How to Deal With a Mean Cat

Tess Thompson



Most people bring home a cat or a kitten expecting a friendly cat that will become a companion and lie cozily in the lap. It is unlikely that a cat will be confident enough to adjust easily to a new home and people. However, apart from the initial short period that the cat may take to get used to a new environment, most cats adjust easily in new homes. On the other hand, some cats remain fearful of the new surroundings despite patient efforts of the cat owner. Such situation may be the start of a problem. If the fearful and anxious situation continues you can be sure that you have landed yourself with a stressed and unhappy cat.

A fearful or defensive cat is likely to resort to aggressive behavior like fighting, biting and scratching. Understanding cat behavior is critical to handle an aggressive cat or to stop cat biting behavior. Unlike treating aggressive dog behavior, which requires re-training, handling a mean cat may require a little bit more than that. However, before you try anything it is recommended that you take precautionary measures and trim the cat’s claws. Trimming the claws should actually be a regular practice since the feral wild traits can manifest anytime.

It is normal for owners to confuse playful aggression of cats with typical aggression. Cats need to play aggressively to spruce up their survival instincts. Play activities of cats include cautious, exploratory and investigative behaviors. This may appear as aggressive behavior to owners who have other expectations from their cat. Play that looks like aggression may be initiated by the owner or the cat himself. Do not use your hands and feet as toys for the cat.

Do not play rough games with him nor indulge in any physical punishment. Cats are not likely to understand the association of the punishment with an act that they have done. On the contrary, they are likely to associate it with the individual who metes out the punishment. Try to divert the cat’s attention and offer toys so that he can play in a manner that is acceptable to you.

Although domesticated cats have all their food available at home, they are prone to practice hunting skills. For some inexplicable reason cats get fed up with petting very quickly. Watch out for signals that resemble predatory behavior and stop the moment you see shifting eyes, pulled back ears and a twitching tail.

Maternal dog aggression seems soft when compared to the maternal aggression of cats. Cats are very protective mothers and therefore it is best never to disturb a cat when she is with her kittens. Such aggression usually dies as the kittens grow up.

Cats are instinctive hunters. If you have small pocket pets at home, keep them out of reach of the cat. A cat may play with a pet canary is equally capable of eating it at a later date. Also, cats are expert predators like tigers and should not be let outside alone. They are likely to like the predatory killing if they get a flavor of it once.

Both cats and dogs need a significant amount of socializing while they are young. Cat and dog biting is common among pets that have been weaned away early in life. It does not provide them with enough opportunities to learn to control their aggression. If you have brought a kitten that has not had enough time with siblings, gradual introduction to other cats will slowly but surely teach him that aggression is not acceptable.

References:
http://cats.about.com/cs/behavioralissues/a/bite_scrat_2.htm http://www.messybeast.com/nervous.htm http://www.nomorehomelesspets.org/behavior/cat/aggression_people.htm http://www.2ndchance.info/aggressivecat.htm http://www.moggies.co.uk/html/aggcat_people.html
http://www.best-cat-art.com/cat-psychology.html

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