However, as with most symptoms of FCD, there are also many alternative reasons for increased nighttime activity. In addition to the painful nature of cat bites and scratches, they can also transmit diseases such as cat scratch fever or serious bacterial infection. Cats fight may be caused by various reasons ranging from the favorite resting spot, territory to even the amount of attention they get from you. Building Trust 1 Give the cat some space. A terrified cat will respond with body language that’s obvious to an … Pod-cat aggression occurs when one cat has been out of the house, whether to the veterinarian, groomer, or other destination, and when he returns home, the other cat(s) act aggressively toward him. You may not fully understand what’s causing the fear or stress. Hemera Technologies/ Images. There are also some tips on how you can curb aggressive feline behaviours. Get $10 off your next bag when you join our email list.Get your pet on the list for offers, info & more. Looking out the window and seeing another cat walking around outside could trigger aggression. Changes in appetite. If your furry friend is not spayed, it's possible she's either pregnant or in heat, both of which can lead to sudden bouts of hormonal, aggressive behavior. Any type of aggression in cats can be dangerous to you or other pets. Dealing With Aggressive Behavior in Your Cat -- Why On Earth Does My Cat Bite & Scratch So! Aggression is not a diagnosis but a consequence of an emotional state, so, once it has been established as a problem for the owner, each individual case needs to be assessed by taking a thorough history of the cat, its environment, how the problem first started and how it has progressed. Get $10 off your next bag when you join our email list, Get your pet on the list for offers, info & more. Cats aren’t afraid to use aggression to protect their territory. Pain or a health problem can lead to sudden behavior changes. Arthritis, dental disease, trauma, and infections are just some of the conditions that can cause pain and subsequent aggression when a cat is touched, or thinks he or she might be touched, in a painful area. Sudden aggression between cats within their own household is a common problem after one of the cats has been away from the home environment. For example, when an indoor kitty can’t get to that other cat, bird or squirrel on the other side of the window, she has no outlet for her pent up energy and turns her anger on another pet inside the home or on an unsuspecting owner. Not only that, … The fearful cat may initially attempt to avoid the fear stimulus if that is an option. Trauma to your kitty can lead to broken bones or other bruises which cause him pain, and thus lead to a growl or bite when you touch him in a tender spot. They change roles frequently. A lost appetite can be a very clear sign that something is wrong. While it's important to make sure the cat is stimulated by … You are also likely to witness this type of sudden aggression in mother cats who protect their litters from any sort of perceived threat. Some of these conditions are treatable by your vet, while others may not be, such as rabies, which is very dangerous and communicable to people. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Female cats can be just as territorial as males. Dr. Borns-Weil explained that it is unnatural for cats to simply … Cat aggression is truly no laughing ma… Pupil dilation is common. Mothers who have recently given birth to kittens may be protective of them and slightly aggressive toward you or other pets as well. POD-CAT AGGRESSION. Many times your kitty may redirect his aggression toward you or another pet after being spooked by something as simple as seeing another feline outdoors. Keep in mind that a number of medical conditions can cause or contribute to your cats aggression, including toxoplasmosis, hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, abscesses, arthritis, dental disease, rabies, trauma, and sensory decline or cognitive dysfunction in older cats. Common stimuli that trigger redirected aggression include loud noises, seeing an outdoor or stray cat through a window, or an altercation with another cat in the house. Pain can make the cat very irritable and vocal or can also cause depression and hiding behavior. Getting to the Vet. Spraying m… Even a cat used to others can r… Reduce competition between the cats by providing multiple, identical food bowls, beds and litter boxes in different areas of your house. A cat’s sleep-wake cycle can be impaired by FCD. Your Cat Stops Using the Litter Box. Anytime a friendly, gentle kitty displays aggression, it’s time for a visit with the vet. Pain is the most sudden medical cause for sudden aggression, particularly in older cats or those who have always had a calm temperament. Cats are naturally stoic animals and do not show pain outwardly. Interrupt aggression with a loud clap of your hands or spray from a water gun. Cats who are poorly socialized when young also might display territorial behavior when a new cat enters the household. Provide additional perches. By clicking submit, I authorize Canidae to send me future messages, offers and coupons and acknowledge that Canidae’s privacy policy will govern use of my personal data. They will quickly learn when it's meal time if … Pain. Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. If your feline friend suddenly turns into a hissing, scratching, growling spitfire, there is a reason for this change in behavior. When a cat is excited by a stimulus but cannot respond directly, the cat may redirect his aggression toward a human or another cat. Cats seem friendly, and even beg for attention, then furiously attack when the owner attempts to pet them. When two cats in the household who have gotten along well togeth er suddenly become aggressive toward each other, the problem is generally fear-induced aggression. Unfortunately, aggression is not uncommon in felines; in fact, its the second most common reason for a visit to a behaviorist. Do Cats Feel Sad Over Another Cat Dying?→, Do Quaker Parakeets Need a Bird Companion?→. Spay or neuter your furry friend if he's not already. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. 4. The size of that turf can range from a neighborhood, block, or yard to a home or a single room, she notes. (Offer valid in the USA only.). He/she may try to flee or attack, depending on the circumstances. Cats stalk, chase, sneak, pounce, swat, kick, scratch, ambush, attack and bite each otherall in good fun. Because we are not privy to cats’ thoughts and feelings, it’s not always possible to know what’s causing aggressive behavior. Fear aggression may be exhibited in a combination of offensive and defensive responses. Seizures, low or high thyroid levels, anxiety, and chronic illnesses can cause sudden aggression in dogs to happen, so always see a veterinarian first. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. Aggression is defined as the intention to intimidate or dominate, and is a common feline behavioral issue. Looking out a window: a common cause of redirected aggression. Territorial aggression occurs when a cat feels that his territory has been invaded by an intruder. Neuter the cats. Read on to learn why a normally docile cat might suddenly become aggressive, and what you can do to help an angry kitty. If theyre playing, its reciprocal. Common causes of pain include dental disease, abdominal pain, arthritis, soft tissue injuries or infections. Understand why and how to help keep peace in your 4-legged family! Aggression while playing. We’ll email your coupon today. The first step in resolving your cats aggression problem is to have a complete veterinary exam to assess his physical health. These are just a few of the reasons why a happy-go-lucky kitty can suddenly become aggressive. Other potential triggers are the addition of a new cat or dog in the home, an unfamiliar person in the home, or a move. 2. Cats are creatures of habit. Their ears are typically forward in play, their claws may be out but they dont cause damage, and their bodies lean forward not back. It can certainly be confusing when a cat suddenly turns her rage on the people who love her. Painful conditions like dental disease, arthritis and dementia are also possible causes of aggression and increased irritability, especially in elderly felines. It’s also possible she heard a noise or caught a scent that caused her to be on edge. Hyperthyroidism, epilepsy and parasitic infections are all medical conditions that can result in sudden behavioral changes like aggression, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Your cat could also be reacting to other pets in the home or even an atmosphere where people don’t get along and are fighting. Cats are stoic and try to hide pain or sickness. Ingrid Johnson on May 17, 2014. Sudden aggression in cats is a scary and frustrating problem for many owners, who fear the unpredictable nature of the kitty fury as well as the physical damage he or she can cause in the throes of an attack. Causes of cat aggression. However, there’s always a reason and the challenge is to figure out what’s upsetting the cat. 3. Sudden aggression can also be caused by neurological issues, cognitive decline, and loss of smell, hearing or sight. Sometimes a cat becomes territorial when you give attention to another household pet, and will suddenly attack you or the other pet. For instance, cats who sleep more during the day can become more restless and active at night. She may also recommend a psychological medication to alter your furry buddy's foul mood in some cases. Behavioral signs: Inexplicable aggression is the second pattern of behavior. By continuing to browse, you agree to our use of cookies. Just to be on the safe side, have your cat examined by the veterinarian because the sudden aggression may be the result of pain. When you don’t notice the signals and carry on with the petting, lashing out is the cat’s last resort to get you to stop. Your cat might be terrified and will fight to protect her turf and you when this threat (albeit a puffball one) nears. Find a Professional Dog Trainer. Changes in smells make that cat seem like a threat once he or she comes home. Aggression is a form of communication and is not necessarily bad as long as the cats are simply listening to each other’s communication, and are not fighting with … It can occur if your cat becomes overstimulated and the pleasant sensation of being petted turns to irritation. Fear Can Cause Cat Aggression. Neither of the cats seeks the other out, but if they run into each other, both will act startled and attack. Aggression can be scary – not only for the victim but also for the one displaying the behavior.Since cats prefer to avoid confrontation, engaging in an aggressive encounter usually means they feel backed into a corner. The best way to determine if something could be bothering your kitty is to visit the vet so she can properly diagnose your furry friend through a physical exam, blood tests and any other necessary diagnostic tests she deems necessary, such as X-rays. To learn more, please refer to our Privacy Policy. Separate other pets from your kitty if he's been aggressive toward them and slowly reintroduce them to each other using treats as a reward for non-aggressive behavior. Several medical conditions can cause your usually mellow little one to suddenly become aggressive. Unfortunately, an aggressive cat is at risk for being surrendered to a shelter or abandoned outside by a frustrated owner. If changes to your kitty's environment don't seem to make any difference in your little one's bad attitude, you may need to consult with a certified animal behaviorist. Some of the most common causes of fear or stress in the life of a cat include new pets in the home, too many pets in the home, sudden movements, sneaking up on them, loud noises, harsh treatment or unfair punishment, being put in a cat carrier, riding in a vehicle, lack of resources (food, water, toys, scratching post), a change in routine or no routine at all. This peaceful scene could soon turn violent, with your cat suddenly attacking the dog! Nonetheless, a cat may become aggressive if she feels threatened, instinctively lashing out to protect herself. Fearful cats will typically hiss, spit, growl, pilo-erect (fur stands up), flatten their ears against the head and show a low or crouched body position. A feline could be showing aggression to protect an injury or keep a tender area from being touched. Anytime a friendly, gentle kitty displays aggression, it’s time for a visit with the vet. Redirected Aggression in Cats: Recognition and Treatment Strategies. Maternal Aggression Its common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. Vet Visit for Your Cat. 1. She can give you tips on how to adjust your furry friend's behavior and can work with him one-on-one. I also acknowledge that I can unsubscribe from these messages at any time. Once properly diagnosed, your vet will give you medication to treat your kitty's condition or ease his pain, hopefully alleviating his aggression. In addition, aggression is a complicated subject that behavior experts are still learning about. 11-15-2010, 11:43 AM Redirected aggression is one of the more common, unpredictable causes of sudden hostility in cats. When cat food turns your snuggle kitty into an attack cat, she may suffer from food aggression, a relatively uncommon type of cat aggression. Never let the cats “fight it out.” Cats don’t resolve their issues through fighting, and the fighting usually just gets worse. A kitty's aggression, although appearing to come out of the blue, is never really … Many medical conditions can cause sudden aggression and irritation in kitties, as can simply the pain of an injury or illness itself. Many multi-cat families report that when one feline goes to the vet while the other stays at home, redirected aggression can occur against the cat who comes back smelling like that “evil place.”. After all, cats have to be fed. Once medical issues have been completely ruled out by your veterinarian, it’s time to … Use synthetic pheromone diffusers or sprays around your home to naturally calm your kitty, making him mellower and less prone to aggression. Cats are … But how can you avoid mealtime triggers? Rule out medical causes first, especially with a senior cat. For rescued cats, what triggers an aggressive reaction could be related to a bad experience as a stray on the street, or adjusting to life in a shelter. This is a confusing type of aggression that happens when you are calmly stroking your cat and she suddenly turns on you, grabbing your hand with her front claws while trying to shred your skin with her back claws and teeth. Any sudden change in a cat's personality like unusual aggression warrants a trip to the vet. A kitty's aggression, although appearing to come out of the blue, is never really without a reason. Animals don’t do things without a reason, and cats are no exception. Here are five steps for identifying and correcting petting-induced aggression: 1. In this case there are chances of cats, particularly those that are younger … While cats are generally solitary critters, they are still sociable and capable of forming close bonds with the people they love. Aggression in cats is usually motivated by, or related to: Separate their resources. Redirected aggression is one of the most common forms of aggression among cats living in the same household and can be a challenging problem to resolve. Intact (not neutered) male cats will fight over territory during mating season, but both male and female cats may defend their turf against a cat who is an interloper, Nelson says. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. In other to get the cats back together, you need to seek out those things that trigger aggression and make a necessary plan to eliminate them. Changes in Eating Behavior. The first thing you should do is schedule a check up with your vet to make sure there isn’t a medical reason for the aggressive behavior. This is when a kitty becomes hyper-excited, irritated or stressed out by a stimulus that is outside of their reach. Pain can cause a cat discomfort, which can lead to aggression to prevent scenarios that may trigger, prolong, or escalate pain. Depending on where your cat spends his time, he may view your whole neighborhood as his territory. The main causes of sudden feline behavior may be linked to aging, a health problem or a change in the cat’s environment that causes stress. To find out more about the causes and signs of cat aggression and why your cat is suddenly aggressive towards your dog then keep reading! An outside party may also be able to see something in your kitty's environment that you are missing, which could be spurring his aggressive behavior. If none is found, the next step is to talk to an animal behaviorist who can help you get to the bottom of your kitty’s aggression. Tree House Humane Society: Changing Your Cat’s Behavior, Cats International: Re-Directed Aggression Towards Other Cats, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Aggression in Cats, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Hyperthyroidism in the Cat, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Neurological Disorders. When a cat reaches sexual maturity, hormones can lead to suddenly aggressive behavior in a previously playful kitten. Usually this problem begins “by mistake” or by accident. It might seem like it came out of the blue for no reason, but your cat was actually giving you signs that she wanted the petting session to end, such as flattened or turned back ears, dilated pupils, stiffening of the body, growling and tail thumping. Painful Medical Conditions. Aggression is usually the last resort but it is often violent and over time may become learnt. Certain neurological conditions or bacterial and viral infections can affect your kitty's brain functions, leading to unpredictable, sudden bouts of aggression. Intact males are particularly prone to aggressive behavior. Cats that are in pain or not feeling well often resort to aggression in an … We’ll email your coupon today.*. Sensory changes, such as eyesight or hearing loss, can affect your cat’s depth of sleep. If your formerly cuddly lap kitty has recently transformed into a ferocious feline with seemingly no explanation, something is most likely amiss with his health. It can be more severe than petting aggression where the cat initially tolerates attention but … Signs like hiding, decreased appetite, unusual behavior, or hesitation when jumping or moving may be signs of pain in cats. Close your blinds or curtains, especially on the windows your kitty likes to hang out by. If your furry friend has received a clean bill of health from your vet, something in his environment could be behind his sudden aggression. Cats are very territorial, much more so than dogs. My theory is that, while cats rely primarily on vision to identify other cats, smell also plays a big role.