Bad Tempered Cat? Know How to Handle Hostility in Your Pet
Cats are well known for their surly tempers. However, when there’s a big difference between surly and hostile. You’ll need to learn how to tell these apart—that is, if you don’t want to find yourself constantly batting away hissing, scratching, and other hostile displays from your cat.
Reading Hostility: What Does It Say?
For cats, aggression is a natural part of life, according to Prevention. However, there are different types of aggression and knowing which one you’re dealing with could help improve you and your cat’s relationship sooner rather than later.
1. Redirected Aggression. If you catch your cat fighting another cat, don’t get between them. Or if you see your cat frightened by another another cat, don’t be surprised if he lashes at the nearest thing he can find: you. Don’t give him the chance. Stay away. Make sure he vents that aggression on the scratching post or somewhere else. Give him some time to calm down before you check for injuries and bring him to the nearest vet clinic.
2. Fear aggression. Did you shout at him, swat him? Cornered cats often lash out because they’re frightened. So recognize the signs. If you need to get him out of his newest hidey hole, don’t force him. Instead, try using treats and toys while talking to him in a calm voice. He’ll respond to those than to any threatening behavior better.
3. Alpha aggression. Tired of having to deal with a cat who always bites you or scratches you to tell you he doesn’t want you to pet him anymore? Have a cat who seems to look at you right in the eye moments before he pushes that glass off the counter or pisses away at your shoes—no matter how many times you tell him no? This means he doesn’t recognize your authority. So you’ve to show him you’re in charge. Don’t reward his bad habits. Ignore him. Cats hate to be ignored. Then start out with short petting sessions. Reward him with treats as you try to lengthen those petting sessions. Don’t try to restrain him in any way and end the sessions before his mood changes.
If you’re at your wit’s end, though, and can’t seem to muster the right way to get his aggression down, bring him to the nearest vet clinic for a consultation. That way, you’ll find other options to help you and your cat live together on better terms.
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