Cat aggression can sometimes be due to upset or fear and not real aggression at all.
Many owners have come to me asking why their loving cat has suddenly started to hiss and act aggressively towards them, or another family pet that they previously got on with just fine.
The answer is not always apparent at first, but in most cases it is due to some sort of upset which has made them feel afraid and the normal reaction to fear for a cat is to attack.
Quick guide to this page:
Possible causes of sudden fear
Aggression Trauma - What is it?
Treating the symptoms of this sudden aggression
Cat aggression can be triggered by all sorts of things that may trigger a response of fear and sometimes our feline companions can become hyper-sensitive to all sorts of frights and surprises (occasionally it can help to use a mild calming medicine or herbal supplement such as Feline Matricalm to help sooth our kitty down until they learn that there is nothing to be afraid of).
The trick is to find out what the cause of their fear could be and if possible to try and stop it from happening again. Or at the very least to be able to recognise the causes of your cat’s aggression next time.
Some possible causes are:
This is just a short list of some of the possible causes of cat aggression but there could be many more which we may simply not notice.
The thing about aggression trauma is that it can trigger a very strange response from cats. For instance they may suddenly attack your other pet just because they have been frightened by a loud noise. The cause of the fear was not the other animal, but they seem to get blamed for it. This is a normal response and is one of the main reasons why owners become confused when this cat aggression occurs.
We notice this behaviour ourselves when our Byron is scared of something outside. Our other cat, poor Shelley, gets hissed and scratched at by Byron even though Shelley has done nothing wrong himself.
Cats don’t rationalise things in their minds, all they know is that they feel afraid and (often like some humans) will lash out at the nearest thing. Once this has happened, the association of fear and the object of attack are fixed and this aggressive cat behaviour can continue long after the initial fear has gone.
The risk is that it becomes an ingrained habit and an ongoing behaviour problem.
Feline Matricalm is a gentle herbal supplement formulated by veterinarians that can help calm and relax our pet.
It can help them feel more at ease while we work to rebuild their trust and confidence, until they have learned that they do not need to feel afraid.
So what can we do to help our cats get over their fear and to help them return to normal happy relationships with other pets and people? Discipline is not the answer, instead we need to help rebuild our cats confidence once again.
Over the years I have seen this cat aggression happen many times and in all cases the only thing which seems to work is a period of re-introduction with other animals in the home and bonding techniques with humans. This is not a quick fix and does take some time and effort, but in the long run it really is worth it for a happy home.
The re-introduction process is the same technique for introducing new pets to each other and should be carried out over a period of a week depending on your cat’s response.
You need to:
This process may seem a little long, but when cat aggression caused by fear takes hold and if it is not dealt with correctly in this way, it can lead to having very unhappy cats which never fully relax with each other again.
Find out more about how Feline Matricalm can help calm and soothe your frightened or traumatised pet, allowing you to work on rebuilding their confidence and trust until they are once again a naturally relaxed and happy cat!
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