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.. Redirected aggression

If something bothers a cat that it cannot rectify, it may redirect its aggression towards something close by.

Be aware that if your cat has suddenly begun to behave out of character, it could be in repeated discomfort or pain. The first course of action is to rule out any health problems & see a veterinary.

Human beings display exactly the same sort of behaviour when frustrated. Reactionary outbursts vary in degree, depending on the personality. Having kicked a toe or pinching a finger in a door we might momentarilly lash out an inanimate object or curse loudly.

It is just the same with some cats if they become suddenly angered, giving them something to take it out on can help greatly.

When receiving too much of our attention cats can feel uncomfortable & become irritable. Try not to concentrate our anxieties onto them, lots of eyes in their direction or staring feels threatening to some cats & they may react with defensive aggression.

Use Re-directed aggression to your advantage when a cat becomes cross- small fluffy toys can make very useful feline punch bags & distractions. 

A little play each day, can help to shoo a cats frustrations away
Particular (duplicate) toys can be left laying around conveniently to be given to a short tempered cat, when it becomes noticably cross (with perhaps a little nudge of encouragement & praise when they positively vent their aggression towards the toy). He/she should soon learn to locate those punch bags by themselves (providing they are at hand), & know it is acceptable to bunny kick one when frustrated.

Cats cant explain the problem, and often the cause this sort of behaviour is un-known to us.

It may be a noxious fume drifting by from a shoe or a cycle tire that we cannot detect, a message perhaps from an unknown tomcat that has left a scent. It could have been a very uncomfortable noise, that was beyond our audible range.

The cat might re-direct its irritation towards another family member, another cat (see breaking up a catfight) or someones leg if it happens to be passing by a little too cose.

If something like that does happen, stop and stay calm so as not to aggrivate the situation, back away if you have to. These sort of events can be startling incidents, but they are little more than that. The confusion will pass and normal routine should resume.

It is unlikely that any damage will actually be done, usually the materiel of clothing acts suitably as armour. There could be a slight scratch if you are unlucky, but your cat will not have done it with intent.

It is important "not!" to scold them.

 

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.

 

The behaviour could simply worsen with punishment as they could easily misinterpret it as aggression, they may then begin to defend themselves.

Instead emit an "Ow!" & sound hurt not angry, then walk away leaving them alone to think it over.

A cats mood can resemble a mirror, their behaviour will reflect the situations that they encounter as they understand them. If they believe they are on the receiving end of aggression, they may reflect it back at the source in defence or defiance. Being solitary animals and not troop animals, if they are confronted with angry outbursts they will not want to sedate the situation - they will fight, or they will flee.

However, they are social animals and they would prefer to live in harmony with us, they do not wish to upset and repel their friends.

Miscommunication & misunderstanding are almost always at the root of problems.

Beaker was orphaned at only a week or so of age, he was given a soft toy littermate for company

Beaker was orphaned at only a week or so of age, he was given a soft toy littermate for company

Beaker became attached to his littermate - Chewy, who would become a lifelong companion to him.

Beaker became attached to his littermate - Chewy, who would become a lifelong companion to him.

Chewy was carried around, chewed on, sucked & beaten up if Beaker was annoyed

Chewy was carried around, chewed on, sucked & beaten up if Beaker was annoyed

Probably because of his orphaning beaker could be bad tempered. Chewy turned out to be an ideal distraction & punchbag for him when he felt angry

Probably because of his orphaning beaker could be bad tempered. Chewy turned out to be an ideal distraction & punchbag for him when he felt angry

Chewy helps Beaker to deal with his temper & his human keepers to live with him in harmony

Chewy helps Beaker to deal with his temper & his human keepers to live with him in harmony

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