You can stop your cat’s aggression, or at least her aggressive play, by learning to read her body language and expressions. When her ears lay back and her pupils enlarge, look out! She is going to get rough. Her simple swatting with claws sheathed is about to change to all out grabbing with claws fully extended. Her playful little nips will become actual bites. Why? What causes a cat to suddenly turn aggressive? Let’s take a look at the « whys » before we discuss the cures.
All cat play is predatory. Common cat behaviors like, swatting, stalking, chasing, jumping, pouncing and biting are all incorporated into cat play. Usually these behaviors are not a problem. In fact they are a lot of fun to watch. But when your cat gets overly aggressive things can become rather uncomfortable in a hurry.
We, as cat owners, are partially to blame for our cat’s aggressive behavior. If our cats are bored, or under exercised they will get over stimulated during play time. The playful aggression becomes the real deal! The lack of exercise and a lack of owner interaction are the main cause for any cat aggressive behavior.
When you first notice a change in your cat’s expression, or when she first gets a little rough, the best remedy is to get up and walk away. Leave the room completely if necessary. She may follow you and try to initiate some more play. Don’t let her. She must learn that you are in control and she will only get your attention when play time is not all out war. It may be necessary to put her in a room by herself for 15 to 20 minutes until she gets the message. Never give an aggressive cat attention, even if it is negative attention. She will mistake it for a reward.
Be consistent with your actions. Don’t confuse your cat by allowing her to get aggressive one day and ignoring it the next. Never use physical punishment as a deterrent. You may hurt her or at the very least scare her. This may cause her to begin to avoid you and that will ruin the relation ship between you and your cat.
Since boredom, a lack of exercise and a lack of owner interaction are the main cause of cat aggression it is important to schedule at least a couple of 10m to 15 minute play times each day.
You can stop your cat’s aggression by adhering to these simple rules. You may even want to get a good book about cat obedience training and get your cat started on the right path to good manners. Your local library will have a few and you can even find some good books on the internet.