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Aggression in Cats

Does your kitty sometimes act aggressive? Does she hiss, bite, or scratch? Fluffy can be very sweet and lovable, but she isn’t always ‘purrfect’. Aggression is not an uncommon complaint among cat owners. Below, a Newmarket veterinarian discusses feline aggression.

Causes

Before you can address your furball’s aggression, you’ll need to figure out why she’s acting up. Sometimes Fluffy can get territorial, so she could be lashing out in response to what she perceives as an intrusion onto her space.Momma kitties often act aggressive in defense of their baby furballs. Kitties that haven’t been properly socialized might be acting aggressive out of fear. Then there’s the chance that your kitty is attacking out of misguided play habits. Sometimes cats attack because they don’t feel well, so have your vet examine your kitty to rule out any health problems. Of course, if your cat tends to bite, and then a few minutes later reverts to her normal, friendly self, Fluffy might just have a short fuse!

What To Do

Learn to recognize the warning signs of an impending feline outburst. Flattened ears and a swishing tail are two red flags that you have an angry cat on your hands. If Fluffy is cranky, leave her alone until she calms down. Also, make sure you are taking time to play with your kitty. Playing will help Fluffy burn off excess energy, which will leave her calmer and hopefully a bit sleepy. Another thing to consider is the fact that Kitty could be feeling threatened by something, such as loud noises or another pet. Make sure your furball has safe retreats, like kitty caves, in each room. If Fluffy’s aggression is extreme, consult a behavioral specialist.

What Not To Do

Never punish your feline friend for aggression. Negative reinforcement often backfires in animals, as they don’t necessarily understand why they’re being punished. You also want to avoid cornering your cat, petting her, or picking her up when she’s clearly not in the mood for attention. Don’t leave Fluffy locked up by herself in a room, either. She may just become lonely and anxious, which will only exacerbate behavioral issues. Interact with your cat by talking to her in a soothing tone, playing with her, and, when she allows it, petting her.

Do you have questions about Fluffy’s health, care, or behavior? Contact us, your local Newmarket vet clinic, anytime!

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