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Cats who bite, scratch, hiss, spit, and pounce may be considered aggressive. Cat bites are seldom reported, but probably occur more frequently than dog bites. It is important to have your cat evaluated by a professional to determine the cause of the aggression. Start by visiting a veterinarian with a list of the cat’s aggressive behavior and when these behaviors happen. Keeping a record of any kind of aggressive behavior and what was going on around the cat at the time is very helpful.

There are many reasons for aggression in cats, and therefore it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. There may be many causes influencing your cat’s behavior.

Types of aggression include:

Play-motivated aggression toward people:
this cat is usually a young cat who is using normal play behaviors, which resemble predatory behaviors, on people instead of toys. Most play aggression can be successfully redirected to appropriate targets, however, it may still result in injury.

Irritable aggression toward people: this cat can only tolerate short sessions of touching and may bite suddenly to indicate he is “finished being touched.”

Fearful or defensive aggression: this cat may be fearful of people and/or new situations. If he feels he cannot escape the situation, his fearfulness, although it may be unfounded from our point of view, may cause him to defend himself.

Redirected aggression: this cat cannot take out his aggression on the true cause of his aggression because of some obstacle. Instead, he takes it out on the first available person or animal.

Territorial Aggression:
this cat feels that his territory has been invaded by an intruder.

Inter-male Aggression: these cats are normally adult males who threaten and sometimes fight with other males. These behaviors can occur as sexual challenges over a female, or to achieve a relatively high position in the cats’ loosely organized social dominance hierarchy.


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