Felines are born to hunt. Their quick reflexes and sharp claws and teeth are made for catching and tearing prey-not for biting and scratching their human caretakers. There are several reasons that a cat may show aggression toward people. Although most pets generally do not cause serious damage, it will help to understand what’s behind the inappropriate behavior.
Cat got your ankle? It’s not unusual to receive a few scratches and nips as your pet pounces, stalks and jumps her way through kittenhood. Your animal companion is simply honing her hunting skills. While most cats grow out of this predatory aggression as they mature, it is often seen in adult pets who do not receive enough exercise.
The solution to this problem is simple. By creating artificial prey-this is, appropriate playthings-you can help channel your pet’s aggression. Purchase or make some interactive toys and schedule daily play sessions with your super-frisky feline. Cats love anything that can be wiggled, dangled, or otherwise made to look alive. If your cat does nip you, do not attempt to pull away.
This can actually make the injury worse and may also be interpreted as your willingness to play the game!
Not as common as predatory aggression, some cats may use their claws and teeth-and have even been known to climb up the nearest person’s body-if they feel intense fear. This kind of aggressive behaviour might be prompted by a loud noise, and is more likely to occur in cats who are already on edge-stressed by a move, for example, or a new person or animal in the house. If your cat suddenly goes into attack mode, it’s best to simply close the door and leave her alone. Do not enter the room for 4 to 6 hours.
Although most cats who are uncomfortable with strangers usually hide or leave the room, some felines may bite and scratch guests. These animals are most likely undersocialized. The ASPCA recommends that you get your cat used to other people when she is young, at about 7 to 12 weeks.
Have 3 or 4 different people regularly handle her for no more than 5 minutes at a time. She should be set for life! If your adult cat is undersocialized, you may need to work with a professional trainer or animal behaviorist to correct the problem.
Many bites and scratches can be avoided simply by understanding, and respecting, your pet. Some companion cats do not like to be held or touched in certain places, and a show of claws may be their way of telling you not to go there. Learn to read feline body language-if you see your cat’s ears go back, or if she leans on her hips with her claws exposed and mouth open, it’s best to back