Cats are cute and adorable creatures. Who doesn’t love to keep a cat at home? However, cats can become your worst nightmare when aggression gushes through them. You could get serious injuries from being around an aggressive cat. Many cat bites often become infected. A person can fall victim to cat scratch disease, or more rarely, rabies. Many incidents have happened in the past where cats have seriously injured their owners.

Why Does a Cat Get Aggressive?

There can be a bundle of reasons why a cat may be aggressive towards the owner. To successfully solve this problem is to find the root cause of aggression first. It is not an easy task to do yourself and for this reason, many people hire qualified veterinary behaviorists. They come to your place and observe your cat and make better judgments of its behavior. Many cats often get aggressive when they see another cat or a dog around them. If you have a cat at home that gets aggressive easily, make sure you don’t let it come across any other animal often. Some medical conditions can also cause aggressiveness. You can get your cat checked for potential diseases it might have. Many cats get aggressive if they feel threatened by the owner or anyone in this house, in any way. Once you have located the cause of aggression, you might be able to work on it with the help of any professional to make your pet calm every time it gets aggressive or sounds threatening to you.

The following are some of the types of aggressions that are triggered in cats and some strategies to prevent them.

1. Patting Aggression

Patting aggression is triggered when a cat is patted for a very long time. If the person has started patting himself, the cat gets aggressive all of a sudden. It doesn’t get aggressive if it came on its own to you and sat in your lap.

Many cats do not tolerate long-term patting. After they have reached their level of tolerance, they’ll suddenly attack the person. An attack can come in the form of a bite or scratch. The cat will run off after attacking and sit far away with pupils dilated.

Prevention

Do not initiate the patting yourself. Even if your cat came to you on its own and sat in your lap, do not pat it for a very long period of time. Observe your cat closely and look for any signals that your cat sends out which clearly reflect that it doesn’t want to be petted anymore. If you love patting, slowly increase the patting time and reward your cat with food treats after every petting session.

2. Redirected Aggression

This type of aggression is triggered when a cat watches a dog or another cat outside but can’t do anything about it. Make sure you know about the most dangerous dog breeds and ensure that you don't show aggression towards them. Most cats smell of other cats and quickly become aggressive. When they can’t directly interact with the outside cat, they direct all the aggression towards their owner. Many owners handle their cats that are already aroused by aggression caused by watching other cats but in return, the cat is just going to redirect all the aggression towards you.

Prevention

The first thing to do is to avoid the trigger situation from occurring. You can do this by covering windows so that your cat can’t see outside. You can give your cat a food treat in case it stays calm even after the trigger as a reward. If your cat has still gotten aggressive, avoid handling it. Trust me, the best thing for you would be to leave the room and give the cat some time to calm down on its own.

3. Pain-Induced Aggression

As the name says, this form of aggression is triggered when a cat goes through any pain. Any painful procedure or accidental wound can initiate this type of aggression. Chronic pain might also be a potential reason.

Prevention

Keep your cat away from any situations that might result in painful consequences. Get rid of any stuff that could potentially hurt your cat. If your cat has chronic pain, painkillers may come in handy. Give your cat a treat while it is being relaxed during the trigger situation.

4. Play Aggression

Play aggression is the most well-known aggression triggered in cats because of vigorous playing. Vigorous playing is basically considered a normal cat behavior. The cats who often experience this aggression are young and sometimes known to have been taken away from their mothers at a very early age. Many owners further fuel the problem by playing roughly with the cat when it’s still a little kitten and continue playing even after getting bitten. This aggression typically involves the cat silently approaching you without giving any warning sign and then attacking suddenly by jumping in. In many cases, a cat hides behind a curtain or piece of furniture and then attacks any person who walks close by biting the ankle.

Prevention

Do not encourage any aggressive play. The moment you realize that the cat is getting aggressive, leave the play all at once and give it some time to relax. Do not react if it comes back to you to continue the play. No reaction means that the cat doesn’t receive any attention and it automatically steps back. You can also do positive reinforcement training by giving food treats to your cat when it plays calmly with you or its toy. You can also teach your cat “bite and claw inhabitation” by making use of positive reinforcement training. Do this when the cat is calm and relaxed and not when it wants to play. You can gently pat or play when your pet is calm. Don’t get it excited at all because excitement leads to rough play which further leads to undesirable situations.

5. Fearful Aggression

This aggression is triggered when a cat feels threatened. At first, the cat will try to avoid and ignore the person that it is afraid of, but if it continues to feel threatened, it will become aggressive and attack straight away. The cat will start showing its teeth and hissing at the person. The first thing that you should do in such a situation is to get away from the sight of the cat.

Prevention

Get away from the cat and don’t come in front of it for some time. Give it a fearful stimulus so that it doesn’t attack you. Teach your cat alternative behaviors to adapt in frightening situations. Medication can also be used for modifications in behavior. If your cat stays calm in the trigger situation, give it a treat as a reward.