When you first got your cat, chances were that you expected a docile and quiet feline that would be a lot less trouble than the typical image that comes with dogs. Cats are cool and calm, they are reserved while dogs are aggressive, and they are as a result far easier to look after.
Unfortunately that is not always true, and just as you can get problem people, so your cats can sometimes be more difficult to control than even dogs. The very same spark that might make your cat so lovable and fun to play with, might also be making it into something of an aggressive killing machine and this is where things get difficult as you have to stop your cat from brawling. There are many different kinds of aggression your cat might show and there are many reasons that it might attack other animals. Here we will look at some of the forms of aggression and how to prevent them or neutralise them.
If your cat engages in stalking behaviour this might mean that it sits watching your fish, that it pounces on you from on top of wardrobes in the middle of the night, or it brings birds in. This is simply part of your feline friend’s instinct and it is unfortunately not something you can really prevent. Here other preventative measures must be taken – so if your cat has its eye on your children’s hamster, make sure that it is somewhere safe where it won’t end up as lunch. Likewise try putting a bell around your cat’s neck so that it warns off any small animals in the garden when it starts prowling. Finally, give your puss something to play with during the day – such as piece of string hanging from a door handle which should keep them entertained and help them to burn off some of that playful energy.
If you cat is prone to scratching the neighbour’s dog or other animals in your home then this might be a result of fear – a pre-emptive strike if you will. When your cat gets defensive you will notice it arch its back and its hair stand on end. The only thing that can prevent this behaviour is to remove your cat from the situation. Do avoid trying to calm your cat down by petting it as this can reinforce the aggressive behaviour – instead ignore your kitty until they calm down of their own accord.
Some cats can turn out to be bruisers and will take playing a step too far and start clawing you to get that string. While their ambition and passion for the game should be applauded this could be painful and it’s not to be encouraged – so when your cat gets too boisterous tell it no and walk away. You might also want to punish the behaviour by spraying it with some water or rattling keys.
Your cat might also misbehave to protect their territory which can result in brawling. This is particularly difficult if you wish to introduce a new cat to your home. To do this successfully keep the cats apart except during feeding at first. This will prevent them seeing each other until they have something else on their mind, and over time they will come to associate each other with the pleasant sensation of eating. If your cat and your neighbour’s cat are constantly getting into scrapes then giving them some time to get to know each other this way can be helpful too.
In rare cases if your cat becomes more aggressive it may be because they are in pain and have less patience as a result. If your cat has arthritis in old age for instance, then you may find they are less patient and more likely to lash out. They might also attack you or an animal to warn them not to touch a sensitive area. The best way to deal with this form of aggression is to take your cat to the vet and have the source of the pain addressed.
Finally if you cat has a litter of kittens it might become aggressive as a way to protect its children. If this happens then there’s little you can do other to respect your mog’s space and ability to care for their children. Once the kittens are ready you will be allowed to play with them.
Note: While some people prefer not to take this step, if your cat is persistently aggressive then you may wish to get them neutered as a way to calm them down.