It’s easy to forget that under their warm, fuzzy, adorable exteriors cats are animals. When they’re upset, they don’t call their solicitor. When they’re feeling playful, they don’t pull out Monopoly. They bite and scratch. They pounce and attack.
You may have a stalker
There’s a whole bunch of reasons why a cat can turn aggressive. For one thing, cats are predators. Their natural instinct is to hunt and kill. Even providing a gourmet meal, your cat will still practice her hunting skills whether you like it or not!
Thankfully your cat’s target isn’t always birds and mice. Sometimes it’s you! It’s not unusual for a cat to creep up on you and playfully attack you. Don’t be surprised to find your cat’s paw reaching out to grab you from under furniture as you walk past, their play is an extension of their predatory behavior.
Know your boundaries
Even if your cat has been around and handled by people from a young kitten, she can still become angry or frightened in certain situations, which can make her aggressive. Maybe she doesn’t like being picked up by strangers or getting jabbed with a needle for a vaccination – can you blame her! And some cats are fine until it’s bath time. Every cat has its limits. You’re bound to find out what your cat’s are. Remember, once your cat learns that her aggression is successful at getting rid of the perceived threat, the more likely she’ll do it again.
Some cat’s aggression is down to territorial and protective behavior, generally seen when unknown cats enter their space or there are new additions to the family. Bear this in mind when you’re looking at changing things. It shouldn’t stop you, but you need to handle it right.
A silent attack
You may have been in a situation with your cat when one moment she’s peacefully purring on your lap, happily accepting affection and the next she’s all claws and teeth. Believe it or not, it’s actually normal behavior for cats to quickly reverse their mood and behavior – we’re not the only ones who have mood swings!
There’s a fine line between enjoyable affection and irritation. Once the affection reaches a certain threshold, your cat will reject any further interaction. To end the affection, the cat will bite or scratch. Just be aware and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Finally, sudden aggression can be for medical reasons. Abnormal behavior or sudden changes in behavior should be checked out by your vet as soon as possible.
Spend time with your cat and get to know her; you’ll then notice any changes in her behavior and habits right away. If there is a sudden change, don’t assume she’s misbehaving.