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Aggression in Cats

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Why is my cat regularly aggressive? What causes such behavior? How do I deal with cat aggression? If your cat exhibits aggression, the above are some of the questions that you may be asking yourself.

Cat aggression is one of the many common complaints made by cat owners, making it a recurring problem which requires attention.

To help you counter aggression in cats, here are some of the types of cat aggression, the causes of such behavior, and how to deal with feline aggression

1. Fear-based Aggression

­Fear-based aggression happens when the cat responds violently to apparent threats. Such threats can vary depending on what might irritate the cat. For instance, chaotic environments, space or privacy invasion, or compelling cats to do something they are reluctant to do may all cause fear-based aggression.

2. Play-related Aggression

Such aggression occurs when a cat is undertaking play-spirited behavior and as a result, they end up causing harm either deliberately or accidentally.

3. Re-directed Aggression

Re-directed aggression happens when the cat is extremely provoked and in-turn directs that provocation towards someone or something that wasn’t the cause of provocation. For example, if your cat is watching something on TV which suddenly sparks agitation and they suddenly lash out on you or a nearby pet. (it happens)

4. Territorial aggression

Territorial aggression can be seen when cats perceive their territory to be under any threat. Mostly, this aggression is directed towards unfamiliar subjects within the cat’s territory. For instance, when a new cat or pet is introduced into the home, or an unfamiliar person visits, the cat may respond by exhibiting hostility aimed at defending their territory.

5. Maternal Aggression

This involves a mother cat with kittens showing aggressiveness when approached by people or other animals she perceives to be a threat to the kittens.

6. Pain-induced Aggression

This aggression in cats is triggered by pain, discomfort injury frustration from which the cat directs it to people, objects or other pets.

What are the Causes of Aggression in Cats?

With aggression being emotionally motivated rather than a medical condition, there are several things that prompt such behavior in cats. Some of the most common causes of aggression include;

  • Social pressure
  • Stress
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Frustration
  • Sickness/discomfort or pain
  • Inappropriate play

How Do you Solve Cat Aggression?

After identifying the cause of cat aggression, the following steps should be taken to prevent this behavior;

1. Should you initially notice aggression in your cat the first step is to visit your veterinarian. Some underlying medical issues may cause this behavior and if treated, it may stop.

2. If medical issues are ruled out, you can try alternative stimulation strategies or behavior modification to help the cat get rid of the urge to be aggressive such as scratching or climbing posts, playing centers etc.

3. Learn how to read and interpret your cats body language and behavior so you can predict the occurrence of aggression and give your cat space or interrupt the behavior using distractions.

4. Avoid situations or scenarios that you know trigger your cat’s aggressive behavior.

5. Reward your cat for good, calm behavior. Give them treats for positive reinforcement rather than reprimanding or punishing theM

6. Using recommended and verified calming diffusers or sprays.

7. Provide alternative stimulation strategies to help the cat get rid of the urge to be aggressive such as scratching or climbing posts, play centers, etc.

Remember, as much as cat aggression might be rough on you, your cat may well be suffering more. Rather than scolding or using harsh discipline on your cat, identifying the cause of the aggression and immediately taking steps to alleviate the condition could lessen such behavior or completely eliminate it all together.

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