may lead a cat to grow scared of people or may be viewed as play, which may unwittingly reinforce the aggressive behavior,” Cornell advises.

A cat engaging in overly aggressive play may learn via being ignored and walked away from that inappropriately aggressive behavior results in no play at all. The bottom line is to recognize and reward positive conduct rather than negative behavior.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

It is necessary to take your cat to the veterinarian if you see unusual hostility in him that cannot be explained by a particular cause. The doctor will examine your cat and determine any broader problems, such as an underlying medical issue. Neutering and spaying your cat, as well as treating them for a medical condition, will help to lessen feline aggressiveness. Cat aggression can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including epilepsy, trauma, dental disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism (which accelerates metabolism), hypertension (high blood pressure), primary brain disorder, FeLV (feline leukemia), FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), and FIP (feline immunodeficiency parasite) among others (feline infectious peritonitis, a viral disease).

The best thing you can do to maintain your animal buddy in good health is to intervene as soon as possible.

Contributor Bio

Christine O’Brien is a writer and actress. The author, mother, and long-time cat parent Christine O’Brien lives with her two Russian Blue cats, who are the rulers of the household., What to Expect, and Fit Pregnancy are just a few of the publications where she contributes articles about pets, pregnancy, and family life. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter, where she goes by the handle @brovelliobrien.

How To Calm An Aggressive Cat

A feline companion may bring a great deal of love and friendship into your life, especially if you have a cat with a lot of personality. However, if your cat has a propensity to become violent, you may find yourself wondering what to do next—even if you are a seasoned cat caregiver. Do you want to know how to quiet an angry cat? Please continue reading. So, what exactly does it imply when your cat starts acting aggressively? Aggressive behavior is usually motivated by something, so it’s vital to pay attention to what your cat is attempting to communicate to you through his or her reactive behavior.

Understanding aggression in cats

When it comes to cats, aggressive behavior might be a result of environmental concerns, but it can also be an indicator of a health problem. Aggressive conduct is typically presented in the same manner, regardless of the specific causes behind it. Hissing, growling, swatting, biting, exposed claws, an open mouth, and a rigid posture are all signs of aggression in cats, as does hissing. The body language of a cat can also provide clues as to whether or not it is about to become aggressive. The fact that your cat’s ears are pulled back or flattened, their whiskers are raised or slanted forward, and their tail is twitching or bristling might all be signs of a future hostile outburst, for example.

These actions can be aimed against a human, another cat, another animal, or an object in the immediate vicinity.

Is it normal for my cat to be aggressive?

An key concept to grasp when dealing with violent behaviors in cats is that this behavior is not necessarily indicative of a more serious problem in the cat’s life. A typical response to predation, playfulness, and social conflict for your cat’s breed, aggression can be a completely normal response to any of these situations. However, when cats begin to demonstrate hostility towards humans or other animals on a continuous basis, the frequency with which they do so would be considered harmful behavior.

  1. Identifying the source of aggressive behavior is critical because it can assist you in determining if the aggressive conduct is normal or abnormal.
  2. Pay close attention to who or what the hostility is directed towards, when and where it occurred, and what transpired just before the outburst occurred.
  3. Understanding the source is essential.
  4. (Alternatively, get guidance from a veterinarian on how to prevent violence in cats in the first place!)
See also:  How To Tell The Age Of A Cat

5 reasons why cats behave aggressively

If your cat suddenly exhibits indications of violent behavior that is out of character for him, you should investigate the situation for possible explanations. You should take your cat to the veterinarian if there are no clear explanations for your cat’s unusual behavior. This will allow the veterinarian to rule out any and all underlying medical issues. Once your cat has been examined by a veterinarian and given a clean bill of health, you may begin to consider other potential explanations of your cat’s violent behavior.

1. Underlying health condition

Aggressive behavior in cats can be triggered by a variety of medical issues. When a cat is in agony, it is common for cats to lash out at humans, other animals, or items in their immediate vicinity. In addition to disorders such as epilepsy and arthritis, dental disease and trauma, among other things, there are a variety of underlying health issues that might contribute to aggressive behavior. However, as previously indicated, if your cat is cleared by the veterinarian and it is determined that an underlying cause is not the source of your pet’s behavior, you can begin to investigate the following alternatives.

2. Other cats

It is not unusual for cats to have trouble getting along with their human companions. Territorial contests, conflicting temperaments, a lack of socialization, or the result of feeling overcrowded are all possible causes of this phenomenon.

In situations where cats are scared or provoked by other cats, it is normal for them to respond by attacking. Ascertain if your cat is comfortable in the presence of any other cats in the house.

3. Unsafe environments

It is natural for cats to become agitated when they perceive a threat, and this might result in their acting inappropriately. It’s possible that your cat is agitated and believes that there is no secure spot for him or her to relax. Cats require their own space and time. As a result, it is critical that they have calm areas such as cat condos, high shelves, or a separate room where they may relax.

4. Fear

When a cat sees a threat in his or her environment, he or she will act aggressively out of fear. A lot of the time, it is followed with protective behavior. Cats are more likely to become aggressive when they believe they are unable to escape the perceived threat, which could be a person, an animal, an object, or a sound. No matter what the threat is, cats are more likely to become aggressive when they believe they are unable to escape the perceived threat. A crouched attitude, flattened ears, a tucked tail, pupil dilation, or a preference for distance are all examples of defensive signals.

5. Frustration

Cats who act violently as a result of being unable to reach the object of their frustration are referred to as exhibiting redirected aggression (RA). For example, if an indoor cat notices another cat in the yard, the indoor cat may become extremely agitated because the indoor cat is unable to interact with the outside cat. Frustration-related aggression can manifest itself in the simplest of circumstances, such as not receiving enough food or attention, or being denied access to a favorite spot in the house.

Easy ways to calm an aggressive cat

One of the most effective strategies to calm an angry cat is to ensure that your cat has adequate room in a secure environment where he or she may relax. There are, however, a few different approaches you may use to put your furry buddy at rest. If you’re wondering, “What can you offer a cat to calm them down?” you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few pointers to help you keep your cat quiet, collected, and collected!

Cat pheremones

Inquire with your veterinarian about purchasing pheromones, which can be used to help reduce cat anxiety and stress-related behavior in some cases. Feline pheromones are available in a variety of forms, including wall plug-ins, sprays, wipes, and as a component of a cat collar. In fact, Dr. Justine Lee, a resident veterinarian at Litter-Robot, is a huge proponent of utilizing Feliway to calm aggressive cats.


A terrific all-natural technique to put your cat at ease is with the use of herbs. Things like catnip, valerian root, and silver vine are stimulants for cats, and once the initial excitement wears off, these herbs may offer your cat with a relaxing effect by releasing endorphins.

Other natural remedies

Bach’s Remedy for Adversity A natural stress and tension reduction solution that comes in the shape of a liquid, Pet is available for purchase online.

Your cat will benefit from this blend of five natural floral essences, which work together to help ease stress and worry in your cat’s life. Using this method may be quite beneficial while traveling with your cat, attending a stressful event, or in situations when there are loud sounds around.

Calm response

It is just as important to determine the cause of your cat’s aggression as it is to determine how you will respond to it. Avoid using physical punishment or scolding since it can enhance a cat’s fear or anxiety, which can lead to worsening of the aggression in the long run.

Positive reinforcement

When your cat has calmed down, approach them from the side so that you don’t appear as dangerous, and provide them positive reinforcement such as biscuits or catnip to encourage them to continue. Using food rewards to promote non-aggressive conduct is a good method of training. It is best to separate the cats and reintegrate them progressively, using positive reinforcement, if you have cat-on-cat aggressiveness.

Be proactive with your aggressive cat

The majority of the time, undesirable conduct can be corrected, especially if it is caught early enough. Spaying or neutering your cat might also help to minimize its aggressive behavior. These treatments have the potential to fully remove a wide range of bad habits in some instances. Whatever you do, make sure your cats have their own private, secure space where they can relax, unwind, and enjoy some peaceful alone time. Litter-Robot Cat Silois provides a unique escape for your cat, but it is disguised as an attractive piece of furniture for your home, so it will not draw attention to itself or be seen.

This multi-functional piece of furniture is the ideal addition to any home’s decor.

If you’re wondering how to calm an angry cat, use the advice provided above to get started right away.

Jay Zhang captured the image for the cover.


Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation It might be difficult to cope with an aggressive cat, but it’s vital to remember that the cat is either terrified or has been badly socialized since it was a kitten. They have the potential to assault you, other people, or other animals in your residence. You must give an aggressive cat space and distract its focus away from the conflict if you want to keep it calm during a confrontation. In order to modify an aggressive cat’s behavior in general, you must first identify the source of the animal’s aggression and provide it with a secure and comfortable environment.

  1. 1 Defend yourself if you are under assault. If you are actively being attacked by an aggressive cat, you should take whatever precaution you can to protect yourself as much as possible. Keep in mind that a cat’s main weapons are its teeth and claws, so avoid coming into touch with any of them. The best course of action is to keep your distance from the cat and avoid handling it if at all possible.
  • In the event that you have to contact the cat, attempt to hold it by the scruffs so that it can’t attack you with its claws and fangs. You can also try to encircle the animal with a towel or blanket, since this may temporarily incapacitate the animal. If a cat is attempting to latch on to you, use your arms to protect the most vulnerable portions of your body. Your most sensitive parts, such as your eyes and face, should be given first priority.
  • 2 Get as far away from the animal as possible. If a cat is displaying hostile body language or if it is lashing out at you, you should get as far away from it as possible. Acquiring sufficient space from the animal can help to keep you safe while also reducing the animal’s uneasiness
  • Moving closer to the cat in order to comfort it or to attempt to calm it would almost certainly just heighten its defensiveness. An even more violent attack may ensue as a result of the situation. When you see the cat, avoid gazing straight into his or her eyes, since this may indicate an aggressive challenge. You should get up and move away from the cat if it is sitting in your lap and becoming hostile with your body language. Then make a fast exit from the vicinity of the cat.
  • 3 Interrupt aggressive conduct as it occurs. If at all possible, divert the attention of a cat that is becoming hostile. This can sometimes be accomplished by providing it with a toy that it enjoys. Additionally, you may produce a loud noise that will terrify or shock it, such as a clap or a hiss
  • Another option is to drop anything that will create a lot of noise on the floor, such as a jar full of pennies. If you have a cat that is prone to being violent, it is a good idea to keep a noise maker like this on hand. If the cat’s attention is drawn to something in particular, make an effort to break their gaze. Place something between the cat and the object it is growing hostile towards
  • And
  • 4 Disrupt a brawl without getting involved yourself. Attempting to break up a fight between your cat and another animal and relocating the other animal to a safe area should be your first priority. However, you should avoid getting between the animals at all costs because doing so is risky for you and might result in injuries. The majority of the time, this may be accomplished by providing the animals with an escape path away from the battle, such as by opening a door.
  • You may also try shocking the violent cat and causing it to get disoriented by putting a towel or a pail of water on it. This should provide you with an opportunity to remove the other animal from the scenario
  • It is critical to keep all of your animals safe from fighting situations. You should not allow them to battle it out on their own. On a long-term basis, this can result in significant injuries and animosity between the animals
  • It is especially vital to separate animals that you are attempting to adapt to each other, such as when you bring a new pet into your house. A dispute early in their relationship might cause it to become stressful for the rest of their lives
  • Make an attempt to place anything between the battling cats that will prevent them from coming into touch with one another. When two animals come into physical touch, a cushion can be put between them to prevent physical contact.
  • 5 Refrain from using physical punishment. Even little physical punishment, such as slapping the animal on the nose, might cause the animal to become more anxious. However, instead of lowering the degree of the violence, this sort of behavior may exacerbate it.
  • Never whack a cat with a hammer. An violent cat requires your assistance, not additional hostility being introduced into the scenario.
  • 6 Allow the cat to have its own place. If your cat has had an aggressive outburst, it is best to let it to decompress and calm down on its own. Keep from interfering with it until it has regained its composure and comes to you for engagement or attention.
  • You may even want to keep it in a separate room with food, water, and a litter box to ensure that it doesn’t get out of hand. Some cats, on the other hand, will not like this and their hostility will escalate as a result
  • Some cats simply require a great deal of alone time on a regular basis. You should offer your gloomy cat the opportunity to be alone if they simply want to be alone. Assign them to a separate area of your home where they may be apart from people and other animals, such as a spare bedroom
  • A hiding spot, such as a cardboard box, should be provided in each room of your home for the cat’s comfort and convenience. Cats may cope with stress better if they hide.
  • 7 Adequately deal with any cat scratches or bites. If you, your cat, or another animal is wounded, you should get medical attention immediately to ensure that the injuries are properly treated. Cat scratches and bites should be cleansed, disinfected, and bandaged to prevent the scratch or bite from developing into an infection. If an injury does get infected, it is important to have it treated by a doctor or veterinarian.
  • When a cat scratch or bite causes an infection, pain, redness, swelling, and puss oozing from the damaged region are all signs of infection. It is critical to carefully clean and disinfect cat bites and scratches, even if they appear to be small
  • Cat bites and scratches are particularly susceptible to infection.
  1. 1 Have the cat examined to determine if it has any health issues. In rare circumstances, hostility might be triggered by a medical condition that is present at the time. It is possible that your cat will act aggressively if it is unwell in order to alert you to the fact that it is ill. Have your cat inspected by a veterinarian to rule out this possibility as a possible source of your cat’s aggressive behavior.
  • Aggression can be triggered by a variety of medical disorders, including arthritis, dental difficulties, and hyperthyroidism. In addition to a lack of appetite and difficulty moving, vomiting and diarrhea are some of the more typical symptoms linked with these disorders. Depending on how violently your cat is acting, your veterinarian may need to restrain it while doing an examination. It is important to understand that this type of confinement is used to safeguard both the doctor and the cat.
  • Arthritis, dental difficulties, and hyperthyroidism are some of the medical diseases that might induce violence. In addition to a lack of appetite and difficulty moving, vomiting and diarrhea are some of the more typical symptoms of these disorders. Depending on how aggressively your cat is behaving, your veterinarian may need to restrain it while doing an examination. It is important to understand that this type of confinement is used to safeguard both the doctor and the cat
  • Inquire with your veterinarian about over-the-counter medications that may be beneficial as well. Your veterinarian is likely to be familiar with the most effective soothing sprays and diffusers available on the market.
  • 3 Consult with a professional who specializes in animal behavior. If you have a cat that is really aggressive, you can seek aid from an animal specialist to help you. In addition to working on behavior modification, a pet behaviorist can educate you how to connect with your cat in a safe and beneficial manner.
  • In most cases, you may discover a pet behavior specialist near you by contacting your veterinarian, visiting your local animal shelter, or searching online.
  1. 1 Begin your intervention as soon as possible. If a cat exhibits aggressive behavior early in its life, you should make every effort to modify that habit. It is possible to prevent violent behavior in a young cat or kitten from becoming habitual if it is addressed early.
  • Even if a cat is more than a decade old, it is still worthwhile to make an effort to lessen its hostility. It will just take the cat longer to modify its behavior than it would take a young cat to change its habit.
  • 2 Determine what is triggering the aggressive behavior. In order to reduce the cat’s hostility, you must first identify and address the source of the problem. Begin by considering what has happened in the animal’s life that may be causing it to be fearful or anxious. You should also be on the alert for anything that occurs to or around the cat just before an incident. Determine where the aggressiveness is coming from, and you may be able to reduce the situation. Some of the most prevalent motivations for violence are as follows:
  • Fear, defensiveness, conflict with other animals, redirected anger, territorial sentiments, predatory aggressiveness, overstimulation, and excitement during rough play are all common in animals. Protection for expectant mothers
  • Irritation on a general level
  • Pain, thyroid difficulties, inattention, a change in location, and past trauma are all possibilities.
  • 3 Recognize the symptoms that your cat is on the verge of becoming hostile. There are usually several warning signals that your cat is about to become violent before it actually attacks you or someone else. You can occasionally avoid an incident entirely by understanding the triggers and removing the stimuli that is triggering the behavior. While the behavior of each cat before to an aggressive episode might differ, the following are some frequent signs:
  • Head tucked down
  • Knees bent
  • Crouching or squatting
  • Dilated pupils in wide-eyed people
  • Whiskers that have been retracted
  • Hissing or spitting are both acceptable. It raises its hackles in protest
  • The rear of the ears have been flattened.
  • 4 Make the necessary modifications to lessen your cat’s hostility. If you have determined that your cat’s hostility is due to a specific reason, you should make any necessary modifications to eliminate the source of the violence. There are several concerns that may be resolved by making modifications to the cat’s living circumstances or contact with other animals. Suppose your cat becomes hostile when you play roughly with it
  • In such case, cease playing violently with it.
  • If your cat has a difficult time with other animals, it may be preferable to maintain it as an only pet
  • Otherwise, it may become aggressive.
  • 5 Recognize and reward positive conduct. When you are attempting to modify your cat’s behavior, it is critical to acknowledge and reward the animal when it is doing well. When your cat behaves well, rewarding it with food or a game that it enjoys playing is a fantastic approach to demonstrate the appropriate behavior.
  • For example, if your cat becomes violent if it is petted for an excessive amount of time, praise it when it does not display that behavior. Put the animal on the floor after you’ve petted it softly for a few seconds in your lap to avoid the encounter going bad. Then reward it for its good conduct with a treat. If you continue this technique over and over again, the cat will ultimately learn that it will get something it enjoys if it does not react violently.
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About This Article

Summary of the ArticleXTo calm an aggressive cat, keep an eye out for whatever it is that is causing its angry outbursts just before they occur. Example: Your cat may be acting aggressively because it does not get along with your other pet, or it may be territorial if someone comes too close to its food. Whatever the cause, you need to figure it out so that you may make changes in your house to lessen or remove the triggers that cause your cat to get agitated. Example: If your cat becomes hostile when another pet is present, you may want to keep them as far apart from each other and their environment as possible.

Aggression may sometimes be a symptom of a more serious underlying health condition, and your veterinarian will be able to determine what is causing the problem and offer the most appropriate therapy.

To learn how to put a stop to one of your cat’s violent outbursts from our Veterinary co-author, please continue reading this article. Did you find this overview to be helpful? Thank you to all writers for contributing to this page, which has been viewed 15,287 times so far.

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Feline aggression, which may be described as aggressive or violent behavior meant to dominate or intimidate another individual, is a very prevalent behavior problem in cats. Due to the complexity of the factors that contribute to aggressive feline behavior, both in terms of triggers and targets, identifying effective solutions for reducing aggressive feline behavior can be difficult. It is possible that aggressive behavior in cats will have serious implications, ranging from harm to other cats and people to the surrender of violent cats to shelters, among other things.

  1. The fact that cat owners must understand the root reason of their pet’s violent behavior in order to devise a plan to properly intervene is particularly critical given the high stakes involved.
  2. These cues may be divided into two categories: those that are noticed in the face and head, and those that are represented through the body posture.
  3. Dilated pupils, ears flattened and held outward, whiskers flattened or forced downward against the face, tail tightly coiled or tucked under the body, and head held high when resting prone are all signs of anxiety (Figures 1 and 2).
  4. The following are some general guidelines for dealing with all forms of feline aggression:
  • The most effective intervention is early intervention. Any form of physical punishment can exacerbate a cat’s fear or anxiety, as well as intensify its aggressive behavior. Medications may be beneficial, but only when used in conjunction with behavioral and/or environmental change strategies. In most cases, recognizing aggressive behavior and scaring an aggressive cat without using physical contact is beneficial. Avoid circumstances in which you know a cat may become hostile
  • Remove cats from their territory who are hostile against one another and return them progressively and with positive reinforcement, as indicated in the Territorial Aggression section. Food rewards are effective positive reinforcers of non-aggressive conduct
  • They may be given to children at any age. The use of a veterinary behaviorist may be necessary in the case of aggressive behavior that cannot be controlled using the procedures described in this booklet. We recommend that you consult with your veterinarian before implementing any of the information offered on this page.

It is important to determine whether or not an aggressive cat is suffering from a medical condition before proceeding with management. When it comes to aggressive cats, diseases such as hyperthyroidism, osteoarthritis, dental disease, and central nervous system disorders can all contribute to the problem. Consult a veterinarian before attempting to handle aggressive cats through behavioral and/or environmental change. Once a veterinarian has ruled out any medical issues, determining the type of aggressiveness is critical to understanding the source of the problem and establishing a strategy for intervening.

  • It is critical to determine the underlying reason of a cat’s aggressive behavior since various forms of aggressiveness may need different approaches to management.
  • Aggression is a game to play.
  • Learning proper play is a vital aspect of a cat’s socialization, and this usually occurs during time spent with other cats in the same litter as the cat in question.
  • Cats who are reared alone during their early years may fail to acquire this vital lesson, which is unfortunate.
  • They may stalk their prey, whether it’s an animal or a person, and will frequently pounce from a hiding location when the prey passes by while they’re doing so.
  • Otherwise, you should try to prevent the aggressiveness by diverting the cat with play or preventing access to locations that foster aggressive behavior, such as beneath the bed if your cat hides there before pouncing.
  • The use of noise deterrents within a few seconds of aggressive behavior, such as a blast from a can of compressed air or the hissing of a human, may be beneficial in frightening a cat and shifting his focus away from the violent behavior.

During these moments, never physically chastise or even touch a cat, as this may cause the cat to become scared of people or may be seen as play, which may accidentally reinforce the aggressive behavior.

It is important that any things used to divert a cat from play aggressiveness are maintained at a safe distance from your hands so that the cat cannot bite or scratch you while releasing his hostility on the object.

Aggression in this kind can be noticed when a cat encounters unusual stimuli, such as a new person, animal, or noise, or when a cat is exposed to an experience that he identifies with unpleasant occurrences, such as a visit to the veterinarian.

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When dealing with fear aggression, the most effective strategy is to recognize and avoid events that trigger a terrified response.

It is critical not to console an aggressive cat since doing so may be interpreted as support of the behavior itself.

Lack of attention is a more effective method of dealing with fear aggression.

Overstimulation and an effort by the cat to regulate when the petting finishes are two possible causes for this behavior.

Before becoming hostile, the cat may frequently display symptoms such as dilated pupils, tail lashing, and ears pushed backward on the skull.

Giving a cat a food incentive for accepting brief, mild petting without showing symptoms of aggressiveness may also be effective in calming the cat.

It is especially crucial to manage cats who exhibit this sort of aggressiveness when they are in the presence of small children, who frequently want to pet animals but are not aware of the visual clues that indicate oncoming violence in the cat.

Aggression that has been redirected When a cat gets stimulated by a stimuli but is unable to respond in a direct manner, the cat may divert his aggressiveness toward a person or toward another cat.

Aggression between indoor cats may occasionally be misdirected onto a human following an aggressive interaction between the two felines.

Aggression As a Result of Pain Cats who are suffering from pain may become aggressive toward people or other animals in an attempt to avoid being touched, moving, or engaging in specific behaviors that may aggravate the pain.

Some cats, in rare cases, may continue to act aggressively even after formerly unpleasant sections of their bodies have healed, likely in an attempt to escape the discomfort they previously experienced.

Aggression As a Result of One’s Social Status It is possible for cats to display symptoms of hostility toward people or other animals when they are attempting to establish social dominance.

The most effective method of dealing with status-induced hostility is to entirely ignore the offending cat.

It does not hiss or swatte, has normal-sized pupils and ears held erect.

Terrorism in the Territorial Axis Cats are territorial creatures who like to develop and protect their territory.

Cats may even attack resident cats that were previously welcomed but were absent from the house for a period of time, such as when a family member is in the hospital.

When dealing with territorial aggressiveness, the most important thing to remember is that you should never introduce or reintroduce something too quickly.

After a few days, replace the new or returning cat with the aggressive cat and lock the door for approximately 30 minutes.

The following step can be repeated every day for a number of days.

Make sure you feed the cats regularly so that they learn to link the pleasurable experience of being fed with being in the presence of the other cat.

This stage should be performed multiple times over the course of several days, with a reduced space between the cats between each repetition.

If any symptoms of violence are displayed, the cats should be restrained and fed in the same room until they have calmed down.

Some cats may require medication, and your veterinarian may be compelled to give medication to one or both cats in order to prevent bad interactions.

Because you might be gravely wounded if you place your hand or any other part of your body between cats who are fighting, it is critical that you never do so.

Aggression on the part of the mother Individuals that approach queens who have recently given birth and are nursing kittens may be attacked by them because to their aggressive nature.

As the kittens get larger and more independent, the mother’s animosity toward them will normally diminish.

Male cats, and less frequently female cats, may become aggressive toward other male cats as they approach social maturity between the ages of two and four years old, depending on their gender.

As previously stated, territorial hostility may also play a part in the situation. It is recommended that, if neutering and spaying do not help to ameliorate the condition, the cats be separated and then returned using the procedure described above. This page was last updated in December 2016.

Aggression In Cats

Is your cat biting, nipping, or otherwise harming you or others? It is fairly uncommon for cats to become aggressive, but only in rare cases does it become severe enough to warrant seeking expert assistance. Follow along as we explain the many forms of aggressions that your cat may be experiencing, as well as how to calm them down in the process. This is completely curable, but it may take a significant amount of time and work to do it correctly. When it comes to cat-to-human violence, the source is nearly always found in the individual.

  1. On his show My Cat From Hell, Jackson has featured a slew of similar characters.
  2. Indoor enrichment to help keep cats from becoming bored and to help them expand their area is a good starting step (see Jackson’s post on catification for more information).
  3. It will let you view the world through your cat’s eyes, and it will also help you understand why some situations provoke specific violent responses.
  4. If your cat begins to exhibit indications of violent behavior, it is critical that you maintain your composure and remain cool.
  5. The following are examples of physical indicators of aggression: The End of the Tail
  • If your cat’s tail is twitching back and forth, she may be attempting to analyze the situation or she may be upset. Tail bristled: If your cat’s tail is bristled, it is a strong indication that he or she is upset about something. Attempting to make oneself appear bigger and more frightening in order to ward off the perceived threat
  • Ears Back: Your cat’s ears back might suggest that he or she is uneasy, apprehensive, or even annoyed
  • An angry or hostile cat with its ears flat against its head indicates that it is feeling terrified and protective.

The Whiskers are a group of people that enjoy drinking whiskey.

  • Your cat’s whiskers are kept back and flat against her face when she is fearful or defensive. Whiskers Pointing Forward: Whiskers pointing forward indicate that your cat is looking into something. Alternatively, it might be a signal that she is preparing to bite whatever is in front of her.

Now, let’s talk about the indications we can’t see. The following is a summary of the most typical behavioral patterns when it comes to aggressive activities, as well as our recommendations for how to deal with them.


In cats, play/predatory aggressiveness is characterized by the continuation of their typical hunting and killing behaviour. In many cats, their play becomes excessively violent since their human partners encouraged them to play aggressively when they were kittens. When kittens are young, it’s virtually impossible to resist roughhousing with your bare hands. Everyone adored the YouTube video of the “surprised kitten” – and who wouldn’t? It was a huge hit. That is, unfortunately, a very effective manner of teaching a cat that bare hands are both (a) scary and (b) acceptable for playing with.

When it comes to mature cats who continue to play improperly or engage in predatory behavior toward humans or other animals in the home, boredom and excess energy are frequently the root causes of the behavior.

Cats who are very territorial may also be more prone to predatory aggressiveness than other cats. In order to cure the problem, never play rough with your cat, but more importantly, schedule frequent sessions of Play Therapy with your feline companion.


Aggression caused by excessive stimulation (petting) is both annoying and scary. A cuddling moment with your lovely furball one minute, and the next minute the cat is running in seven places at the same time, leaving you bleeding from various bites or scratches the next. Cats are incredibly sensitive creatures, and it’s possible that there’s a limit to how much stimulation the cat can tolerate; or that there are specific “off-limits” regions where you’ll be sure to draw blood–from you–if you venture too close to them.

  • It’s critical to become well-versed in the language of cats’ bodies.
  • The key is to come to a complete stop before the cat feels the need to proceed to the following step.
  • Attempt to gently remove all of your susceptible body parts from the area; if that isn’t feasible, try to divert the cat’s interest to something that can’t be damaged, such as a toy, a throw pillow, or a pair of rolled up socks.
  • As a bonus, playing with your cat can help to relieve some of the stress and worry that may be contributing to its hyper-sensitivity.


When your cat bites you without provocation, you might wonder, “Why does my cat do this?” Basically, directed aggression happens when a cat feels afraid or agitated, but instead of fleeing or attacking the source of the distress, the cat chooses to attack the easiest prey available. In many cases, the unsuspecting victim is another cat or pet in the house, or even the guardian of the house. Following that, the mere sight of the victim brings back all of the unpleasant memories, and the cat continues to attack without provocation.

If you’re hoping to prevent your cat from biting or assaulting you, Play Therapy might also be beneficial.


Fear-induced aggressiveness is something that all veterinarians are extremely acquainted with, and it’s something that we really despise when it comes through our door. “The greatest defense is a good offense,” as the saying goes, and fear aggressive cats are no exception. These kitties may be rather obnoxious at times! Fear aggression, on the other hand, can occur in any circumstance where the cat feels endangered as well as imprisoned. The “fight or flight” reaction is activated by the sympathetic nervous system; if there is nowhere to run, the only alternative is to fight.

A fear-aggressive cat is incredibly frightening in and of itself; this is a cat that can do serious injury to you. Take extreme caution! Once again (you’re starting to get the picture, aren’t you?) Play therapy will assist to reduce the cat’s general level of anxiety, as well as exhaust him.


It is possible to have both maternal aggressiveness (which is completely natural behavior in a new mother while defending her kittens) and territorial tomcat violence in an intact cat population. Both intact males and females are more aggressive and extremely territorial than neutered cats; they are also more likely to spray pee on any and all places that are handy for them to do so. The remedy, of course, is spaying and neutering.


This type of aggressiveness occurs when one cat has been away from home for a period of time, whether to go to the veterinarian or to get groomed, and when he comes home, the other cat(s) respond violently toward him. My hypothesis is that, while cats rely mostly on eyesight to recognize other cats, the sense of smell also plays an important part in this process. As soon as the returning cat appears to be the same as before, but smells different (as a result of washing, anesthetic, or other factors), the conflict develops suspicion that he is an alien and must be expelled.

Temporary separation may be sufficient to resolve the issue; nevertheless, there are times when a total reintroduction is required.

It’s far simpler to correct an issue early on than it is to correct a problem after the habit has gotten established.

Nobody should be treated unfairly in this manner.

), you may avoid many behavioral problems from forming in the first place.

You may also experiment with flower essences (You can view the full Flower Essence linehere).

Extensive testing with medications may be required in extreme situations, while new behavioral techniques are being offered.

Doctor Jean Hofve, DVM is a holistic veterinarian and the original originator of Spirit Essences holistic solutions for animals (now known as Jackson Galaxy Solutions for Animals), which Jackson employs on a daily basis to assist in the resolution of the issues featured on My Cat From Hell.

  • You’re petting your cat incorrectly
  • You’re doing play therapy incorrectly
  • Catify is a good way to keep your cat healthy.

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