You are hereAggressive Behavior in Cats
Aggressive Behavior in Cats
For all the poetry betwixt heaven and hell
There are no words to describe such a yell.
GENERAL RULE: You cannot predict how two or more cats will tolerate each other. Only time and effort will tell.
TYPES OF AGGRESSION
There are four (4) generalized types of aggressive behavior:
- Aggression Between Males – Usually over a female, but also often related to dominance on the cats’ social hierarchy. You will see a lot of “Halloween” arched backs, sideway walking, yowling and maybe even a fight unless one cat backs off from the encounter.
- Defensive Aggression - Used when a cat feels cornered, either from another animal or from a human. You will see crouching, tail tucked under, the cat rolled slightly over to one side. If an approach is made, there will be an attack.
- Territorial Aggression - If you thought dogs were territorial, think again! When a new cat comes into the house (or even near the window), or even if a male kitten reaches maturity, territorial aggression can be triggered. If stalking and fighting doesn’t happen, be happy. But, sometimes, territorial aggression triggers “marking” walls, furniture, lamps, etc.
- Redirected Aggression – Ever see your cat look out the window only to see another cat walk across the front yard and then hear your cat growl and hiss? Ever try to then pet your cat only to have it take a swipe at you or run over and whack another cat in the family? That’s redirected aggression.
- Have your pet spayed/neutered (“fixed”) just as soon as the vet says it can be done. If you do not, you are just asking for trouble … and you won’t be disappointed!
- Separate the cat from other cats or pets for a while and then start the “reintroduction” process from the beginning.
- Take your cat to the vet if its behavior changes suddenly and for no obvious reason (such as bringing another cat into the house). Sometimes a change in behavior signals a medical problem. Be safe, not sorry.
- In certain circumstances vets may suggest medication to assist in the behavior modification process. Medication, however, is never a permanent solution. You may need help on this one. And, never, never, never attempt to medicate your cat with over-the-counter prescriptions without talking to your vet.
- Don’t punish your cat. It just irritates the cat (who won’t understand anyway) and may make the problem worse.
- Don’t try to physically separate cats while they are fighting, but don’t allow the fight to continue. Stomp your feet, make a loud noise (yell or whistle), spray water or even throw a pillow at them (try not to hit them too hard) and then isolate the culprits. Keep an eye on them once released.
While most cats simply want to be warm, cuddled, loved, fed and played with (let’s face it, they want it all), cats also can be quite aggressive under certain circumstances. They have had millions of years to develop behavior patterns. If they are attacked or their territory is invaded, they will instinctively react. Behavior can be modified, but it takes time and the success or failure of that process is up to you and your vet. Think through what having a cat is all about. Do your homework. Spay/neuter at the appropriate time and if behavior changes suddenly, there may be a medical problem. You should investigate. Consult with your vet.
Remember, kittens that have a healthy, loving, and supportive upbringing become more sociable cats in later years.