Other forms of aggression in cats include: territorial aggression, pain-induced aggression, status-induced aggression, territorial aggression, inter-cat aggression, and maternal aggression. Do not approach an aggressive cat unless necessary; it's better to let the cat come to you. Cats usually display social standing with posturing and "bluffing" communication that doesn't result in injuries. Support wikiHow by The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with territorial aggression is not to rush an introduction or reintroduction. Fear/Defense aggression comes from the cat feeling endangered, vulnerable, or trapped. Back away from the cat slowly and then move its bed and toys to a quiet area in the home. Remember, that cats, despite their breed, should all be socialized correctly, offered a quality diet and adequate play time is order to prevent aggression in cats. If so, you might worry about her safety, as potentially aggressive cats may roam your neighborhood. The cat deserves our patience and understanding in order to improve its behavior. This whole process can take weeks or even months. What should we do? The hissing, the clawing and everything in between can snowball into an incredibly stressful issue. The most common is undersocializationa lack of pleasant experiences with other cats early in life. "There were a few good tips I didn't know about. % of people told us that this article helped them. unlocking this expert answer. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Hopefully our discussion on the different types of cat aggression will help you to better understand your Cat. When they get used to one another, slowly leave the carrier door open. Territorial aggression can also happen after a move because the cat now has to establish a new territory. While it may be fun when you have a tiny kitten, it becomes painful and dangerous as your kitten grows up. If you hit your cat, she may perceive your actions as play or become fearful of your hands. Go back to the basics. Fear Can Cause Cat Aggression. Some cats occasionally will bite or scratch at you when irritated or handled roughly. Last Updated: July 31, 2020 Your vet can check your cat's health and rule out any health-related causes. If you do, your cat will be encouraged to direct his play at your hands. If your cat is acting unusually aggressive or dominant this maybe your cat trying to cover up a medical problem. After many such sessions, it should be possible for them to be close to each other, without becoming defensive. Remember to give the stray treats when he exhibits good behavior, and consider going to a vet to get him fixed; that alone could cut down on a lot of the aggression. It helped. You can then take the cat into your bedroom or bathroom. If you have the resources, adding an extra set is even better. Avoid rewarding poor behavior. Then let the other cats in the home sniff around under the door. There are steps you can take to calm the tension, but it's not a good idea to allow cats to "fight it out." Aggression from an illness might be a sign of great pain. What can we do to help her please. New or returning cats should be confined to their own room with separate litter box, water, and food. To deal with an aggressive cat, clap your hands loudly or spray the cat with water to disrupt the behavior. To learn from our Veterinary reviewer how to deal with maternal cat aggression, keep reading! We adopted a stray cat as a baby - she went missing for a day. If you have more than one cat living under your roof, you may be familiar with catfights, technically known as inter-cat aggression. Allow your cat to investigate the smells of the newcomer, while the new cat explores the house and the scent of his new playmate. Feral cats, outdoor pet cats, and indoor cats can carry rabies, and scratches from any cat can result in an illness with flu-like symptoms, called Cat Scratch Fever. This is espe… They have five potential weapons (their teeth and all four clawed paws) compared to a dogs sole weapon of his or her mouth. Felines reach social maturity at 2 to 4 years of age, and that's when many first, A lack of space predisposes cats to territorial disputes. I will help you to keep your cat calm and focus that aggression on something other than another living being. What should I do? When working with other cats, they might be kept in large cages at opposite ends of the room, on leashes, or in harnesses, so they can see the source of aggression, but not escape. If it's frightening and distracting enough, it's very likely that you'll see the cats running to hide. This behavior can also be associated with past trauma. Although cat aggression is sometimes taken less seriously than dog aggressionperhaps because cats are smaller and dont pursue people to bite themaggressive cats can be formidable. The cat is aggressive to the point of attacking other cats. Adding more territorial space can prevent cats from having to share climbing, hiding, and perching areas where fights can break out. Aggression is the second most common feline behavior problem seen by animal behaviorists. Dealing with aggression. For your safety, and the safety of those who come into contact with your cat, it is necessary to understand and manage your pet's behavior. Talk with your veterinarian about whether or not this is the best choice, when treatment is too expensive or unlikely to provide relief. Most situations involving cat aggression are entirely manageable and result from fear, anxiety, lack of socialization or previously traumatic life experiences. Keep an aquarium with live fish can occupy your cat's attention, or position bird and squirrel feeders outside windows where your cat can observe animals coming and going during the day. If you are experiencing an issue with an aggressive cat, one of the best things you can do is discuss the issue with a trained veterinarian. Stick with it, but also realize that some cats may never get along. You can also try introducing the two cats in a room neither have been in before; this gets rid of the sense of any territorial issues and allows them to meet without either trying to defend his space. Put a bowl of food in it. If one cat keeps attacking a particular cat, the first step is to separate the cats from each other completely — in separate areas of the house. Do not physically punish your cat for rough play. Idiopathic aggression is spontaneous, and may be a threat to the physical safety of those who come into contact with the cat. Loud noises can do the trick, but only if you're out of sight so you're not seen as a third aggressor in the fight. It sounds like they're not getting enough stimulation, which is often the reason cats lash out. Switch them back after they have had some time to explore. For a truly aggressive cat you just need to be in the room, lying on the floor, eyes closed, with treats around you. Aggression is not a choice your cat is making. Try keeping the stray in a bathroom/bedroom with a screen door; that way it can see the other cat and the dog and get used to their smells. What to Do with an Aggressive Cat. Ways to deal with Aggressive cat The following are the ways to deal with your aggressive cats; • Play Time If your cat isn’t getting enough attention and play, then he will have a lot of pent up energy that has to be released. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Increasing the number of toys, cat trees, litter boxes, and feeding stations reduced competition for resources. Dr. Joanne Intile is a board certified veterinary oncologist and a Spruce Pets veterinary review board member. Diffusing the Situation Do not make eye contact with the cat. Inter-Male aggression relies on the natural competitive nature between toms. A cat that dislikes being touched in a painful area may display pain-induced aggression in an attempt to stop you from handling it. In certain cases, cat aggression toward other cats can stem from boredom. I have a new cat who was a stray. Cats. Just like humans, cats have different forms and occasions for aggression. Take shorter walks at first, and then slowly increase the amount of time you bring your cat out. For example, a cat whose tail was once caught in a door may be protective of its tail long after the pain is gone. This rarely settles conflicts and usually makes matters worse. When cat food turns your snuggle kitty into an attack cat, she may suffer from food aggression, a relatively uncommon type of cat aggression. Body postures will usually be defensive. However, we found her caught up in a fishing net. Cats can show signs of aggression when they are suffering mental trauma. It’s believed that through play with each other, young cats learn to inhibit their bites and sheathe their claws when swatting. Expose to aggression-causing stimuli at a safe distance, for short periods of time, then reward with food for non-aggressive behavior. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet. If you're old enough and living on your own, or if your parents don't mind, you could get a humane trap. If you’re a cat parent, you’ll need to deal with an aggressive cat at some point or the other, as aggression is one of the most common behavior in cats. And no matter how well prepared you are to deal with the situation, it will set you back a step (or two)! Don’t despair: There are ways to deal with aggressive behavior in cats. We want to bring him indoors, but we're afraid he'll attack them. ", "You guys are really great. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. If you can be patient and identify what is triggering your cat’s aggressive behavior, then you can typically make … Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 223,583 times. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. You could go in the room a little while later, and sit with the cat. This is when playful bites, scratches and ambushes become more serious and can actually cause injury. Cats can show signs of aggression when in pain. When entering the room with an aggressive cat, avoid eye contact and make sure the cat has have a clear escape route. Use cardboard boxes, paper shopping bags, packing paper and toys that encourage the cat to investigate. This type of aggression is usually seen in kittens and young cats. Acting like a victim by slinking around, using submissive ​body language, hiding, and so forth invites the bullies to increase their bluster. Leave your cat for a couple of minutes in a locked room. When your cats are aggressive toward one another, it's likely that a fight will break out at some point. Idiopathic aggression includes any type of aggression whose cause can’t be determined or explained through behavior history or medical exam. How do I get my cat to stop attacking me? When it comes to dealing with an aggressive cat, patience is key. 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