Do you sometimes wonder about your cat’s behaviour? You are not alone in this. Cats exhibit many behaviours that their owners find difficult to interpret correctly. That can be amusing at times. However, if the cat behaves aggressively, it is rarely a reason to laugh. Sometimes the mood suddenly seems to change, and then the cat behaves aggressively towards its owner or other nonspecific.
It would be best if you always tried to research the reason for the unfamiliar aggression – because not only you suffer from possible scratches or bites. Aggressive cats usually feel stressed or frightened, and sometimes they are in pain. If you get to the bottom of the anger, you may be able to reduce it and help your cat feel good again.
Here we show you how to recognize aggressive behaviour in cats and which steps you can take acutely and long-term.
RECOGNIZE AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR IN THE CAT IN GOOD TIME
You can usually easily recognize an increased potential for aggression based on your cat’s body language. So you can react in good time, find a distance from the animal and give it some space.
An aggressive cat usually signals that it is ready to attack:
- Dilated pupils
- Hunchbacks and hissing
- Upright fur (also on the tail)
- Present the teeth
- Fixed gaze at the target
- Tail position: lowered and twitching quickly back and forth, the tail signals fear; a horizontal, rigid tail is a strong indicator of increased readiness to attack
CAUSES OF AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR TOWARDS OTHER CATS CAN BE:
- Jealousy (for example, a cat may feel that you are paying less attention to yourself)
- Feed envy
- Character differences (a cat tends to be particularly dominant)
- Little physical and cognitive workload (this risk is particularly common in domestic cats)
- Too little space (also most likely to be expected with purely domestic cats)
- The changed smell of the nonspecific (for example, through contact with other animals, visit the vet, etc.)
- Otherwise, it causes stress and fear reactions, which are discharged in the nonspecific
- Physical pain & illness
AGGRESSIVE CAT: WHAT TO DO?
If your cat is aggressive towards other cats, there are several ways to de-escalate:
- To end the fight: Scare the attacking cat with a shot from the water spray gun and force it to flee. You should only take this measure in exceptional cases, as the aggressive cat associates the fright with its nonspecific in the long term, and the relationship could worsen even further.
- Immediately after the attack: Separate cats spatially.
- Keep calm – never raise your voice or engage in any other aggressive behaviour. Unlike dogs, cats hardly respond to punishment. It would be best if you never used physical force.
- Extinction: A common practice in animal psychology is to “punish” the aggressive animal by ignoring it immediately after the undesired behaviour. Instead, pay more attention to the more peaceful cat. This is how the archer learns that he will not gain anything with his behaviour (especially not your attention).
- Reward the peace: If the cat, which has been aggressive over and over again, behaves calmly and calmly towards its nonspecific, give it more attention and a treat now and then.
- Create separate retreats for your cats. Every cat should have its scratching post or another high-altitude retreat.
- Feed your cats spatially and temporally separate from each other. Create a separate food bowl for each animal.
- For house cats: Create enough time and opportunity to play so that your cats can exercise themselves physically.
- Be careful: is there any other factor that is constantly irritating one of your cats? Sometimes the problem is not at all nonspecific – it is just the frustration that discharges.
Suppose your efforts do not bear fruit even after a few weeks and notice that one cat is noticeably suffering from the aggression of the other (for example, through a refusal to feed, withdrawn or fearful behaviour). In that case, you should consult a veterinarian or animal psychologist.