How to Calm an Aggressive Cat

Rhazia Fazal

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If you have ever been scratched by your cat, then you know full well that cat scratches are painful. Some cats learn to deal aggressively with their owners early on, which can be a hard habit to break your cat of once he is used to digging his claws into your lap and drawing blood. What can you do to cope with an aggressive cat?

Eliminate Rough Play

Cats love to engage in rough play and will usually become quite rambunctious during rough play with their owners. Some cat owners are actually responsible for the way their cats behave by allowing their cat to scratch their hands or bite them during rough play.

Do not allow your cats to grip your hands or legs with its claws during play, as he will think that it is perfectly acceptable to have you in a grip that will just draw blood if you try to pull away. Each time your cat takes hold of your hand, foot, leg or another part of your body, offer a firm, consistent “no” so that your cat knows that it is time to let go.

Rule Out a Medical Cause for the Aggression

If your cat suddenly starts to attack you for no apparent reason and makes a habit of scratching you when you are not engaged in play, you should take your cat along to see the veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical cause for the aggression.

If the cat has been given a clean bill of health, take a good look at your cat’s environment to see if you can work out why your cat has turned aggressive. Have you recently moved? Are your cat’s toys, food and water bowls in a different location? Cats are very sensitive to change and will sometimes act out by displaying aggression toward their owners. Try to pinpoint the root cause of the aggression and then spend extra time reassuring and comforting your cat.

Use Up Extra Energy

Cats (particularly kittens) are prone to aggression when they need to use up extra pent-up energy. If your cat regularly grabs hold of your ankles as you walk past, the cat is probably trying to burn extra energy. Remember that cats love to hunt, even if the “prey” happens to be your ankle. Help your aggressive cat by spending some time each day engaging him in active play. String, wool, balls, and toy mice provide hours of entertainment for energetic cats. Some cats can even be taught how to play fetch.

An aggressive cat can be a cause for alarm, but there are ways to overcome the problem. Start by eliminating rough play, so that your cat knows it is inappropriate to dig its claws into you or to bite. Next, it is important to rule out an underlying medical condition. Finally, take the time to engage your cat in active play each day to help burn off any extra energy.