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Southlake Animal Hospital

3570 E. Lincoln Hwy
Merrillville, IN 46410

Aggression in Cats

April 1 2015

Does your kitty sometimes act aggressively? Our feline friends can be lovable little cuddlebugs, but they aren’t always perfect angels. Sometimes kitties act out, and bite or scratch. In fact, aggression is one of the most common complaints from cat owners. Below, your Crown Point veterinarian discusses some common types of feline aggression.

Play Aggression

We have both good and bad news regarding play aggression. The bad news is that an adult cat that thinks it’s fun to bite and scratch can be quite dangerous. On the bright side, Fluffy isn’t trying to hurt you: she just needs to learn some manners! It’s best to teach Kitty proper play etiquette while she’s still young, but older kitties can still learn to behave. Don’t punish your furball for her aggression: this will only confuse her, and may lead to other behavioral issues. Instead, when your kitty pounces on you, say ‘No’ firmly, then walk away and ignore her. You can also try the squirt bottle trick. Make sure to give your kitty lots of cuddles, treats, and praise when she’s being good. It may take time and patience, but you can get the point across.

Fear Aggression

Kitties may have huge personalities, but, at the end of the day, they are actually quite small animals, and can easily feel threatened. Sometimes our feline friends strike out in fear. If Fluffy is attacking because she’s afraid, make sure she has plenty of quiet, safe spots to retreat to when she feels scared. Take time to play with your furball, to increase her confidence and burn off excess energy. Also, let your cat choose when to approach you. Never force attention on a scaredy-cat!

Pain-Induced Aggression

Do you find you have a shorter temper when you aren’t feeling well? Fluffy certainly does! If your cat is acting withdrawn, but bites, hisses, or scratches when you touch her or pick her up, she could be in pain. Contact your vet immediately.

Territorial Aggression

Kitties can be quite possessive little furballs, and many of them don’t like to share! The arrival of another pet, or even another human, can sometimes lead to territorial aggression in kitties. Consult your vet or a cat behaviorist for advice on how to handle territorial kitties.

Do you have any questions about your cat’s health, care, or behavior? Please contact us, your Crown Point vet clinic, anytime!

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