Combative Behavior in Cats
This combative behavior, feline aggression, is fairly common. Fortunately, not all cats are the same. We are referring to hostile cats here. Their bites are deliberate. They bite when you least expect it. For example, a few months ago I went to visit some friends whose cat likes to sit on the back of the sofa. I walked by the sofa and the cat attacked my arm. It drew blood.
Twenty seven percent of cats relinquished to cat shelters is because of aggression. This conduct is fairly common in cats. However, determining the cause is another matter.
Different Kinds of Feline Aggression
There are many kinds of feline aggression. Pain, over stimulation, fear, territory guarding, rough play, and others cause undesirable conduct.
Fear causes feline aggression. It is caused by unfamiliar stimuli. This may be a sudden sound, a unknown dog, or even a strange person. Fear also causes alertness to some unpleasant experience such as bathing and nail clipping. The cats ears flatten, he hisses, and bares his teeth. His body language says, “don’t touch me.” This situation is called fear aggression.
Prolonged petting of your cat can cause undesirable behavior. This is called over-stimulation aggression. We all love it when our cat sits on our lap and starts to purr. It brings contentment and satisfaction to both of us. However, when the petting continues, the cat becomes annoyed and uneasy. He suddenly bounds down from your lap or turns around and bites. The cat is over stimulated and has had enough. This is another example of feline aggression.
Redirected aggression is another problem. Some times an unpleasant interaction happens between two house cats. But in this case the cat attacks its owner instead of its opponent. This causes redirected feline aggression.
Tips for Calming Feline Aggression
Here are a few simple tips concerning feline aggression. Make sure your cat is healthy. Consult your veterinarian. Observe your cat’s body behavior. When he begins to show displeasure, distract him before the aggression happens. When possible, remove stimuli that is causing the problem. In conclusion, if you are having extreme problems with your cat, you may want to consult a cat behaviorist.