If your cat is behaving aggressively, you need to nip that behavior in the bud before it gets any worse.
We all love our feline friends, and we would do anything for their wellbeing. You would expect that because we treat our pets so kindly, they would reciprocate the affection. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
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Cat aggression, when left unchecked, can lead to long-lasting behavioral problems that will prove to be more challenging to fix in the future. For the sake of your cat and everyone else around him, you need to proactively get your cat’s aggression under control. Today, we’re going to show you how.
How to Spot Cat Aggression
When your cat gets aggressive, you’ll definitely notice. Your cat may end up biting you or other animals. If your cat seems to be scratching or biting you for no apparent reason, your cat has aggression problems.
To avoid getting wounds or scratches from your feline friend, you need to spot the signs of aggression before your cat attacks you. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists the following as body-language related signs in cats before aggressive behavior:
- Abruptly turning head towards a person’s hand
- Constant tail twitching or flipping
- Flattening or rotating of ears
- Prolonged restlessness
- Visible dilation of pupils
Why Is My Cat Aggressive
The causes of aggression in cats are often complicated, both in terms of targets and triggers. This significantly makes it more difficult to find strategies to mitigate aggressive feline behavior.
According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the consequences of aggressive behavior in felines may be significant. Common causes of aggression include previous injuries caused by other cats or people, and the surrender of aggressive cats to animal shelters.
According to Cornell, a study reported that a staggering twenty-seven percent of cats released to animal shelters were abandoned due to aggression problems. Given the possibly grave consequences of a cat allowed to behave aggressively, pet owners must take the necessary steps to successfully intervene.
How to Stop Cat Aggression
Before seeking professional help, there are several things you can try that just might stop your cat’s aggressive behavior. Like people, the physiology and personalities of cats vary from cat to cat. If one of these methods is not effective for your cat, it’s more than likely one of the other ways will.
Use Toys to Redirect Aggression
You’re probably aware that violent emotions in humans are encouraged to be channeled through healthy activities such as painting or meditation. In cats, positive activities are also a great way of redirecting aggressive behavior.
- Provide different kinds of toys for your cat. Cats are natural hunters. You can stimulate your feline’s natural hunting instinct through toys that allow her to pounce around and scratch. This creates an enjoyable and safe environment for your cat to burn off any excess energy. Do note that cats are more receptive to playtime if you engage in playtime activities with them. Merely leaving a cat toy in front of your cat will not work.
- Structure your cat’s playtime. Schedule short play sessions with your cat each day. Around ten to fifteen minutes, every day should suffice. These play sessions not only keep your cat cheerful but also ensure the bond between you and your pet remains strong.
Don’t Play Rough
Cats are extremely sensitive to human emotions. They can sense when you are feeling cheerful and when you are feeling down. Similarly, they can also sense aggression.
By rough-housing with your cat, you encourage your cat to reciprocate the aggression. Remember, cats are natural hunters. If you’ve been playing rough with your cat since it was young, chances are your cat believes that it’s okay to play rough since this is the kind of environment it was exposed to as a kitten.
In some cases, you may not be playing rough with your cat but may be angry with your cat due to something that it did. If you show anger towards your cat, you will most likely be met with more aggression.
Employ Natural Solutions
If regular playtime with your kitty doesn’t work and you aren’t comfortable with taking your cat to the vet just yet, CBD oil for aggressive cats may be the perfect solution for you.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a compound commonly extracted from the hemp plant. If you’ve been following the news lately, you may have heard stories of how CBD oil can ease anxiety in athletes and other demographics. Luckily, cats, dogs, and all mammals possess an endocannabinoid system. This means CBD oil can be just as useful for your feline friend as it is for you.
CBD oil is perfectly safe as a natural treatment for your cat’s aggression. It is best, however, to always start with a low dosage at first and to read the label on the back of the CBD oil bottle.
Separate Activities If You Have Multiple Cats
Cats are territorial creatures. They most probably do not see themselves as your pet. Instead, they see themselves as the leader of the pack, and you are their follower.
If you reside in a multi-cat household, there may be a power struggle between your cats. To solve this, simply make sure your cats understand that all of them are cared for and that there is no need to fight for resources.
This can quickly be done by providing your cats with their own belongings such as individual litter boxes, separate food bowls, separate water bowls, etc.
When Is It Time to Go to the Vet?
If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and they do not seem to be working for your cat, it’s probably time to call your veterinary clinic. Some aggressive behaviors may be caused by underlying physical problems that cannot be known to the average person. Your vet will typically run a series of tests on your cat and work with you to map out the best course of action for you and your pet.
For more information check out Relievet.com
Aggression in Cats. (n.d.). Retrieved June 11, 2020, from https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-cats
Feline Behavior Problems: Aggression. (2018, July 24). Retrieved June 11, 2020, from https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feline-behavior-problems-aggression
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