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5. CAT AGGRESSION

Aggression is a natural & instinctive pattern of animal behaviour.

If your cat has suddenly begun to behave aggressively, it is important 1st to rule out pain redirection & health problems with a veterinary check

To undestand aggressive cat behaviour - it is important to understand something of the Feline-human differences & similarities, before trying to recognise a cause and look for a solution.

We are mammals & we become irritated & angered from time to time, when the elements within our daily lives do not meet our needs or expectations. We can socialise, participate in sports & find ways of releasing our angst. It is socially acceptable for us to feel negative emotions through competition & games which are often based on conflict. The film industry revolves around on-screen violence.

Cats are not as complex as people but they are still emotional beings, they too need to vent or express their feelings in some way. Often this venting happens unnoticed outside in our gardens, when they are playing at hunting or fighting. If the result of this is the capture of a bird or a rodent it is unfortunate & can be avoidable.

A cat must not be punished for behaving as comes naturally, they should instead be given a means to exorcise any frustrations in a more acceptable manner. Unwanted behaviour should only reap minor disappointments (e.g. by people walking away or ignoring it) Positive behaviour should receive pleasurable results to reinforce it.

Cats are often misunderstood which is something that would irritate us in any group environment. They too need to vent their frustrations & just like us if they bottle these up, emotions can bubble over or erupt. 

Learning to understand via their body language when they want to be left alone, or when they need something is the swiftest step towards harmony. 

Providing them with a regular vent in the form of toys & games (preferably that they may safely play on their own so you do not become their main source of entertainment) can satisfy pent up anxieties, hunting instincts & provide necessary energy release & exorcise. For ways of stimulating your cat see Fun & Games with your cat. Having spent their energy positively, they may appear satisfied or even grateful & prefer a contented nap to hunting & causing mischief.

10 minutes of constructive play a day, can help to shoo a cats temper away
Cats are simple creatures, try to imagine things from their perspective but remember, they don't have the mental capacity to see things from ours.

If your cat is in the habit of behaving badly, there are things you can do but don't expect them to change over night. 

If you want to calm an overactive/stimulated cat, maintain a calm environment. The use of scent can be invaluable and products such as "Feliway" diffusers are available from your vets. Especially engineered sounds can also greatly help, "Relax with cats" has been created with no sudden noises & gentle purring to soothe cats & humans alike.

If problems are not addressed here or if they persist, it may be advisable to contact a behaviorist such as : Vicky Halls
Plain old string tied to a (fishing style) rod can work wonders

Plain old string tied to a (fishing style) rod can work wonders

String tied to the end of a stick gives you control over the fun end & keeps hands at a comfortable distance from claws

String tied to the end of a stick gives you control over the fun end & keeps hands at a comfortable distance from claws

Aggression being taken out on a toy tied to string

Aggression being taken out on a toy tied to string

String games are good exorcise

String games are good exorcise

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