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But how can you avoid mealtime triggers? However, there’s always a reason and the challenge is to figure out what’s upsetting the cat. In addition to the painful nature of cat bites and scratches, they can also transmit diseases such as cat scratch fever or serious bacterial infection. It can occur if your cat becomes overstimulated and the pleasant sensation of being petted turns to irritation. Maternal Aggression Its common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. I also acknowledge that I can unsubscribe from these messages at any time. We’ll email your coupon today. The best way to determine if something could be bothering your kitty is to visit the vet so she can properly diagnose your furry friend through a physical exam, blood tests and any other necessary diagnostic tests she deems necessary, such as X-rays. POD-CAT AGGRESSION. When cat food turns your snuggle kitty into an attack cat, she may suffer from food aggression, a relatively uncommon type of cat aggression. When two cats in the household who have gotten along well togeth er suddenly become aggressive toward each other, the problem is generally fear-induced aggression. An outside party may also be able to see something in your kitty's environment that you are missing, which could be spurring his aggressive behavior. When a cat is excited by a stimulus but cannot respond directly, the cat may redirect his aggression toward a human or another cat. Any sudden change in a cat's personality like unusual aggression warrants a trip to the vet. To find out more about the causes and signs of cat aggression and why your cat is suddenly aggressive towards your dog then keep reading! Pain or a health problem can lead to sudden behavior changes. Looking out a window: a common cause of redirected aggression. You are also likely to witness this type of sudden aggression in mother cats who protect their litters from any sort of perceived threat. Anytime a friendly, gentle kitty displays aggression, it’s time for a visit with the vet. If changes to your kitty's environment don't seem to make any difference in your little one's bad attitude, you may need to consult with a certified animal behaviorist. For rescued cats, what triggers an aggressive reaction could be related to a bad experience as a stray on the street, or adjusting to life in a shelter. When a cat reaches sexual maturity, hormones can lead to suddenly aggressive behavior in a previously playful kitten. Many medical conditions can cause sudden aggression and irritation in kitties, as can simply the pain of an injury or illness itself. After all, cats have to be fed. Seizures, low or high thyroid levels, anxiety, and chronic illnesses can cause sudden aggression in dogs to happen, so always see a veterinarian first. In addition, aggression is a complicated subject that behavior experts are still learning about. While it's important to make sure the cat is stimulated by … Territorial aggression occurs when a cat feels that his territory has been invaded by an intruder. It can certainly be confusing when a cat suddenly turns her rage on the people who love her. Usually this problem begins “by mistake” or by accident. By continuing to browse, you agree to our use of cookies. Aggression while playing. Your Cat Stops Using the Litter Box. Here are five steps for identifying and correcting petting-induced aggression: 1. Several medical conditions can cause your usually mellow little one to suddenly become aggressive. Cats are stoic and try to hide pain or sickness. She can give you tips on how to adjust your furry friend's behavior and can work with him one-on-one. Pain can cause a cat discomfort, which can lead to aggression to prevent scenarios that may trigger, prolong, or escalate pain. If theyre playing, its reciprocal. Neuter the cats. Just to be on the safe side, have your cat examined by the veterinarian because the sudden aggression may be the result of pain. Changes in Eating Behavior. Provide additional perches. Close your blinds or curtains, especially on the windows your kitty likes to hang out by. Sudden aggression between cats within their own household is a common problem after one of the cats has been away from the home environment. Cats fight may be caused by various reasons ranging from the favorite resting spot, territory to even the amount of attention they get from you. Get $10 off your next bag when you join our email list, Get your pet on the list for offers, info & more. Use synthetic pheromone diffusers or sprays around your home to naturally calm your kitty, making him mellower and less prone to aggression. Cats who are poorly socialized when young also might display territorial behavior when a new cat enters the household. Mothers who have recently given birth to kittens may be protective of them and slightly aggressive toward you or other pets as well. Pain. It’s also possible she heard a noise or caught a scent that caused her to be on edge. To learn more, please refer to our Privacy Policy. There are also some tips on how you can curb aggressive feline behaviours. (Offer valid in the USA only.). 3. Behavioral signs: Inexplicable aggression is the second pattern of behavior. Understand why and how to help keep peace in your 4-legged family! Fear aggression may be exhibited in a combination of offensive and defensive responses. Redirected aggression is one of the more common, unpredictable causes of sudden hostility in cats. Unfortunately, an aggressive cat is at risk for being surrendered to a shelter or abandoned outside by a frustrated owner. For instance, cats who sleep more during the day can become more restless and active at night. 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. He/she may try to flee or attack, depending on the circumstances. If none is found, the next step is to talk to an animal behaviorist who can help you get to the bottom of your kitty’s aggression. They change roles frequently. Pupil dilation is common. Read on to learn why a normally docile cat might suddenly become aggressive, and what you can do to help an angry kitty. Looking out the window and seeing another cat walking around outside could trigger aggression. This is a confusing type of aggression that happens when you are calmly stroking your cat and she suddenly turns on you, grabbing your hand with her front claws while trying to shred your skin with her back claws and teeth. Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. Spay or neuter your furry friend if he's not already. If your formerly cuddly lap kitty has recently transformed into a ferocious feline with seemingly no explanation, something is most likely amiss with his health. Changes in smells make that cat seem like a threat once he or she comes home. Many multi-cat families report that when one feline goes to the vet while the other stays at home, redirected aggression can occur against the cat who comes back smelling like that “evil place.”. Building Trust 1 Give the cat some space. Rule out medical causes first, especially with a senior cat. The main causes of sudden feline behavior may be linked to aging, a health problem or a change in the cat’s environment that causes stress. Some of these conditions are treatable by your vet, while others may not be, such as rabies, which is very dangerous and communicable to people. A terrified cat will respond with body language that’s obvious to an … Aggression can be scary – not only for the victim but also for the one displaying the behavior.Since cats prefer to avoid confrontation, engaging in an aggressive encounter usually means they feel backed into a corner. Ingrid Johnson on May 17, 2014. This peaceful scene could soon turn violent, with your cat suddenly attacking the dog! It might seem like it came out of the blue for no reason, but your cat was actually giving you signs that she wanted the petting session to end, such as flattened or turned back ears, dilated pupils, stiffening of the body, growling and tail thumping. Redirected Aggression in Cats: Recognition and Treatment Strategies. Female cats can be just as territorial as males. Even a cat used to others can r… Redirected aggression is one of the most common forms of aggression among cats living in the same household and can be a challenging problem to resolve. If your feline friend suddenly turns into a hissing, scratching, growling spitfire, there is a reason for this change in behavior. Sometimes a cat becomes territorial when you give attention to another household pet, and will suddenly attack you or the other pet. The size of that turf can range from a neighborhood, block, or yard to a home or a single room, she notes. Cats are naturally stoic animals and do not show pain outwardly. Aggression is not a diagnosis but a consequence of an emotional state, so, once it has been established as a problem for the owner, each individual case needs to be assessed by taking a thorough history of the cat, its environment, how the problem first started and how it has progressed. This is when a kitty becomes hyper-excited, irritated or stressed out by a stimulus that is outside of their reach. Sudden aggression in cats is a scary and frustrating problem for many owners, who fear the unpredictable nature of the kitty fury as well as the physical damage he or she can cause in the throes of an attack. 2. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Pain can make the cat very irritable and vocal or can also cause depression and hiding behavior. Common stimuli that trigger redirected aggression include loud noises, seeing an outdoor or stray cat through a window, or an altercation with another cat in the house. 2ndchance.info: Dealing With Aggressive Behavior in Your Cat -- Why On Earth Does My Cat Bite & Scratch So! My theory is that, while cats rely primarily on vision to identify other cats, smell also plays a big role. Sudden aggression can also be caused by neurological issues, cognitive decline, and loss of smell, hearing or sight. Their ears are typically forward in play, their claws may be out but they dont cause damage, and their bodies lean forward not back. Certain neurological conditions or bacterial and viral infections can affect your kitty's brain functions, leading to unpredictable, sudden bouts of aggression. Pod-cat aggression occurs when one cat has been out of the house, whether to the veterinarian, groomer, or other destination, and when he returns home, the other cat(s) act aggressively toward him. These are just a few of the reasons why a happy-go-lucky kitty can suddenly become aggressive. Cats seem friendly, and even beg for attention, then furiously attack when the owner attempts to pet them. However, as with most symptoms of FCD, there are also many alternative reasons for increased nighttime activity. Cats are very territorial, much more so than dogs. Spraying m… Some of the most common causes of fear or stress in the life of a cat include new pets in the home, too many pets in the home, sudden movements, sneaking up on them, loud noises, harsh treatment or unfair punishment, being put in a cat carrier, riding in a vehicle, lack of resources (food, water, toys, scratching post), a change in routine or no routine at all. Once properly diagnosed, your vet will give you medication to treat your kitty's condition or ease his pain, hopefully alleviating his aggression. Depending on where your cat spends his time, he may view your whole neighborhood as his territory. Do Cats Feel Sad Over Another Cat Dying?→, Do Quaker Parakeets Need a Bird Companion?→. Separate other pets from your kitty if he's been aggressive toward them and slowly reintroduce them to each other using treats as a reward for non-aggressive behavior. Your cat might be terrified and will fight to protect her turf and you when this threat (albeit a puffball one) nears. 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