Aggressiveness in cats is a natural defense mechanism that helps them stay away from others. The problem arises when the cat also attacks. His previous behavior warns us: he growls, stares at us, lifts his body, ears and tail, his fur bristles and his pupils’ contract. When this happens, it is advisable to leave the cat for a while until the cat calms down and consult with your veterinarian to determine if this behavior is physical in origin or, if not, if the cat’s aggressiveness can be helped through behavior modification or medication.

In some cases, a disease such as hypothyroidism can cause aggressiveness. Similarly, muscle and bone pain, such as arthritis, can also cause your cat to rebel when you approach pet it. Cats may display aggressive behavior if they are overstimulated, such as when being bathed or petted too much.

Help your cat feel better

 In addition to following prescribed treatment, there are additional things you can do to help your cat.  Follow these tips:

  • Find your cat a place to be alone and quiet. A kitty condo, even a closed box lined with a soft blanket or towel with an entry cut into it can provide a safe and secure environment for your cat.
  • Praising your cat’s good behavior and rewarding with treats can be encouraging.
  • Play with your cat if he wants to get close – that’s a good sign!  If he touches you and wants to play, get his favorite interactive toy and play.
  • Get him used to interacting with other pets. On some occasions, the aggressiveness is due to your cat having trouble relating to other animals in the home. Be patient and never force the cat to interact with other animals.  Time will tell if this antisocial behavior can be corrected or, as sometimes is the case, you just have a cat who prefers his solitude, in which case just accept that this is the way he is and love him as he is or, if this doesn’t work for you, consider giving him to a loving person or family where he will be the only pet.