Cat Aggression Tips
Causes of cat aggression
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.
There 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.
Solutions for cat aggression
Occupy your cat with appropriate fun and games, rather than letting them decide who and when to attack. When they are about to attack you, shove a toy into their paw, jaws & claws!
Ensure you have a supply of toys for your cat and rotate them around. If your cat has played with a toy on one day, hide it for the next 4-5 days. Then your cat will be excited to see it again.
If your cat is more of a scaredy-cat, place some cardboard boxes around your home for them to hide and snooze. Work on reducing their stress. Read more about cat anxiety.
If your cat is annoying you or another family member (human or animal), the simplest solution is to put them elsewhere until they calm down. Remember it is not wrong for cats to attack, as this is a normal feline behaviour but it is wrong to attack human or animal flesh. We need to redirect this energy.
Feliway (cat appeasing pheromone) and veterinary medication may provide relief for your cat's aggression. Ask your vet.
Note: Unlike dogs, where lavender provides calming relief, in cats this may be toxic.
Aggression in multi-cat households
In multi-cat households, one cat will often start to "bully" the other - chasing, not allowing access to the litter tray, just being annoying. Try these tips to help your cats get along...
1. Give all cats in the household space. Space to find a bed of their own. Space to sit and view their world. Space and safety to toilet. Cats often use time partitioning to separate territory (yours in the morning, mine at night!).
2. Where possible, let the cats decide who is boss. You interfering will only make things worse. Only interfere if someone is being hurt or their freedom severely restricted.
3. Give each cat your individual attention. If necessary, ensure other cats are out of the room.
4. Play with your cats so that the bully does not need to use his energy in terrorising the other cat.
5. Train the bully cat and occupy his body and mind in learning tricks.
Always think carefully before you introduce another cat into your household. Wanting them to be friends may be too optimistic. A harmonious and quiet household should be your goal.