Keep The Cat And Dog Separated
One of the reasons a cat may show aggression toward a dog is due to a poor introduction between the two. Separate the cat and dog so they can have their own space, but make sure they are aware of each other’s presence. Depending on whether the dog is entering a home with a cat living there already or vice versa, there are different approaches:
- If your cat initially lived in the home and just adopted a dog, it’s not a good idea to suddenly revoke access to all areas. The cat needs to be reassured their security is not being taken away. Let the dog slowly enter the cat’s territory so they are comfortable.
- When the cat is arriving in the home, don’t give them full access. Let them slowly explore and find their own spaces where they can feel secure and comfortable. Often these may be high up spaces where the dog can’t reach.
You can also use synthetic pheromones to help the cat feel safe in the home. These pheromones help the cat feel relaxed and may help them better adapt to a home. Spray them on surfaces in the home to help them feel reassured.
If the dog is a puppy, then we will need to ensure we start their basic training immediately. Puppies are still learning how to interact with their environment, so they may cross the cat’s boundaries unintentionally. By teaching them basic commands, you can help the dog to know these boundaries and prevent an attack from happening.
Aggression Due To Medical Issue
Aggression with a medical origin is also common.
Pain is the most sudden medical cause for sudden aggression, particularly in older cats or those who have always had a calm temperament. Arthritis, dental disease, trauma, and infections are just some of the conditions that can cause pain and subsequent aggression when a cat is touched;or thinks he or she might be touched, in a painful area. In addition to pain, cognitive decline, a loss of normal sensory input, or neurological problems can all lead to aggression.
Reason 6: Okay Your Cat Might Not Like You
I hate to say itbut if your cat is only;attacking you then theres a chance that they just dont like you very much. As rough as that sounds, its not something you should take personally since its more likely to be a combination of things rather than just you as a person. Maybe youre regularly around other pets so you have some interesting smells, are a bit of a louder talker and your petting skills could be improved. While that sounds harsh, all this combined could lead to your cat politely asking you to keep your distance with a well-placed paw.
If it does seem like your cat just doesnt like you in particular its usually best to start by improving your petting. Reach out with a finger and let your cat approach you then focus on short pets on the head. Unless theres something else going on, some quiet, gentle petting over a few days will win over most cats.
Don’t Miss: How Many Calories Should A Kitten Eat
If Your Cat Is Playing With You Roughly Give Her A Time
If at any point during your playtime session with your pet she starts playing roughly and resorts to biting and scratching you, give her a time-out, and leave the room without paying her any attention. Since cats avoid doing things that may have negative outcomes, taking the fun from playtime by walking away will teach your pet not to play roughly. Make sure to walk away and leave the room instead of picking her up and moving her to another area of your home as your pet may interpret the physical contact as a form of reward which should not be the case since rough play should never be rewarded.;
Your Cat Is Looking For Attention
Sometimes a simple answer is the right one. Pay attention to me! Cats tend to need your focus at inconvenient times. And when you least expect it, you might get pounced on with claws and teeth.
Two things to remember here: Firstly, make time to play and interact with your cats, especially young cats.
Second, if and when a cat does randomly attack for attention, ignore them. More accurately, do not reward them. This will reinforce the behavior.
You May Like: Where Are Maine Coon Cats From
Keep The Training Consistent
We all love to play with our pets, but if youre seriously losing sleep over your cats attacks, dont encourage the pouncing behavior in your waking hours while simultaneously reprimanding him;at night.
Its not just confusing for him; its also counterproductive to the cats;training and your sleep cycle.
Reason 8: Its All About Territory
Weve already touched on this in some of our context clues but it could be because youre interacting with your cat at the wrong time and more importantly in the wrong place.
Cat are naturally territorial creatures so it should be no surprise that this is sometimes problematic inside our homes. The ASPA explains thatCats territorial aggression is usually directed toward other cats, but it can be directed toward dogs and people, too. A cat can show territorial aggression toward some family members and not others and toward some cats but not others.
In other words, your cat could be attacking you and not others because youre the only one encroaching on what they perceive as their territory or because youre the only one they see as a threat. The tricky part is figuring out exactly what your cat considers to be their territory. Your cats wild ancestors and feral friends control large areas of land and scientists found thatone male kittys range covered 1,351 acres .
The ASPCA also goes on to explain that a cats perceived territory could be the entire house or part of it, the yard, the block, or the neighborhood. So while it will be hard to figure out exactly what territorial line youve crossed, by paying attention to the context clues you can figure out where you went wrong.
As is the case with many issues of aggression, cats that havent been spayed or neutered are not only more likely to be aggressive but also more likely to be territorial.
Read Also: How To Get A Kitten To Like A Dog
Why Does My Cat Attack Me And No One Else
Does it ever feel like youre being specifically;targeted by your feline friend?
Maybe youre the favorite human most of the time and your cat clearly loves you but it still seems like youre the only one that your cat decides to randomly attack!
So whats going on here and why does your cat attack you but no one else? Unfortunately, theres not an easy answer that applies to every situation but in most cases, your cat is simply reacting to the type of attention youre giving them or theyve decided that youre the most fun to attack and play with!
But thats really just;scratching the surface of why your cat might do this.
Lets dig a little deeper into the possible reasons starting with the most common. Well also talk about ways that you can prevent your cat from attacking you in the first place.
But first, lets answer an important question.
Cat Aggression Happens Due To Stress
If a cat lives in a highly stressful environment for example, a home in which people are fighting or a home with too many cats its quite possible for that cat to be quick to respond aggressively. Like children who live in homes with a lot of verbal and physical violence, or a lot of unspoken anger, cats often act out the dynamics of their human families.
Also Check: Are Umbrella Plants Toxic To Cats
Attack In The Snow In Michigan
This recording of a woman from Melvin, Michigan being attacked by a cat is perhaps one of the most famous cat attack videos circulating the internet because it shows just how agile and deliberate cats can be, even with opponents 10x their size. The woman, identifying herself as Maxx, was attempting to shoo away the animal that she had been caring for in an attempt to defend her mother’s dog when the animal leaped up and latched on her face. The incident was recorded on her security camera. This attack appears to be a good example of displaced aggression, as the animal was attempting to attack a dog but the owner intervened.
*Despite the fact that Maxx saved the cat, and despite the fact that the cat was known to be aggressive and had attacked 2 other people before, the video brought out the profound irrationality of many cat lovers who found snow kicking to be cruel and that Maxx “deserved” to be brutally harmed by the animal . This reveals the mentality of many cat owners, which I will be discussing in a future article.
Here Are Some Of The Common Causes Of Aggression Towards People:
Recommended Reading: Is Cat 5 The Same As Cat 6
Reason 5: Because It Works
Positive reinforcement is the foundation of modern animal training and the concept is pretty simple: if a critter does what you want them to do then you give them a treat immediately after that behavior and over time this will encourage that behavior.
So what the heck is;unintended positive reinforcement?
Thats when you end up encouraging behavior that you have no intention of promoting. The classic example is a cat thats meowing for food in the middle of the night. Lets say you get up and feed your cat in order to stop the meowing.
But what has your cat learned? That meowing is a great way to get food. So the next time shes hungry in the middle of the night all it takes is a barrage of meows to get a snack! Now youve unintentionally created a midnight meowing monster!
The same process can explain why your cat would attack you and no one else. The question then becomes, what do you do after the attack that others;arent;doing? If youre engaging your cat in playtime or giving them a snack to appease them after an attack then youre actually encouraging them to attack more!
You can see how this can further be enforced if other humans in the household dont give your cat what they want after an attack. Over time, you become the only one they still attack since it still works on you!
Thats why its important to not offer your cat positive reinforcement after they attack you- even if you dont mean too!
Cat Bites When Grooming
Cats love to groom the ones they love. Although this usually starts out with them using their rough tongues to clean you in a rather delightful way, suddenly you may find them giving you a nip or a bite. This is the same way they groom themselves when there is something they can’t remove from their fur with their tongue, they resort to biting it out.;
That said, the jury is out on whether they are really trying to remove a perceived troublesome bit of dirt from you by biting you, or whether this is just a sign of love. Either way, follow the same procedure from point 2, and they will soon learn it is wrong, and you will hopefully no longer find yourself asking, ‘why does my cat bite me?’
You May Like: How Long Do Tuxedo Cats Live
But Why Me And No One Else
If your cat is attacking you and no one else theres a good chance that theres something;different;about you and your relationship. For a super simple example, lets say that youre the only one in the household that ties your shoelaces in the living room where your cat can see you. There are plenty of cats that just cant resist a chance to attack a few shoelaces! Once your cat starts attacking you and your shoelaces they might decide that its a whole lot of fun. Maybe you react in a way that your cat finds way more entertaining than other people in your home.
Now, what started as a simple shoelace assault has turned into a preference for attacking you and you alone.
So we really need to do some feline detective work. Now that weve worked out some of our context clues to figure out if were being played with or bullied we can break down a few of the common reasons for attacks to figure why our cat has chosen us for their feline fight club.
Lets start with the most likely reason.
Redirected Aggression: When Good Cats Attack
This post contains affiliate links*
We recently covered petting aggression and play aggression in cats. Today, Id like to address one other form of feline aggression, and its one that can be very frightening, as well as damaging, for cat guardians. This form of aggression is called redirected aggression, and it happens when a cat is agitated by an animal, event, or person it cant get at. Unable to lash out at the perceived threat, the cat turns to the nearest victim. This may be another cat or pet in the household, or it may be the cats humans. These attacks happen seemingly out of the blue, and they can be fairly damaging to the victim.
Redirected aggression is not unique to cats. The human equivalent is the man who gets so angry he wants to punch someone, and ends up punching a wall instead.
Recommended Reading: How To Draw A Realistic Cat Step By Step
Reason 7: Are You Simply The Resident Cat Person
Even though it sounds like a place that Id like to live in, most households arent filled with cat people. That means theres a clear distinction between people that hang out with the cat and people who dont! So while it may seem obvious, its important to ask yourself if youre being attacked simply because youre the one spending time with your cat!
Other members of the household might not get attacked by your cat because they dont spend any time with your cat in the first place! I know, its obvious but its an often-overlooked explanation especially when it comes to younger cats that are ready to play fight anybody;.
How Is Misdirected Aggression In Cats Diagnosed
This type of aggression can be tricky to diagnose. These attacks can occur instantly after an inciting event or up to hours later. Sometimes an owner might be lucky enough to see the trigger happen and be able to connect it with the resulting aggression, but that doesn’t happen too often.
One big clue that misdirected aggression might be the cause of a cat’s attacks is that it begins suddenly in a cat that previously got along well with housemates and never attacked people or other pets in the home.
If your cat begins attacking out of the blue, the first thing to do is take him to the veterinarian. Medical causes for aggression, like pain, should be ruled out before you continue.
Read Also: How Can You Tell If A Cat Is In Pain
Why Does My Cat Attack For No Reason: Redirected Aggression In Cats
Have you ever had this experience? Your cat is peacefully looking out the window when suddenly, he jumps down, looking agitated, and when you walk by, he attacks you. And not a playful, purry, pounce, either, but a real attack where he might even draw blood with his claws or teeth. Many cat owners have experienced this, and it can be scary and bewildering.
Cat Bites Due To Fear
Cats can get scared when there is a change in routine or living conditions. Cats are not keen on change, and can feel threatened or want to escape. If they are prevented from doing so, they can attack. Fearful cats cause the most damage, so when introducing a new person or animal to your home, or planning a major refurbishment, it’s important to watch your cat for changes in its behavior.;
If you notice them getting more defensive your first thought may be to comfort them to calm them down, but if they are feeling threatened when you approach, you may be doing more harm than good. Wait for your cat to come to you, and leave treats out for them to help them understand the new situation is not a cause for alarm. Hopefully you will no longer be asking, ‘why does my cat bite me?’
Recommended Reading: How To Play With My Cat