Owners of cats often do not understand what causes this type of aggression. It seems that they are not doing anything unpleasant to the cat, stroking it, caressing, as always, and suddenly the cat, for no reason, begins to bite or scratch.
This type of aggression is often called petinduced aggression or aggression caused by affection. It often seems to the owners of cats that this aggression is not motivated and that the cat is simply harmful or mentally unbalanced. Of course, what else can you think when the cat begins to eat the hand that strokes it, and a pleasant session of strokes and scratches suddenly turns into a bloody battle.
Here are five steps to detect and correct cat aggression caused by affection:
Ask your veterinarian to examine your cat because sudden aggression can be caused by pain. A cat may not respond when you stroke it in some places, but it can feel pain if you touch another place on its body and show aggression. Going to the vet will allow you to make sure that aggression is not caused by trauma or an acute condition, such as arthritis, toothache, abscess, etc.
2-Have you correctly interpreted your cat’s intentions?
Sometimes the reason your cat can bite during caresses is because you misinterpreted its intentions. Perhaps, in fact, the cat came up to you not to caress, but wanted to play. Her energy beats from all the cracks and she has long endured your stroking, waiting for a fun game, but in vain. Then stroking can provoke game aggression (the cat starts to bite and scratch its hands in an attempt to play) or petinduced aggression – the cat starts to bite to let you know that it does not want stroking at the moment or when the cat is even more excited from the caress.
3- Read your cat’s body language
Even if it seems to you that your cat is aggressive without any warning, usually, before the attack, the cat displays several body language signals that owners often simply do not notice. If you do not pay attention to your cat when you pet it, it may seem that its attack is unpredictable, but from the point of view of the cat, she already told you a hundred times to stop! If you have a cat that previously showed aggression caused by caresses, then you need to monitor her body language when you pet her. You should not be distracted, or you will again miss the warning signs from the cat.
Here are the signals of the cat’s body language that can indicate that she no longer wants to endure affection:
- Stop purring
- Tail swings
- Sliding skin on the back and sides
- Change of body position
- Ears by airplan
- Ears tightly pressed to the head
- Cat looks back at your hand
4-End affection on a positive note
To help the cat feel more comfortable when she is caressed, you need to pay attention to the level of her tolerance so that you can stop petting in advance of the attack. Pay attention to her body language and stop caressing until warning signals begin to appear. For example, if you know that usually you can pet your cat for about two minutes, and then it starts to bite, then to stop communicating on a positive note, stop fondling it after about a minute. Let her even a little lack of affection, than you go too far and the attack is repeated. If you stop petting on time, then the experience of interacting with you in a cat will remain positive. This will break that vicious circle when the cat is already sure that the only way to make you stop stroking it is to bite or scratch it. At the very least, stop stroking the cat when you see the first negative signal of body language.
Pay attention to what affection your cat likes more. She may like it when she is patted on the back of her head, but not at the base of her tail. Weasel in some areas can, in fact, cause too much stimulation and provoke a cat to aggression from overexcitation.
5-Never punish your cat
If you scream, beat or chase your cat for biting you during a petting session, then you only achieve one thing – you make the cat afraid of you and often respond with aggression to any of your suspicious actions. A cat does not bite because it is angry, stupid or mentally abnormal. She bites and scratches if she feels that she has no other way to solve the problem. From her point of view, all other forms of communication with you have failed.
If you carefully monitor the cat’s body language, stroke it in places that it likes, and stop stroking it long before it reaches its peak of tolerance, then you have very good chances to change your cat’s behavior and prevent aggression caused by affection.