Ever been sitting with your cat, enjoying what you thought was some great bonding time, and suddenly he scratches and bites you? This is an aspect of cat behavior many of us have a hard time understanding. This aggression can be caused by many things including illness and overstimulation.
There are several signs a cat is becoming potentially aggressive. If you observe any of these with your cat, do not attempt to interact with him until he calms down. Signs of feline aggression include:
- Enlarged pupils
- Flattened ears
- Tail lashing rapidly
The July 2013 issue of Catnip magazine offers these tips to avoid feline aggression:
- Avoid contact with cats you don’t know, especially if they’re feral. They will usually avoid you, but if they feel cornered or threatened, they may lash out at you.
- Closely supervise interactions between your children and cats. If you notice the cat becoming overstimulated (ears back, tail thumping), or your child behaving inappropriately around the cat, step in to separate them to avoid potential attacks.
- Don’t try to break up a cat fight by picking up one of the cats. Toss a blanket over one of the cats, throw water or a pillow at them to break up the fight. If the fight is outdoors, turn the hose on them.
- When taking your cat to the vet, be sure the carrier is a sturdy one designed for cats.
Cat behavior can be puzzling, but if you know how to read the signs your cat is giving you, it will go a long way in preventing a nasty scratch or bite.