If you own a cat, you know how much love and affection they can show. After all, they’re called “man’s best friend” for a reason. But while most of us would agree that cats are, on the whole, sweet, loving and cuddly, they are also amazing predators.
Many people are surprised to learn that cats are actually pretty vicious, because they seem so cute and non-threatening. A cat doesn’t need to be a full-grown tiger to do a fair amount of damage, though. One of the most common injuries that cat owners face is being attacked by their pet.
Cat attacks are dangerous for humans, they can have many negative consequences but it’s hard to stop cat attacks when aggressive feline behavior begins. In fact, it’s difficult to understand why cat attacks owner.
We don’t teach our cats to be aggressive. But we do teach them that we are the boss, we are the ones with the food and the attention, and we are the ones who are in charge.
Cats are predators and as such they are very territorial and protective of their territory. This includes their owner, and their family. This is one reason why cat attacks owner.
Cats are soft, fluffy and adorable creatures. But sometimes they can be aggressive.
Why do cats attack a certain person?
Cats are known for their independence, but sometimes it can go too far. Why do cats attack a certain person? There are several reasons.
One, the cat can be frightened of a person. It is not uncommon for a cat to be nervous around someone and bite them, especially if the cat is young.
You may also notice that the cat is more nervous around a particular person, or person in a particular situation. If the cat is nervous, it may be because the person is making loud noises, or perhaps the cat is startled by the smell of perfume or something else on the person.
Some cats may attack a person if they feel threatened or frightened. Cats are cautious by nature and sometimes lash out when startled, especially if the cat is young.
The most common reason why an older cat will bite someone is because that person has fed the cat something it does not like – usually canned food instead of dry kibble!
If you notice your kitten biting people on occasion, don’t worry too much about it; this behavior usually goes away as they grow into adulthood.
However, if you have an adult who bites often, there could be other underlying issues going on here so speak to your veterinarian for advice about what to do next.
Most people have a small aggressive response when they are antagonized, but for many cats, this response becomes the default behavior. This is the case with offensive aggression, wherein a cat seems to constantly be looking for a fight.
It is common and often a serious issue that can even lead to physical harm or death.
There are several reasons why a cat may show offensive aggression. It could be a behavior learned from a mother cat, where she was constantly hissing at anything she perceived as a danger to her kittens.
Your cat may have had a bad experience, such as getting beat up by another cat. It could also be an age thing, as older cats are more susceptible to this type of behavior. Your cat may also be scared because of a new animal in the household.
Your cat could also be suffering from a medical issue like an ear infection, which causes them to lash out in pain and fear.
These are all reasons why your cat may show offensive aggression and it is up to you as the owner to address this behavior with him or her.
Defensive (fearful) Aggressive Posture
Even if you’ve lived with your cat for a while, you may not have realized that its body can give you a lot of information about its behavior.
Your cat’s ears, tail, and posture can indicate a state of mind. For example, a defensive (fearful) aggressive posture in cats is one that lets you know your pet feels threatened by someone or something. It’s called defensive (fearful) aggressive posture because the cat is using its body to protect itself from attack.
Defensive (fearful) aggressive posture may include raised fur, flattened ears, dilated pupils and the tail held high.
A fearful cat may often become defensive or aggressive. If the feline is afraid of you or another animal, it will show its fear by becoming aggressive.
A fearful cat will arch her back, raise her tail and hiss. This posture is a defensive posture, but if your cat shows this posture to you and you approach her, she is afraid that you will hurt her and may attack you.
When your cat gets defensive, she will begin using a defensive (fearful) aggressive posture. This is her way of protecting herself and letting you know that she is not going to tolerate being petted, hugged, or picked up.
Defensive (fearful) aggressive postures are more likely to occur in petting-oriented cats. Defensive (fearful) aggressive postures can be more than just a warning to stop petting.
If you are bitten, the cat is not just defending herself; she is attacking you. It is important to be able to distinguish between these two behaviors because you will respond differently.
Redirected or Misdirected Aggression in Cats
Why do cats attack their owners and certain people?
There are many reasons why a cat could become aggressive. Cats have the natural instinct to hunt, track, chase or stalk prey which is one of the things that triggers aggression in some cats.
Sometimes when they can’t find anything else to play with such as toys or other animals then they may turn towards attacking humans because it’s all they can do.
They also might be feeling very hungry so if there isn’t food around for them then this will trigger anger as well.
Redirected or misdirected aggression is another potential reason why a cat may attack their owner.
This can happen when the animal doesn’t like something that’s happening and they lash out at someone nearby instead of what they’re really mad about.
When your cat sees you petting her favorite cat, Kitty might become jealous and redirect her aggression by attacking the other feline. This is called redirected or misdirected aggression. Redirected aggression is a common problem in multi-cat households.
It occurs when a cat become upset with her owner, or another cat, and redirects her aggression toward someone else. This cat can’t deal with her owner, so she redirects her anger to the next closest thing — another cat.
Cats are also territorial animals, so if there was an intruder in your home then this could trigger anger as well.
There is also the possibility that some cats have been abused by people before and now fear them which would trigger aggressive behavior from time to time too. The aggressiveness in cats will depend on how many different things might be triggering it for them such as hunger, thirst, playtime deprivation, etcetera.
Aggressive behavior in cats is a serious problem. While some cats are more prone to it than others, aggressive behavior can also develop for a variety of reasons.
Cats who are spending too much time outside may develop redirected aggression, but it can also be a sign of some health problems.
In cats, redirected aggression occurs when something or someone startles them and they lash out in response.
For instance, if a cat is sleeping peacefully on a couch and is startled by a family member walking in the room, the cat may quickly dart off the couch and attack the person who walked in, since they were the ones who startled them.
This is redirected aggression, rather than a sign of aggression in and of itself.
Misdirected Aggression Can Create a Cycle in a Multicat Household
First, we need to understand what misdirected aggression is. Misdirected aggression is a term that is used to describe the aggressive behavior we see when your cat is really angry at something or someone, but is unable to react directly to that person or thing because of distance, size, or some other factor.
To understand misdirected aggression, you need to understand the source of your cat’s anger. One common cause is tension between two or more cats in your household.
This is especially true if you have a multi-cat household, such as a home with a multicat litter. This tension can create a cycle that is difficult to end.
Cats in a multicat household can also experience misdirected aggression. If one cat is more aggressive than other cats, it may become the target of redirected aggression from the less aggressive cats.
Some experts believe that this cycle will continue until an owner intervenes and helps to break things up by adding more litter boxes or scratching posts so each cat has their own territory.
Others say that if you’re noticing signs of over-aggression like growling, hissing or swatting at another person’s hand when they try to pet your kitty then separation might be necessary for both people and pets’ sake.
The best way to intervene with these types of behaviors is always on an individual basis because every situation is different.
A new study shows that the misdirected aggression that occurs when cats are frustrated can create a cycle that is detrimental to the health and well-being of every cat in the house, not just the victims of the aggression.
The study, which was conducted by the University of Minnesota’s School of Veterinary Medicine, looked at the behavior of 17 cats living in 12 multicat households. The researchers found that most of the cats in the study suffered from misdirected aggression, in which they directed their frustration and anger toward another cat in the household.
The researchers also found that, in many cases, the cats were not just angry with their fellow felines, but that they were anxious as well.
Signs of Cat Aggression
It is always a good idea to know what you are up against when you are dealing with a pet cat. Even if you are thinking about getting a cat it is always a good idea to know what you are in for. Cats are a lot more unpredictable than dogs.
They are able to hide their aggression better than dogs. Dogs tend to be more vocal with their aggression and more open about it. Cats, on the other hand, are more subtle and even when they are aggressive they are able to keep it a lot more hidden.
Bear in mind that in some cases, aggression in cats is caused by physical, mental or even medical conditions.
If your cat is displaying unprovoked aggression, be sure to have him checked over by a veterinarian to rule out any physical causes.
- growling, hissing or swatting at another person’s hand when they try to pet your kitty
- fighting with other animals in the house
- attacking family members or guests without any provocation from them. This is a sign that there might be underlying medical issues going on like anxiety due to changes in the environment and unfamiliar people
The best way to address these behaviors is always on an individual basis because every situation is different.
It may take time for cats to adjust, but it will stop the cycle of redirected aggression if you are able to break up two more aggressive felines who are having problems with each other.
If one cat has been acting aggressively towards others (even its owner) then separation may need to happen temporarily.
If your cat is struggling with anxiety issues, then a behaviorist should be consulted to help work towards overcoming this.
- When not feeling well or during times of stress
- if their owner has been away from home for an extended period of time and the cat misses them too much
- if they are bullied by another animal in the house or feels threatened in any way. Cats can become very territorial creatures because it’s something that their instincts tell them to do so as a self defense mechanism – even though humans live inside homes now.
This may make some cats feel like outsiders who want to take over territory where there are other animals already living which makes things difficult on both parties involved. There should always be one alpha pet per household.
Cause of Cat Aggression and Attacks
Cats are generally not known for being aggressive toward humans, which is why most cat owners don’t know how to handle aggressive cat behavior: when Fido attacks, it’s a shock.
A cat’s first instinct is to avoid conflict, and they don’t tend to attack unless they feel threatened. In most cases, the aggressor is trying to send a message: stop doing whatever you’re doing or I’ll hurt you.
The key is to understand what message your cat is trying to send, and then learn how to avoid sending those particular signals.
Cats are, by nature, solitary creatures. When they live in groups with other animals already living there like dogs or children, there is a high chance that the cats will find themselves to be the low man on the totem pole when it comes to social status and territory rights.
They may lash out at their owners because of this cat aggression.
The aggressive behavior of a cat can be caused by a number of things. It’s not just a case of a cat being “bad” or “naughty.” A number of factors can come into play that make the cat feel threatened or uncomfortable.
Of course, the first thing to do is to make sure that the cat has something to scratch, others to play and lots of attention from you.
A change of routine can also set off an aggressive response: new pets entering your home; visitors coming over often for long periods of time; construction going on outside that disrupts sleep patterns; moving furniture around and rearranging rooms so much that even you don’t recognize where things go anymore – these are all examples of how changes in routines could affect your feline friend negatively.
If you notice your cat changing their personality, becoming more aggressive or hissing a lot at people they like before attacking them then this is an indication that the aggressiveness in cats has become worse.
You may want to consult with a veterinarian and get professional advice on how best to deal with an increasingly hostile feline friend.
The signs can also include when the cat starts scratching furniture more often than usual; getting agitated much faster over small things such as petting or brushing time, following owners around constantly and pouncing aggressively on owner’s feet for unknown reasons other than anger – these are all indicators that something could be brewing underneath the surface.
Some cats will lash out at humans because it takes less energy for them.
If a Cat Bites or Scratches You:
If a cat bites or scratches you, there are certain steps to take. If the injury is not too severe and it’s just a bite, then it needs cleaning with soap and water as soon as possible followed by an antibiotic ointment on your wound.
There should also be some sort of first aid applied to any superficial wounds that may have been caused by scratching such as tearing skin off in patches.
The best course of action for cats who scratch aggressively can vary from person-to-person so consult with a veterinarian before deciding what works best for you.
They will examine the aggressiveness level of your animal friend which could range from minor annoyance levels to extreme aggression; this way they’ll know how aggressive treatment must be handled accordingly.
Take Cat Bites Seriously
As much as we all love our precious kitties, they can also be pretty nasty thanks to their sharp teeth and tendency to scratch. Cat bites can be harmful to your health in a variety of ways, all of which are exacerbated by the fact that cat scratch disease can’t always be seen with the naked eye.
To minimize the chances of your health being compromised, it is important to know how to take cat bites seriously.
While they are not always aggressive, cats have sharp teeth and a strong urge to scratch. Cat bites can be harmful for many reasons:
- The first of which is that cat scratches spread bacteria easily. Cats carry different types of diseases on their claws, including parasites such as fleas or worms, that will infect humans with just one scratch.
- The second reason why cat bites are dangerous is because there is no way to tell when a person has been infected with an illness before it’s too late – even if you don’t see anything wrong.
- And lastly, while most infections won’t harm people in smaller doses, some illnesses like rabies are fatal without treatment.
The first step in handling cat bites is to get medical attention. Cat bites have the potential to cause serious infections that can spread to your blood and throughout your body.
While most infections are not life-threatening, the risks are very real and do not go away without medical attention. If you have been bitten by a cat, see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you have a cat and live in an apartment, your best bet is to keep it indoors. Cats are territorial animals which means they will likely react defensively when their territory has been threatened or invaded. This may take the form of attacking you if it feels that you’re threatening its food supply, litter box, toys (especially ones that it considers “its” property), or even just another pet animal passing by. With all this said there’s no need to be afraid of cats! They can make great pets for people who don’t want dogs but still want companionship from something furry at home with them!