Causes of Aggressive Cat Behavior

While most cats are normally lovable and easy going, you may, on occasion, run across a cat that is aggressive or hostile. Your own cat may also have a sudden change in temperament, which might make you wonder if there is a cause of aggressive cat behavior. Watching your cuddly feline go from loving to angry almost instantaneously can be scary and unsettling. Aggressive cats can be this way for a variety of reasons; they can be hurt, sick or just plain territorial. There can also be a swing in temperament that can occur after a medical procedure or major surgery. Some cats can become aggressive after exposure to toxic substances. They may react poorly to loud noises, new people, sudden movements or even less stimulation. Dealing with an aggressive cat can be dangerous, so use caution and be alert while in the presence of these types of animals, as they can be very unpredictable.

Learn how to recognize the signs of aggression in felines. People can often get injured by an aggressive cat when they do not understand the cat's body language and signals. Often, their ears will be flattened against their head ("angry ears") and their tail will swish from side to side. Body posture is also important; the cat may display a lower body posture than normal to either minimize themselves or to get ready to strike. On the other hand, some cats may face you sideways in an attempt to make themselves appear larger and more threatening. Hissing, growling and spitting are obvious signs of feline aggression and must be taken seriously.

Keep in mind that an aggressive cat is a dangerous one. They are completely unpredictable, and can do just about anything that they feel is necessary to protect themselves or their space. Do not think that because the cat has stopped hissing that it is any less dangerous. Proceed with caution in order to ensure your personal safety.

Avoid cornering the cat at all costs, even if you think that the cat will allow you to pick it up. If the cat feels threatened, their only options will be to fight or flight, and if there's nowhere to run, you know what they will decide to do. Avoid making direct eye contact with the cat; keep your gaze just to the side of the cat's eyes so that the cat doesn't feel as though you are challenging it to a fight.

Speak slowly and calmly, and avoid making any sudden movements that might alarm the cat or cause it to feel even more threatened. Without turning your back to the cat, back away from the cat at your earliest convenience speaking slowly and soothingly to the cat, and allow it to leave when it's ready to do so.