Understanding cat aggression
Cats are generally peaceful animals, who would rather snooze the day away than expend energy in the effort of being aggressive. When provoked, however, they have weapons and are not afraid to use them!
Aggression - a natural behaviour
Aggressive behaviour may help you defend your hard earned resources. It may help you protect your young. It may help you put up a fight when attacked by a predator. It will also help you kill in order to eat and survive. Therefore aggression is a successful evolutionary strategy and without some level of anger, we probably would not survive.
Aggression - a learned experience
Anger is a normal animal emotion but cats may also learn how to behave in situations that they feel angry.
Cats learn that aggression gets them noticed by their families and may continue to attack, just for attention. This may be more related to playfulness and hunting behaviour, than it is to true aggression.
Attack cats can be difficult to live with. They are looking for fun cat-style, have weapons and are not afraid to use them!" Dr Jo
Main reasons for cat attacks
The playful cat
These cats are extremely playful, using their effective weapons (teeth and claws)! Often these cats are bright, intelligent animals, looking for stimulation...
The anxious cat
These felines need to defend themselves from real or perceived threats. Fearful cats will turn to aggression when they cannot escape the threat.
The hunterThere is a hunter in every cat. THis is natural but many owner do not wish their cat to hunt wildlife.
The redirected aggressor
If your cat is feeling angry or fearful of a situation and you interrupt them, they may lash out at you.
Aggression is a natural part of the cats' mating rituals. Since most owners wish a pet cat, not a queen or stud, few of us encounter this behaviour. There may, however, be remnants of this behaviour still displayed in desexed cats.
The unwell cat
Pain or medical conditions can cause cats to be aggressive, when they would otherwise by placid pussycats. A vet check is necessary.