Pet Articles

Aggressive Cats

Aggressive Cats

Tim Cuthbertson has a long scratch down his arm, now nearly healed. It’s the latest reminder of his cat’s favorite game—wrestling.

“Once a day, he’ll come up and bite me on the arm,” Mr. Cuthbertson said. “The only time it’s really annoying is when he’ll do it when I’m trying to sleep. He’ll come up and bite me on the face.”

Cat aggression falls into several categories: play aggression, defensive aggression, misdirected aggression, and territorial status aggression.

Aggression toward people is a problem most commonly associated with dogs, but cat owners also deal with this issue. Though it’s not one of the top 10 reasons for turning cats over to shelters, it plays a significant role in the number of cats turned over for behavioral reasons. A 2000 study of 12 shelters by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, found that about 14 percent of owners turning in their cats for behavioral reasons only listed aggression toward people as the basis, with about 9 percent citing biting. The numbers dropped only slightly, to about 11 and 8 percent, respectively, for mixed behavioral and non-behavioral reasons.

Dog bites are a community problem, affecting a larger group of people, while cat attacks tend to be a personal problem, affecting only the owner, said Dr. Kerry Muhovich, animal behavior education coordinator for the Dumb Friends League.

But cat bites can be the more dangerous injury—cats’ saliva can contain particularly harmful bacteria and can cause serious infections. “I might not think of seeing a doctor for a dog bite, but I can’t think of any cat bite I wouldn’t think of seeing a doctor for,” Dr. Muhovich said. Cat scratches can also transmit bacteria.

Cat aggression falls into several categories: play aggression, defensive aggression, misdirected aggression, and territorial status aggression.

Playing rough

If a cat begins scratching or biting out of the blue, with no previous indication of violent behavior, the owner should bring it to a veterinarian. The cat may be engaging in pain aggression—acting up because of a medical problem or injury.

But the most common violent behavior is play aggression. The behavior usually occurs as a result of the owner’s actions. Owners find it nearly impossible to resist wrestling around with a tiny, playful kitten, behavior experts said.

They’ll put their hand on the kitten and roll it around as it bites and claws at them, or use their fingers or feet as toys, tapping them around, letting the kitten pounce on them.

“The kitten loves it, because it’s like playing with another kitten,” said Betsy Lipscomb, president of Cats International. “Everyone is happy until the kitten starts to grow bigger, and suddenly it really hurts, and it starts to draw blood, and the owner thinks they have a vicious cat.”

One family called Cats International after their cat bit a sleeping child on the face. They’d take the cat to a shelter for quarantine, but they wanted to know if there was anything they could do to fix the behavior and bring it home.

During family time, watching television, the children would sit on the floor, wrap blankets around their arms and encourage the cat to play, Ms. Lipscomb discovered. The bored cat had obviously decided to wake one of the kids up for a romp session.

When Mr. Cuthbertson first took his kitten to the veterinarian, two years ago, the vet noticed the scratches down his arms. He asked if he was playing roughly with the cat, Beaujolais. Mr. Cuthbertson admitted it. The veterinarian warned him against it, but like many owners, he ignored the advice.

“We got the front claws removed, and he doesn’t do as much damage as he used to,” he said. But the cat expects 10 minutes of wrestling a day. When he signals for playtime with a nip, Mr. Cuthbertson, if he’s in the mood, will get down on the floor and let the cat pounce. “Ninety-nine percent of the time he’s totally gentle,” he said. “It seems to build strength in him—he’s an inside cat, and if he’s not doing that kind of thing he has nothing to do.”

But because of the dangers of cat bites and scratches, it’s best to end such playful attacks, behavior experts said. First, owners need to stop using hands and feet as playthings. Some people put on an oven mitt or puppet to play, Ms. Lipscomb said. That doesn’t make a difference—the cat still understands that it’s attacking you.

Instead, owners need to transfer all play activity to toys: soft toys they can throw, pole toys that put distance between the handler and the object of the attack. Cats are especially fond of pole toys, which resemble fishing poles and come with fluttering objects, like feathers, on the end of a long line. (Always supervise your cat while playing with pole toys.) Hands and feet need to be off-limit.

Becky Schultz, coordinator of the animal training and behavior programs for the Animal Humane Society, Golden Valley, Minn., recalled how her young sister would always have her feet attacked by the cat. If the cat likes to lie in wait for you as you round a corner, be sure that you have an ample supply of toys that you can toss to redirect the play activity, she said. If your child has a problem with cat attacks, let him or her wear a squirt gun on a string around the neck (assuming the kid is mature enough to use this device properly). A squirt of water can be an effective deterrent, and the kids usually love taking on that responsibility.

Other deterrents include shake cans, behavior experts said. But Ms. Lipscomb doesn’t recommend those, simply because you may not always have them with you. “It has to happen the moment the cat goes after you,” she said.

When a cat tries to attack, make a loud sound unlike anything that usually comes from your mouth, she said: “Your voice is something that you always have with you.”

Cats International recommends an “Eek!” noise, loud and shrill enough to startle the cat and make it back off. Follow that with a sharp “No!” and then ignore the cat for 10 minutes. Don’t look at it, talk to it, or touch it. “Often what it wanted when it attacked you was attention,” Ms. Lipscomb said.

Getting your pet a companion can also cut down on play aggression, since it suddenly has another animal to play with. Owners can help prevent play aggression by not removing the kittens from their litter before eight weeks at a minimum. While the kittens are with their littermates and mother, they wrestle among themselves, learning through corrections from the other animals not to attack too hard or too aggressively.

Stopping play aggression can occur fairly swiftly, sometimes within a week, if owners make the necessary changes, Ms. Lipscomb said. The family whose cat ended up in a shelter brought it home, and checking in a month later reported no problems. When she caught up with them again, two years later, the cat was still doing fine. “It’s just a matter of training people,” she said. “If you act like another cat, it’s going to treat you like another cat.”

On the defensive

Cats have a tendency to become overstimulated during an activity owners think should be very relaxing—petting. When this happens, they can lash out with teeth or claws. “Different cats have different levels,” Ms. Schultz said. “One cat you can pet twice and it’s had enough, others are at the other extreme, where they won’t let you stop petting them.”

Owners need to transfer all play activity to toys: soft toys they can throw, pole toys that put distance between the handler and the object of the attack.

It’s important for owners to figure out their animal’s tolerance level, and to watch for signs that the cat is growing tired of the stroking. Twitching tail, laid-back ears, a sudden pointed stare—all are indicators that the cat has grown tired of the attention. In those cases, the owner should just stop petting, stand up, and let the cat go.

It’s possible to increase your cat’s willingness to spend time with you, but that takes time and effort. Owners need to build up a tolerance for petting by giving the cat treats for good behavior. As long as the cat stays calm, it gets treats. Gradually, over the course of days, lengthen the time between treats. When the cat wants to get down from your lap, let it, and give it a good, long break before you try again, Dr. Muhovich said.

Cats can also engage in defensive aggression if they feel cornered, or if they encounter a smell—like the scent of a veterinary office—that disturbs them. Cats don’t necessarily have to have experienced a traumatic event to react badly, Dr. Muhovich said. A cat that dislikes men wasn’t necessarily abused by a man. “If it’s foreign to a cat’s experience, it’s a form of ‘better safe than sorry,’” she said. “If the character of the person is different than what it’s used to, it may just decide to play it safe.”

In those cases, it’s best to let the cat adjust gradually to the newness, using treats and play sessions to convince it of the harmlessness of the stranger. Don’t force the issue.

Other types of aggression

Redirected aggression occurs when a cat becomes disturbed by an event or object separate from the target of its attack. A cat might see another cat out the window, and lash out at its owner. The best way to deal with that type of aggression is to remove the object of the cat’s hostility—close the blinds.

Few cats fall into the territorial or status aggression category, at least toward people. Cats often vie for position among themselves, but it’s generally understood that the person providing the food shouldn’t be messed with.

But it happens. Breeds like the Siamese or Burmese seem particularly susceptible to this kind of aggression, Ms. Lipscomb said.

One woman called Ms. Schultz to say that her cat was a fine pet until it got angry—then it would chase and attack her. The woman could see by the cat’s body language that an attack was coming, and would grab it and hastily deposit it outside, where it would hop up and down, trying to open the door. The cat would also chase dogs and bikes.

A cat that’s being play aggressive won’t make any sounds. A truly hostile cat will growl or hiss as it advances.

Ms. Lipscomb’s daughter once baby-sat for a family with a hostile Siamese. The cat was sitting on top of the television, glaring at her as she tried to change the channel. When she accidentally touched the cat, it went after her. She grabbed a cushion off the couch to keep between her and the cat, and had to finally wake up the children to put the animal in the basement. When she mentioned the incident later to the owners, they said they’d been told as much by other babysitters, but hadn’t believed them.

Another cat wouldn’t let a caretaker get too close to her injured owner, Ms. Lipscomb recalled. The caretaker was patient enough to work with the cat until it grew accustomed to her presence, and the therapy could proceed. Cats can also guard their food, litter boxes, or sleeping areas.

Owners can tell the difference between real aggression and play aggression by listening to the cat’s vocalizations, Ms. Lipscomb said.

A cat that’s being play aggressive won’t make any sounds. A truly hostile cat will growl or hiss as it advances.

Status or territorial aggression will often need to be dealt with by a professional behaviorist who can assess the cat’s behavior, identify the triggers, and work at modifying them, behavior experts said. Behaviorists will use desensitization (repeated exposure to the trigger) and counter-conditioning (reinforcement that changes the perception of the trigger) to lessen the cat’s aggressive behavior. Some will teach commands to enforce the status of the owner, using rewards and clicker training.

Owners should never hit their cats to discourage aggression, behavior experts said. The cat doesn’t understand the correction, and striking it can make it fearful and more defensive than it was before.

Any kind of aggression needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, behavior experts said. Cats given to shelters because of behavior problems, according to the NCPPSP study, are usually relinquished one to two years after they’re obtained. “It erodes the relationship between the owner and the cat,” Ms. Schultz said. “The owner isn’t sure if its going to get bitten, the cat thinks it’s going to get smacked, so whenever they come together there’s a lot of tension.”

Reproduced by permission
Written by: Tracy Vogel, Staff Writer

144 Responses to this Article, So Far

  1. Avatar Mahitab Gamal says:

    my male cat is depressed lately for no reason at all..
    he doesn’t eat, litter, nor play as he used to..
    he becomes very aggressive whenever we touch him also..

    i’ve tried to change his routine by changing his food and changing where we place his litter box but that didn’t work..

    i am too worried and i don’t know what to do.
    thank you.

  2. Avatar Mahitab Gamal says:

    Thank you, will do!

  3. Avatar Barb says:

    Fighting cats. I have two female cats, one Siamese approx 8yrs. and the other is not pure-bred (for lack of the proper term) and is about 3 yrs., both are spayed, both stay indoors. They began fighting about two years ago and at times the fighting can be quite vicious, I think it is territorial and they probably could use some exercise where they are indoors. For more background, and I know this can be an issue for indoor cats, there has been on occasion a neighbourhood cat visit outside at the window downstairs.
    I am not always sure who initiates the fight. I think the younger one. Although I think the Siamese is very territorial over her people and she is the first to growl/hiss when the other comes around (upstairs). We spend a lot of time upstairs.
    To try to correct things I have kept separate litter boxes, separate locations for food, and initially after the first incident, I would keep one out and put one in the basement – the younger, then reverse keep the older one in the bedroom upstairs and let the other out. I did that for quite awhile and then gradually reintroduced them and that worked for a time. Then they started full out fighting again. Sometimes they get along, and actually sleep and play together and it is so wonderful to see, although that has not happened much lately.
    It is wearing me out. I don’t know what else to do, and am seriously considering giving the youngest away, or letting one of them outside.
    Can you offer any suggestions or solutions please!!
    Thank you,

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Sometimes aggression can happen when cats see OTHER cats through the window. then that aggression can get transferred to another cat in the house…..a stray cat at the window could indeed produce this reaction. If that is the case – use drapes or deny access to the window that’s causing the trouble.

      Good luck!

  4. Avatar Shay says:

    We’ve had an indoor cat for a good year and a half now, born from a previous cat we were looking after for a friend. We also have a golden retriever, and a havanese. When she was young, Edward (the retriever) used to chase her around the house for fun, but as she got larger Edward stopped. Sometimes Cowboy (the havanese) would yap at Edward for seemingly no reason when the cat was around, but the cat wouldn’t do anything- until recently.
    She’s been making growling noises at Edward when he enters any room she’s in, and recently she tried to attack him. Edward is, while somewhat rompy, the most harmless dog anyone could think of. We’re not getting rid of him over the cat, but we don’t want to get rid of the cat either. Her reasons for being hostile to the dog are completely unmerited, as Edward won’t even be doing anything to spark her aggression. Solutions? You know, without having to get rid of an animal?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Wow another interesting one. I wonder, has the dog’s smell changed in any significant way – sometimes that may trigger a reaction.

      I might try marking the dog with the cat’s scent by rubbing a towel or something that has the cat’s scent on it – on the dog.
      Cat’s scent (mark)their environment all the time, every day. It gives them comfort to smell their own smell.

      I’d also be really curious to know what other members of our pet forum would suggest so feel free to register for free and post it there as well.
      Good luck!

  5. Avatar Lana says:

    I’m currently keeping two cats separated. They’ve been together for 8 yrs. but we moved recently and something fell while I was out, resulting in me coming home to 2 cats who hated each other for a day. The fight seemed over until a few weeks later when one of them got underfoot and got her paw stepped on, causing her to yowl and run, with the other in hot pursuit. Since then they can’t be together, although I’d like to try it to see if I can control it. One is dominant, and though female, she postures as if she’s spraying (has always done this). The other is afraid of everything anyway and this now has seemed, with this latest fight, to make her fear aggressive, while the other is also aggressive acting. I worry that separating them is only aggravating their hatred of each other and want to know if I should let them fight while breaking it off when it looks too serious. I’ve practiced scruffing while hissing and hiss when they are in my arms if they growl at the other one. One can get aggressive with me, but then after a brief confinement, she is desperate for affection and reverts to that affectionate animal she can be. I don’t want this to be a permanent nightmare for me or for them and the more dominate one gets incredibly stressed at being locked up while the fearful one accepts it easily, although she too is desperate for my company when it’s her turn to roam free.

  6. Avatar Lana says:

    I should add I bought the Feliway plug in and put it in the upstairs hall as they are up there when in lockup. I also rubbed each with a towel and dragged it over carpet/beds and threw the towel at the feet of the other cat. I also alternate rooms so their scents intermingle with no hissing or growling coming out of that.

  7. Avatar Avril says:

    i am feeding my daughter’s nine year old cat in her absence away at work. I have known the cat since he was a kitten. Yesterday he seemed a bit withdrawn and when i went to touch him he hissed and spat at me. Didn’t think much of it, but when I went round today to feed him and change the litter, he was quite amenable at first and went to the sofa arm as usual for a cuddle and a rub down, but after a very few caresses he really went for me yowling and slashing, so much so I rushed out of the sitting room and shut the door on him from behind which he continued to scream at me. While I was opening his food, he managed to get to the kitchen and cornered me between the door and the oven so I couldn’t get out, hackles raised and really howling like a cat fight at me. Every time I moved he went for me teeth and claws, in the end I was forced to pick a bag of cat litter to protect my legs and fend him off. He came for me again and so I threw the bag in his general direction which gave me a minute to get out of the house. It was downright scary as he is a very large cat with a lot of teeth and claws.

    I wondered if he had an abscessed tooth or something giving him great pain and viewed me as the cause, It was the howling that so un nerved me, he is such a placid lovable cat normally, however when my daughter got home he was completely normal, not in any pain anywhere. Advice please as i need to cover my daughters absences on business is this, as suggested in your excellent article, a matter of territory protection in the absence of senior cat – i.e. my Daughter

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Do YOU have any cats?
      If so it’s possible that they are smelling the cats on you and that gets some cats upset. I might suggest a quick clothing change and handwashing if this is the case.

      Next – It could not hurt one bit of you left some worn clothing of yours with your smell on it at your daughter’s apartment VERY close to where the cat plays or sleeps.

      Good luck!

  8. Avatar Avril says:

    Thanks so much for input and I will try the clothes suggestion wich seems so sensible. Yes, I have always had cats, in fact the cat in question is the brother of my lovely Squeak who got cancer and died a couple of years ago. Now we have Dottie who survived being ‘thrown away’ as a kitten spent three months in the wild ending up in cat hospital repairing the leg and shoulder that was caught in her collar, and then came to me two years ago. Squawk is used to her scent although they have never met.
    Thanks again

  9. Avatar Lana says:

    Will I have to separate these animals all the time? They spent 4 hrs. together with small, small signs of aggression from the more dominant cat until they encountered each other on stairs and the hissing, rolling was on followed by the chase. I separated them again. The one hates being shut in a room unless it’s my room, where she will promptly go under the bed as if she was the timid one. The timid one just goes to sleep. Weird. Today the dominant one had free time and where did she go? Under my bed. The timid one is now on free time and where is she? Asleep in the cat bed in the other room where the door is opened for her to come visit with me while her nemesis is shut away.

  10. Avatar Elena says:

    My cat does not like people, she likes me and my husband. As soon as the door bell rings my cat turns into the mean dog. She has never been aggressive toward us , but when people come she does not let us touch her,she sits on the top shelf and observe , and follows people around. But she has never attacked anyone. If people ignore her she ignores them but hisses if they approach. But sometimes I wonder if she can attack someone? However, she lets couple of my friends feed her and pet her when we are gone, which is strange to me.I think she is very protecive of us and territorial, but it scares me sometimes.

    • Avatar Marko says:

      If the cat never attacks you there’s little to worry about imo.
      many cats are not social with strangers – as long as the cat is social w/you, that’s what counts.

      If when the cat exhibits one of her moods and nobody approaches her in a threatening way, she should not bite.

  11. Avatar Elena says:

    Thanks a lot, nice to hear its normal for cats not to like stranges

  12. Avatar Destiny says:

    My cat hates onions?
    My cat is a 18 year old classic tabby and lately he has been biting and nipping at people who have eaten onions. He’ll go for the legs, arms, and the chin. He hasn’t really bitten anyone but he has nipped pretty hard. I’m confused since my family loves to have onion in everything and he’s never done before. It started about 2-3 months ago. He’s silent when he does it and gives no signs before doing it.

  13. Avatar Jennifer says:

    I have a ten year old tabby cat, he has been with me since he was 6 months. I have a 4 year old step daughter and the cat has begun attacking her. sometimes he will let her pet him and then other times he trys to attack her without notice. I am at wits end I have given him alot of leeway and i just found out he is peeing on my step son’s bath towels that he sometimes will place on his bed.

    • Avatar Marko says:

      There’s too much going on here and not enough info. Cats rarely attack w/out notice (and a 4 year old may not know how to pet a cat properly) and cats should not be left alone w/4 year olds.

      Then there’s the peeing which is an entirely different story.
      Please be patient w/your cat; a cat’s goal is not to get its owners upset and get dropped off at a pound.

      I suggest posting this in our forum for a better back and forth between multiple members that will have tons of great advice. Good luck!

  14. Avatar K Miller says:

    When I was a young teen, I was babysitting for the first (and only time) for a family with 2 children; and they had a cat. The children and I watched TV and the entire time the cat stared at me from across the room. Generally I like cats and they like me. After the kids went to bed the cat continued to glare at me, follow me and I just tried to act like things were OK. The cat came up to me and jumped in my lap. Fine, I thought, OK. Then it dug its nails into my lap (hard). I pushed it away and stood up. The cat jumped back onto the chair I was standing next to and grabbed onto/literally hung from my shirt, (this was not a kitten, but a grown cat). I pushed it away and afraid to sit down, went to check on the kids… the cat barrelling ahead of me down the hall, jumping on to the kid’s bed. I assume the cat was overprotective, but this was really frightening. I ended up coaching the cat into the bathroom or basement and closed the door. I remember when the parents came home and checked on the oldest and he said to his mom “the cat was acting weird”. It was really freaky. I don’t recall any vocalizations from the cat or hissing, but I am certain this was aggressive behavior and not playfulness, that cat meant to intimidate me… and succeeded. I think what shocks me most about this is because I get along with other cats.

  15. Avatar andrew.s says:

    Hi I have a one year old manx cat (short haired) I rescued her a year ago and everything seemed to be good but now she aviods me and hisses at me. I haven’t bin abusive or treated her in anyway for her to be like this so the way she is acting is weird to me.
    she has also gotten in the habit of following my fiance who is close to nine months pregnant with our son. there isn’t anywhere she cant go without the cat on her heels. on top of that my cat needs to be touching her at all times or she gets weird. when we go to bed she has a habit to sleep above of my fiance’s head and its starting to concern her. another thing she has a bad habit of jumping into the crib we have set up for our son, we have tried using pepper to stop her from jumping in there and it didn’t work.
    another thing i would like to mention is that my manx cat has gotten into the habit oh hissing at the other cats we have. she wasn’t like this befor she used to play with them and everything and now she hides from them or swats and hisses and attacks them if they come close. she has even gone as far as guarding the food and kitty litter boxes. so if you could help me out and answer any of my questions that would be a lot of help.

  16. Avatar karennyc says:

    I just returned from feeding my friend’s 2 cats this evening and for the second time in two days, I’ve returned with scratches from her overly aggressive cat. She’s been a bit aggressive in the past, but this time she was over-the-top frightening. My question is this – could the fact that I was wearing a red t-shirt have affected the cat in some way? Second question is – how should I handle this in the future? The second cat is the sweetest feline you could imagine. But this one is making my life miserable!

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Cats rarely attack from “zero to one hundred”. Usually there is a progression of signs (raised hackles, siren sounds, hissing). When you see/hear those signs – give a LOUD startling SHHHH or NO!……and don’t pet the cat.

      Just put the food down – maybe in a closed room and let the cat eat alone.

      Good luck!

  17. Avatar jess says:

    Hi, I am 11 years old and had my cat since I was 7 or 8. So i was young and didnt know better and dressed her up and stuff. She is really moody since the past 2 or 3 years now. She scratches me bites me hisses and growls. I need some help on making her less moody and grumpy. What can I do?

  18. Avatar Anna says:

    Dear Marko, I have had my 2 cats (Mr Stinker and Cassie) for just over 2 years now. They were both indoor cats and very affectionate towards each other, we moved to the countryside about 4 months ago and after a month we allowed them to be outdoor cats and for the last three months we would put them ‘to bed’ at night and everything was fine, they would still cuddle up, groom and eat together. Unfortunately very recently my male neutered cat has become overly aggressive towards my female spayed cat. We have started to keep them indoors as due to circumstances we have to move back to a big town and they will once again become indoor cats so we are getting them used to being indoors again. The aggression started before we kept them indoors. Our male cat will hiss, growl for hours on end even whilst he is eating!!! and make loading ‘screeching noises then run away from our very docile female. I was reading somewhere that peppermint extract can help clam him down, is this true??? What else I can do to help his behaviour as it is starting to get a little out of control!! Is it possible that they will go back to being cuddly friends again???
    kind regards Anna

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Hi Anna,

      Other members on our pet forum will have better answers for you on this one. I recommend posting this same question there for free.
      You’ll get a much better “back and forth”
      Good luck!

  19. Avatar Patty says:

    I have 3 cats and 2 dogs. One of the cats is a female kitten about 3 months old now who was taken away from her litter mates at about 5 or 6 weeks old, I have had her since then. (Mom was hit by a car). The kitten is extremely playfully aggressive and stands up to all my other pets. My dogs are sweet mutts about 50 – 60 lbs each and think shes a hoot and are very good about not being too aggressive back to the kitten.

    I’ve been reading your column here and learning a lot. I will start being more observant, she definitely only likes to be petted once or twice before she hits her limit with me. Too bad she’s so adorable and I’ve never experienced this behavior with any other cats before. So I’m good with what I need to do about my behavior when she is attacking me, I do know she’s just playing too rough and not being viscuous. (No noise)

    My question is do I need to do anything about her behavior toward my 11 year old male cat (he was nuetered at 6 mos old). She won’t leave him alone. She’s constantly ‘attacking’ him just playing (although quite roughly) with no growls or hissing on the kittens part but the male has had it with her and no amount of hissing or smackdowns on his part will make her stop. He runs away and she just follows and leaps at him all four legs spread out and latches back onto him. I haven’t found any wounds on either of them so I still think they are just playing although it sounds like WW3. It also gets the dogs wound up because they think the male is hurting the kitten and they try to intervene. This just seems like an accident waiting to happen and somehow I think I’ll be the one on the short end of the bandaid.

    Bottom line: Should I just let them work it out and hope the kitten will grow out of it?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      This is a very good question! My key concern here would be the dogs. What is THEIR reaction when you are not around….?
      Might the dogs get aggressive in ‘defense’ of the weaker cat?
      If the answer is I don’t know, then i would not leave the pets alone unsupervised until i was 100% sure.
      Good luck!

  20. Avatar Cathy says:

    Hi, I have a 5 month old cat she’s a good cat but she has been very aggressive lately especially towards my step daughter and my nieces. She hisses at them and attacks their feet when they are going up the stairs or just sitting around minding their own business. She never hisses or attacks my son daughter or my husband and I. I am getting her nurtured in a week will that help her aggression problem? And what is causing her to dislike the other kids? What can I do to correct the problem?
    Plz help…:(

    • Avatar Marko says:

      The spaying might help. Some cats are fussy with kids and your cat might well outgrow this behaviour.
      BUT UNTIL THEN, I personally would not be leaving my kids alone with a cat that bites their feet.
      Since you are going to the vet anyway, i suggest asking this same question to get the vet’s professional advice on this matter.
      Good luck.

  21. Avatar Brenda says:

    My name is Brenda I suffered the consequences of a cat bite it has been life altering. I love cats still but was foolish and not educated. Please click on the link it’s my story. WARNING pictures are graphic or copy n paste

  22. Avatar Doug Phillips says:


    I have a problem that has completely distressed my life and I am desperate for a solution. I have 14 year old and 12 year old male cats. The 12 year old has literally spent his entire life with the 14 year old and they have always been friendly companions. The 12 year old was not weened and has always been somewhat aggressive and also has a seperation anxiety issue while the 14 year old is non-aggressive and timid. Approximately 5 years ago, my wife and I adopted a 4 year old female cat. The 12 year old male did not accept her and immediately tried attacking her. We consulted with our vet and tried every possible means to get him to accept her to no avail, so we had no choice but to permanently seperate the female from the males for the past 5 years. 2 weeks ago my wife relocated to another state and took the female cat. I was so excited to re-introduce my 2 males to the section of the house that had been closed off to them for the past 5 years, but when I let them both back in that section, the 12 year old attacked the 14 year old. He didn’t physically harm him but he scared him badly so that the 14 year old hid and wouldn’t come out and when he eventually did, the 12 year old repeated the scenario. I felt I had no choice but to seperate them for the safety of the 14 year old. So here I am again with my house divided. I am so distressed by this turn of events and I just don’t know what to do. They were such good friends and companions for 12 years yet now it’s as though the 12 year old doesn’t know the 14 year old and sees him as the female that . I desperately want to get the two of them back together again but am afraid that the 12 year old will continue to attack the 14 year old and could possibly hurt him. I’ve always felt that the 12 year old isn’t a “normal” cat but has some psychological issues for a lack of a better term, so normal re-introduction techniques don’t seem to work. PLEASE HELP! I really need some good advice.

    Thanks you,


    • Avatar Marko says:

      You may want to post this on our forum for a better back and forth. there’s lots of questions to ask before giving any type of answer.

      Please post this on our forum. Thx – Marko

  23. Avatar Rosamund says:

    My husband and I bought a siamese female cat 1 1/2 year ago. when we collected her the ex owner said she was just over 8 weeks, however when we took her to the vet we were assured that she couldn’t have been more than 6 weeks. She used to be very shy and dependent on us,but eventually she became more confidence. However, she constanly bites people’s hands.
    We used to play a lot with her, but when we realise she was bitting we stated to use toys for her to play with, so the “hand playing” has stopped but she will occasionally bite you. For example, when she’s sleeping I would pet her and out of a sudden she’d bit me and ribbit-kicking my hand, she’d start moving her tail and I’d say no and remove my hand. Also, when there is people around they’d pet her and after a few minutes she’d bite them, out of the blue, even when she still purring.
    We are really concerned about her, we dont know if she suffers from anxiety, if we are doing something wrong or what her problem could be.
    (on top of that, she’s been recently grooming herself very often until she hurt her skin, we took her to the vet and she’s on antibiotics now, due to a bacterial infection..but this hasn’t stop her hostile behaviour).

    We would really appreciate some advise on what to do.

    Kindest Regards,

    • Avatar Marko says:

      When you pet a cat and it bites you it’s called petting aggression. This is very common.
      Watch the tail….when it starts to twitch, STOP the petting.

      Good luck.

  24. Avatar Kenne says:

    Hello Marko,
    My cat encountered a stray cat through my front door, which was cracked open no more than 2 inches last night. She started growling in a very loud high pitch. Ever since then she’s been going through mood swings where she will hiss and growl at me very loudly and acts territorial, usually when I’m standing up or walking by her. She will then go into hiding when I leave the room. She has never hissed at me in the past year and a half that I’ve owned her (she’s aged 2) and always been very affectionate and loving. Sometimes she will be nice and come sit next to me and even let me pet her.
    Do these sound like possible signs of rabies? I’m worried about being bitten, but don’t want to take her in for euthanasia or anything if she doesn’t need it. I haven’t seen any noticeable signs of bites and don’t believe the stray could’ve bitten her through the cracked open door. I was yelling at her when she first started growling towards the stray cat because it was going to wake up the neighbors, and am also thinking it may be a sign of aggressive behavior towards the owner.
    Any advice or thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time in reading my story.

    • Avatar Marko says:

      To me this in and of itself does not sound like rabies but i am not a vet.
      I might try to put my used clothing (like a tshirt) for a short while where the cat sleeps to get the cat more acquainted with my smell.

      When you pet the cat- watch for the twitching tail – when that happens STOP petting.
      This is known as petting aggression. You may also want to post this on our forum for a better back and forth. Good luck!

  25. Avatar Olga says:

    Hello. This morning i found 2-3 month old kitten in the foyer of my building. When i picked her up, she seemed incredibly calm, she even purred as i carried her into my apartment. I fed her and gave her a bath, during which she showed barely any resistance. She seemed calm, friendly and well behaved, and eventually fell asleep right next to me. After her nap was over, her behavior changed drastically. Every time i try to pet her, she attacks my hands as if they were a threat to her, she hisses and growls in a very aggressive manner. If god forbid i try to pick her up, she literally attacks me. But the most confusing part about all of this, is the fact that she still seems to want my attention, and feels comfortable in my presence, as long as i don’t try make any physical contact. She is climbing all over the place and finding different things to play with.
    I wonder if she is getting adjusted or if her behavior could be caused by something specific.

  26. Avatar Gabe says:

    Hi Marko
    My Siamese mix male indoor cat and I have been together for three years now. He is a rescue that was abused by a teenage boy that hit him really hard and although there are no physical signs on him he has a bit of trouble with his eye but hardly noticeable. I worked with him for a while and we are pretty inseparable to the point I can’t go to the restroom without him freaking out. I got him used to others and friends etc and he has become the best cat I have ever had to the point where he greets people at the door and knowing so many commands it amazes my vet. I usually let him play in the garage when I get home from work ( he like catching crickets and bringing them to me). On Christmas day when my sister and her kids where over who he is very comfortable with he did something which I found to be very out of his character. My sister had her 8 month old sleeping In the bedroom right across the hall from the garage door (door closed of course) well Frankie stood in front of the bedroom and hissed and tried to attack my sister not letting her in the baby’s room. When I heard the hissing and yowling I walked over to him to see what happened and he attacked my ankle, I just took a step back got on my knees and called his name and let him smell my hand and he started purring and rubbing against me again. My sister standing over my shoulder chuckled a bit and said I think he was protecting the baby. I find this weird as he avoids the baby completely and I was thinking he was agitated that she was near his garage door / play area. The guest room is always closed so it wasn’t anything new other than he baby was in there. Protective instincts or territorial aggression? I tested it alone a few times and it hasn’t happened again but I may have a baby on the way soon and was curious if you have ever encountered a story of a cat defending a baby this way?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      This is a very interesting story and I’m afraid i do not know the answer.
      Sometimes cats get spooked and there’s no understanding why.

      If you are curious, I recommend posting this same question on our forum for free. Collectively, the members have MUCH more experience than I, and they may be able to offer better answers.
      Good luck.

  27. Avatar Colleen says:

    My female indoor cat will often attack my husband and I if we have the scent of another cats on our clothing, made much worse if it is a male cat scent. We know the drill that we have to change our clothes and have a shower right away or she will growl, hiss and scratch us. Also if I cry (for example I fell in the tub once), my cat will attack my husband. I’m not sure why she does this since my husband would never hurt me. Ever hear of this happening before?

    I would really like to know if other people have been able to help their cat get over the whole territorial aggression due to other cats scents on clothing.

  28. Avatar Greg says:

    I have a cat that attacks me in only one area of my house. Other than that (and chewing things occasionally) this is the best cat in the world! Loves to play, VERY loving, more like a dog to be honest. He runs TOWARD people when they come over, has plenty of toys, and aside from this one issue would be the absolute best cat ever. He is 19 pounds and a big fluff ball (maine coon is the dominant breed in him). He us not fat and very healthy according to my vet. Why would he flip a switch and attack me only in ONE spot if the house (between the bathroom and bedroom).

    Any insight would be helpful!

  29. Avatar Lynette says:

    I really hope you can help me! My fiancee and I have had our cat since she was about 5 or 6 weeks old (even though we were told she was 8 weeks old)..She is now almost 3years old. She was sweet and playful the first 6 to 8 months. But since then, she really only likes my fiancee. It’s almost as if she is in love with him. She will be playful with me but usually for a few minutes once Manny has left for work. No growling or hissing at all. However, I CANNOT PET HER, EVER, UNLESS SHE IS IN HEAT…
    We have noticed that in the time we’ve had her, she does NOT like ANYONE else at all, except my oldest son (he’s 20 years old and 6’5″ tall and I wonder if that has anything to do with it because he’s bigger than all of us) but, my other children (ages 10, 8, and 6) she attacks.. almost like stalking them. She will sit outside their bedroom door crouched down and will attack thier feet as they come out. She has lashed out at them as they walk by her, scratching them in the face, on their hands, feet and has even climbed up my 18 year old daughters leg once (screeching loudly) as my daughter walked past her for no reason at all. She also lies in wait amongst our plants (as if it is her personal “jungle”) and attacks them as they walk to the dining table.
    She has NOT been this aggressive with me, but my children are terrified of her and will go to great lengths (when they see her) to avoid walking past her. (She will let All of the children pet her constantly when she is in heat, so they LOVE it when she is in heat)
    My 2 year old grandson is NOT afraid of her at all and she pretty much leaves him alone, but does growl at him occasionally and he leaves her alone, but has never attacked him.
    I am wondering if we get her fixed, will her attitude change toward my babies? Or is this something we will just have to live with? I am concerned because I am tired of my children being so afraid of her, as they would love to have a relationship with her..they have tried to play with her, give her treats, feed her, etc…but nothing has changed her attitude toward them. HELP PLEASE!!!!!

    • Avatar Marko says:

      The cat TOTALLY needs to be fixed and this may indeed help.

      Cats and kids often don’t get along because they move quickly are loud and many cats will simply avoid kids.
      If you want a new person to be liked by the cat…try having that new person FEED the cat. make sure the cat sees this. have that new person’s smell (by way of a t shirt or 2) near the areas where the cat hangs out.

      never ever play with the cat using hands as toys…ever. Always use toys like strings on a feather etc.
      Good luck.

  30. Avatar Crystal says:

    hello i have a domestic long hair male cat. I have had him since he was a kitten, and he has always been very lovable and affectionate…. He has always played a little aggressive, when he starts to bite and scratch i just stop… 3 weeks ago my friend came over and was just sitting there, the cat came walking up slowly towards her and lunged at her face sending her to the hospital for stitches. After i got him off of her he was sitting there growling and hissing. My friend tried to hide behind me but he tried to go after her again.. I finally got him into the bedroom and shut the door.. Where he flipped out in there for a few hrs… The next day i let me out and he acted a little scared and wouldn’t come near me. 2 days later i got him fixed… He was back to his old self being very loving, but weird as well.. Running around the house just acting crazy. Then last night i had a different friend over, one that comes over all the time, and he has sleep overs with her… I was doing the dishes and she brought me a plate, the cat followed her in and starting growling, hissing, showing his teeth, and was about to pounce on her. i was yelling at him “no” and he wouldn’t stop. Just as he was about to attack her i put a bucket on him and put him in the room…. When i went in there this morning he was still pissed… Help i don’t know what to do.. I’m scared of my cat now :(

    ps.. Not once has he attacked me just everyone else.

  31. Avatar GERI says:

    My parents had two female adult cats. Misty is territorial and dominant over Mouse, who was a mild mannered sweetheart. My dad passed away in August and both cats have changed behavior. Misty was with Dad the morning he passed and we watched them say goodbye. I think Mouse is still confused and missing Dad. Three weeks after Dad died my Mom was given a small one year old spunky female terrier, then she acquired two guinea pigs and two chicks. (They all live outside). Misty ignores the new additions to the household, but Mouse became terrified of the yappy dog. That lasted about three months. Suddenly Mouse has become aggressive and territorial towards Nina, the dog. Mouse stalks, pounces and viciously attacks Nina, and now Nina is a quivering bundle of nerves. She won’t even bark anymore. Mouse occupies every one of Nina’s favorite places. Please help!

    • Avatar Marko says:

      This is too complicated for a blog post, please post it in our pet forum where others can provide a better back and forth.

      Thx and good luck – Marko

  32. Avatar Yenri says:

    Hi my sister was forced to move out of her apt. and is now staying at my moms until she can get her own place, problem is she has a cat and my mom is allergic to cats, so i regretfully took him in…

    Now I love cats I have 3 of my own they love attention, love people, love being petted and such. But my sister’s cat is absolutely evil!
    He’s always been scared and mean to people before but he would just hide from people but now that he is at my house he’s less likely to hide and more likely to swipe, hiss, growl and even sometimes attack me or other people I live with. Hes even horribly attacked my sisters legs once for no reason leaving her with many scratches and much blood, i told her to get rid of him but she didn’t cause she loves him to much… luckily for me i haven’t been attacked that bad… yet.

    My sisters apt was an absolute pit, expired prescription pills on the floor, cockroaches EVERYWHERE, smelled horrible and i do believe the cat ate those pills and peed on the floor and other things regularly.
    We took him to the vet to de-claw him but he’s overweight and it would put him into shock or make it so he cant walk so we decided against it.

    I cant have him with he rest of my cats cause he’s mean and growls, hisses and tries to hurt them when all they want to do is get to know him and be his friend, so i keep him in the master bedroom… my bedroom.
    I thought getting him out of that horrible environment and put him on a diet (controlled food and snacks) would be good for him, make him treat people better and cool down… but it’s only gotten worse. instead of running and hiding from people while growling he’s starting to stand his ground and has scratched me pretty bad 3 times, and all i was doing was moving about in my own room quietly doing nothing to him. i cant pet him talk to him or come near him or make any quick movements with out him going on the defensive, hes ONLY nice to my sister anymore and shes not always here cause she don’t live here. He’s chewed up ALL of my game system’s cords and dvd player cord, my phone charger, and a tv adapter into little pieces so i cant have any cords exposed and in his reach anywhere …

    My kitties are sad because they used to sleep in my room when i went to bed and now they can’t and they sometimes cry cause they cant come in my room with me and i feel horrible but i don’t want that evil cat hurting my nice kitties!

    There’s nothing physically wrong with him other then being overweight his shots are all updated and hes “healthy” in that sense… I don’t want to euthanize him cause the way he is with people he wont be able to be taken in by anyone else… but i cant keep him in my house the way he is… ive tried looking up something to do but it seems no one has had this problem and tried to do anything about it other then getting rid of the cat… ill do it if i have to but i want to know if there is anything im not doing that might help him like people…

    • Avatar Marko says:

      There’s plenty you can do but this is too involved for a blog comment. Please do not euthanize this cat, the cat is NOT evil, it’s just being a cat.
      Please post this on our bulletin board for free where others can give you fab advice. Good luck.

  33. Avatar Karina says:

    hello marko,
    I have a loving beautiful gray male cat,his name is giovanni. he is only 1 year and a half old. recently, i have moved in my boyfriend’s house.. he has 2 female and one male cats. one of his female cat is a really mean one.. sometimes she hisses and attacks me for no reason. she is like that with anyone .. even my boyfriend. well.. my cat giovanni is living at my mom’s apt. i feed him and change litter.. i give him the best cat foods i can offer.. to benefit his overall health. he has become real strong beautiful and tall cat.
    well, when i brought my cat with me to live with my boyfriend. it has caused a big problem. giovanni, at first was curious about other cats.. 2 other cats would run away from him.. while the mean cat (her name is blue) would hiss and glare at him. giovanni would glare back..few hours later.. giovanni would attack her and jump on her.. it was a very nasty fight.. my boyfriend came in between in them.. but my cat bit his thumbs real bad to the point, he was bleeding.
    i felt bad about the whole thing, and unfortunately, i had to take my cat back to my mom’s apt.
    is there anyway i can ever have my cat back and live with me and has its all problem resolved?
    my cat is really loving.. he is a biter , sometimes he gets pet aggression. but he is playful sometimes. although, i have never seen my cat bites my boyfriend’s thumb that hard.
    please help!

  34. Avatar Carolyn says:

    My 3 year old female(spayed) cat has suddenly became very vicious with my 4 mo old male. They have played, slept together,eaten and used the same litter box. Suddendy, without provoation she is vicious towards the younger one. I have to keep them seperated. Any idea what the problem cound be?

  35. Avatar Kimberly says:

    PLEASE HELP ME! My five year old male cat is such a lover. He is the sweetest thing, and absolutely loves attention. However, whenever I have been around a baby, and come home my cat starts viciously attacking me, hissing, growling. If I run away he runs after me and continues to attack me. If we have friends come over who have babies, he attacks them. His eyes dilate and it is as he becomes a different cat. I literally have to RUN away from him. Actually, at this moment, I have locked myself in my bedroom, because I ran to the store, and (not thinking) through on a pair of jeans (that hadn’t been washed since) that I wore to visit my brand new nephew a week ago. And after a week the sent of the baby is still there, and my cat started attacking me. I NEED help!!!!! I am at the age where my friends are all starting to have babies, I have a month old nephew, and after I get married in November I plan to start having children. I don’t know what it is about babies that makes him want to viciously attack! However, I cant always come home to an attacking cat after visiting my nephew, or other friends who have children. Please help me!!!

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Hmmm – very interesting! I recommend posting this on our forum to see what other members might say about this.

      For now, washing your hands with scented soap or using handcream will likely mask the scent so your cat won’t go bonkers.
      When people come over, put your cat in a locked room BEFORE they come over.

      But your cat aggressing you is unacceptable. If it were me, I’d post on our forum to hear the other suggestions.
      But I would consider having a water bottle handy and spraying the cat with water WHILE emitting a loud NO! or a loud SHHH sound.
      Good luck!

  36. Avatar Jodie says:

    I have 2 cats the mum who is nearly 15 and her son who is nearly 14 they have always been fine with each other apart from the past week, the mum has randomly starting pouncing and swinging at her son as he walks past or is just led there minding his own business.
    We havent moved or anything so not sure why she has randomly started doing this???

    • Avatar Marko says:

      First thing that comes to my mind is that the cat had the scent of another cat on it. Are these outdoor cats? If so this might be the answer.
      Good luck!

  37. Avatar Asborn says:

    I have a female cat that’s about 2 years old now. Lately, it has become more and more aggressive and attacks whenever it gets a chance. When you would put your hands near it, it would snort, hiss and try to attack you with her claws. The only thing she ever comes to us for is treats, aside from that she just does her own thing. Help?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Is the scent of other animals possibly on your hands?
      I’d interact more with the cat with games. many cats go crazy for the laser. I’d pet the cat while its resting to get the CAT’s smell on you.
      Feel free to post this in our forum for additional ideas.
      Good luck!

  38. Avatar Dani says:

    Hello I have a cat I have raised since he was a baby he is now 6 yrs old and I bottle fed him and everything two yrs ago I had my son and my cat is mild and some even called him wimpy compared to my older cat who sometimes would beat him up until I step in and tell her no. Now my son was raised with these cats and the male 6yr old has slept with him and anytime my son cried or screamed he would run in and check on him even to the point if I disciplined my kid he would smack my foot….yesterday my son was in the toy box playing and shouting where out of nowhere our cat charges in and jumped on his head an attacked clawing up his back and forehead. I panicked and got ahold of my cat and put him in the bathroom while I took care of my son. Now that afternoon my son went to sleep and I let the cat out to see how he behaved( not around my son though). He was mad at first but after awhile I was holding him and feeding him and everything was fine then my son woke up and maybe i tensed or stressed but I told my cat No! when he glared at my kid and he hissed at me (a first for him) Then he went into my dads room. After an hour or so my dad went to check on him and he attacked viciously my dad could not get away he was screaming my bf ran out to see and the cat ran in our room trying to get on bed where my son and I were and my bf kept getting in front of him. Finally cat took off and we were able to shut the door and keep him in a room. Both dad and bf had bites and scratches down both legs…Currently my cat is being held for observation in a shelter to make sure its not rabies (Hes never been outside his entire life hes terrified of the outdoors) and while I dont think its rabies could it be something else? After observation im taking him elsewhere to be looked at and make sure everything is okay with him that nothing internal is effecting him. If nothing is wrong what could have triggered this attack? I love my cat I dont want to have to give him up but if its behavioral is there anything I can do to help fix it? I dont want my son attacked again also he is not fixed but after observation he will be. Sorry this post is so long I want to give as much info as possible. Thank you for your time!

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Not sure why you brought the cat to a shelter instead of a vet?

      The chance of an indoor cat getting rabies, in my opinion is ZERO or close to zero.

      My best advice is that this needs to be explained to a vet and the cat needs to have some bloodwork done.
      Of course feel free to also post this on our forum for free. There, our regular members can offer their advice based on many decades of experience.
      Good luck!

  39. Avatar Sasha says:

    About a week after getting my cat spayed i had to move to a different state to live with my family, since then she has been extremely aggressive with everyone but me. I’m really worried, my dads threatening to give her away soon. Is this aggression something that will eventually go away?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      This aggression will likely subside soon. cats are very sensitive to a change in their environment. A product called Feliway might help with this. Basically it emits a calming smell and works well with many cats.
      Good luck!

  40. Avatar Sheep says:

    Pls help.

    I have a Pom Two years before I have two white cats. The Pom is always fighting for attention when anyone tries to pet the cats. One day, one of the car attacked the Pom and scratched pom’s eyes and injured him. Luckily he is fully heeled. They have not much of a problem but they mug and hiss sometimes.

    Now, our family just adopted a new cat bcos the pevious owner passed away. The cats would fight eachother. Pom seems to be less of the focus now. Eveyone is attacking the new cat. What should I do? Should I play with them more often so they can play less aggressive towards each other? Should I feed them treats when they are in harmony? ( they don’t really eat treats tho).

    Any other tips and suggestions for all of them to live in harmony and maybe play with each other?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      This is too complicated for a blog post so I encourage you to post this on our forum which is free. Lots of very knowledgeable cat owners on the forum.

      If you just put the cats together, that was a mistake. cats are best introduced to each other slowly. First through scent, then sight.
      Good luck

  41. Avatar Betty says:

    My cat is a rescue cat that was more than 8 weeks and was kept in with cats of all ages when I picked her up from the shelter she was in. From the time I brought her home she never wanted to be held and always runs up out of the blue with no warning and bites. I never played roughly with her because I was always aware she would get bigger and she has every toy known to cats as I am always looking for the thing that will help. When she bites it is hard and she sinks in her teeth. Sometimes it seems like she wants me to know something, sometimes she stares at me before doing it, sometimes she just comes out of nowhere and does it. When she isn’t doing that we play and at night before bed is the only time she wants to cuddle. If I touch her when she is sleeping she is defensive but the only time she has drawn blood is when it is unexpected. I want to love my cat but I seriously wonder if I can keep her, any ideas?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      In my experience – these things take time. Cats bond at different rates. I once had a cat that took a couple of years to fully bong with my wife and me.
      In my experience cats also do not bite without warning….their tails flutter, their hackles raise, their ears change position. This usually happens before a bite. Be aware of this behaviour and bites are way less likely. If you are ‘making’ the cat do things (like holding the cat when it does not want to be held) then you are not respecting the cat’s body language….
      I’d also ask my vet for an opinion on this.
      Good luck!

  42. Avatar Lynn says:

    Hello. I have 3 cats. Two of them are of no breed. One male black cat (fixed), and one female tabby looking cat. My third cat is a female manx. I got my black cat when it was about 6 or 7 weeks and i have now had him for almost 7 years. He is very lazy and likes to lounge around anywhere he can. He loves people and is super friendly and gets along with my other two cats. I have never had a problem with him ever. My female tabby cat i got when she was about 6 or 7 weeks as well, and is now maybe 12 or 13 weeks. She is very playful and gets along with the other two cats great. She likes people and loves to cuddle when she is ready to calm down. Now my problem: My manx cat i found wandering the streets and it always stayed by my house. She was very friendly and always ran up to me when she saw me but I never gave her food because i knew it would make her stay around. But after a week i just kept her. I’m not quite sure on how old she was when i found her, but im going to guess she was at least 1 year old if that. She has always been a loving and friendly cat. She got along great with my black cat. They even slept next to eachother and licked eachother and have always gotten along. Never had a problem with them two. I have never had a problem with my manx and the tabby either. Manx loves to play with my tabby kitten and licks it all the time getting along. All three of cats have never had a problem with eachother and get along great. All three of them even sometimes snuggle up all together. But all of a sudden today (8/17/12) at about 1 pm my manx had a total change in personality towards the other two cats. She was sitting by my feet as i was doing dishes and the other two were eating then all of a sudden out of no where i hear cats screaming and growling and i look over and my manx is attacking my black cat. Swatting at him and hissing at him and had him trapped in a corner both of their hair was standing up on their backs and tails. I didn’t know what to do. It was very odd behavior from either of them. But i picked up the manx by the skin of the neck and put her on the couch where she likes to lay down and then she started going after my tabby kitten doing the same thing. I had no idea what to do, and still dont. But i picked up my manx and put my hand over her eyes so she couldn’t see the other two cats and locked her in my bedroom away from the others. She was still growling as i was walking with her. Then about an hour or so later i let her out and she was acting like herself again towards the cats and me. She was cuddling with them licking them and playing with them like she had always done before. Then later that night at about 12:30 am i hear the cats screaming again and sure enough my manx cat is attacking the black cat again and i saw my little tabby run into my bedroom and the manx saw her run and tore off after the tabby and started doing it to her again. I had split the manx from the other two. This time i put the other two in my bedroom and kept the manx out. At like 2:30 am i let the other two cats out and again the manx is acting normal towards the other two again like she did before. And they are all three getting along still. They are all laying together on the couch. I don’t know what to do. What do you think is wrong with my manx? Or why is she acting that way?

    • Avatar Betty says:

      Thank you for your response. I have to say, there is no warning other than a long stare and then a bite. I can only pick her up when I first come home from work, otherwise not at all. I have never seen anything from her other than the staring. I do think it is that she wants me to play with her although I play with her constantly. There are times when I have seen her get annoyed and put her ears back or tail fluff out but then I just avoid it. The one I could not understand was the stare followed by a deep bite. She is getting better though and has decided she likes being petted but I wait for her to come to me. The biting thing which has lessened was a communication thing but I am not sure what she wants and if she gave me a warning I didn’t see it. Now, when I see her staring at me I go and touch her or talk to her and she either starts to purr or she runs away and that seems to be the solution. There, however, have been times when I don’t notice her and then I get bit.

  43. Avatar Melissa says:

    My tabby cat is 6 years old, and he is really sweet with the family, but whenever we have guests, he often hisses or swats in their general direction. that’s not the problem tho. whenever the doorbell rings or someone knocks on the door, he goes into attack mode and usually its towards whoever is opening the door. he sheaths his claws and jumps. he is ONLY like this when the doorbell rings and is normally very sweet and open to the family, to the point that he feels comfortable enough to lie with his belly wide open, which i know to be a very vulnerable position. what can i do to change my cat’s behavior towards visitors and his reaction to the doorbell?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      2 things come to mind quickly.

      1- Why would you ever open the door if your cat is aggressive?
      Just pick the cat up when the bell rings and put it in the bathroom, kitchen – wherever, Then answer the door.
      Make a small sign to put on your front door that says aggressive cat – It will take an extra moment to open the door :)

      2 – If you feed the cat in the morning…before feeding the cat, have a family member have the cat’s food in hand and have that family member ring the doorbell. When the cat sees that the family member has food and gives the food to the cat, maybe after a short while the cat will associate the bell with good stuff. If the cat likes treats you can try the same exercise with treats.

      If you free-feed the cat. maybe stop doing that for a while while you practise the exercise.
      (obviously don’t reduce the cat’s daily of food – just feed it 2x a day in the same quantity as before)

      Again feel free to post this on the forum – good luck.

  44. Avatar Betty says:

    As was mine!

  45. Avatar Lynn says:

    Okay sorry. I didn’t know because you wrote back to him under my post and i got a notification that you commented on it.

  46. Avatar Marko says:

    Lynn – This is a bit complex for a blog post comment. I recommend you post this in our forum for a more varied group of answers but here’s what i take from this.

    1 – huge mistake to pick up fighting cats…. Just make a loud noise or throw something near the action. That should send them scurrying in different directions and the fight should immediately end. When you pick up a freaked out cat – you get bitten. This is known as misdirected aggression. Your cat still loves you. It’s just freaked out so it attacks the thing closest…

    2 – Impossible for anyone to know what went on – but if I had to make a guess, perhaps the cat smelled something different (like the scent of another cat or animal or anything it didn’t like) on the other cat and it was this that triggered the aggression.

    That’s what comes to mind easily – but others on the forum will likely have much more to say on this so do post there.

    Good luck.

  47. Avatar Betty says:

    Yep. I put it on mine and it came out on yours, go figure. Hope you get an answer to your question.

  48. Avatar Lynn says:

    Thats what i was thinking because i found that my manx had a few fleas so i went and got flea collars for all three. And i figured maybe she was smelling the stuff on the collar and changed the scent that she was use to. So i took the collars off of all three and she was fine. Then she started attacking my black cat again. But shes fine with him until he goes behind my chair in the living room or under the coffee table. She’s fine with the tabby kitten though. I haven’t had any problems with the tabby or the manx since i took the collars off. But still not completely good with the black one.

  49. Avatar Eliana E. says:

    I have a question about my cat…She is 3 years old and she is part Siamese. I have had her since she was a month old. She is very playful, loving and interactive. She is talkative but not as much as a pure bred Siamese. A stray kitten over a month ago showed up at the house and since then she has not wanted to go outside. She has been inside the house maybe ventured outside 2 times in the last 2 months where she was use to going outside everyday. I try playing with her to help her get rid of some of the energy she builds up throughout the day. Well last night she smelt the kitten on me and first time in 3 years she has ever attacked me (clawing, hissing and growling). I didn’t realize i shouldn’t yell at her but I did…I was mortified. I managed to get away from her and changed my clothes completely and washed my hands. Came back down stairs sat on the couch. She later came and sat beside me then out of the blue she snapped at attacked my hand. I yelled and shewed her with a pillow (as I’ve been reading I know now not to do that but I don’t know what to do about this behavior). This morning she was back to her playful self and all was well until i reached for my bag and she snapped. keep in mind my clothes had no scent of the kitten that is outside nor shoes bc i purposely didn’t wear the same shoes. When I arrived home from work she was fine. All evening…I played with her, snuggled with her etc. She was sitting on my lap about 45 mins ago and I had to get up so I placed her on the floor walked over the couch (I have had no interaction with the kitten today). When I arrived at the couch I pulled out her play toy and played with her then went to step over her to go upstairs and she snapped. My foot and ankle are scarred, she has drawn a lot of blood. Then she went for my mom. So I did grab the pillow and swung at her with it while yelling “no” managed to get her to the other room and shut her out of the living room. When calm allowed her back into the room and gave her a treat. All is well and she just came over to me and does what she always does to get my attention bc she wants food or a treat. So I just got up and followed her like I usually do and once I approached the couch she turned around and hissed-pupils dialated. I did not yell I said no and stood still then backed away. She walked under the coffee table and I walked back to the computer table. She is now underneath a wing-chair to the left of me….I need some advice what do I do????????????? I miss my fun loving Chloey!!! I’m at my wits end and heart broken. I may have found a home for the kitten that is outside but I’m very concerned about her behavior especially since I made certain the kitten scent was not on my clothes and that I didn’t interact with him at all today… HELP ME PLEASE :( :( :(

    • Avatar Marko says:

      It could be as simple as your cat’s sense of smell is many times better than yours. just because YOU think the smell is gone, does not mean that the smell is gone.
      Although a cat’s sense of smell is nowhere near a bloodhound’s, it’s way way better than a human’s. It’s a survival skill.
      I’d guess that after a few more cleanings the smell will be gone…for now it may be lingering.

      in terms of your cat staying indoors… philosophy is that that is a GOOD thing. On average indoor cats live years longer than outdoor cats. This is because indoor cats never meet up with cars that kill them, they won’t catch diseases from other cats and animals, they won’t suffer wounds from fights…and won’t come across loser humans that hate cats.

      Feel free to continue this conversation on our forum by posting there for free.
      Good luck!

  50. Avatar Jamila says:

    I’ve had my kitten for about 2 months now, shes about 3 1/2 months old. She is very energetic but tends to lash out at me and my boyfriend out of the blue, biting and scratching. She also bites whenever i try to touch or pet her. She has moments when she is tired and allows the petting but throughout the day she is very defensive. Ive tried the yelping and staying away for 10 min, didnt work. Then my boyfriend suggested a spray bottle, which i think made her attack us even more. Im not sure what to do about it because the biting isnt playful and cute anymore, it hurts and is very annoying.

  51. Avatar Andrea says:

    My cat is a female, fixed, and is about 4 or 5 years old. She has always been a really good cat, she never used to get aggressive or anything. But since last night, she started screaming, growling, and hissing at us. She was fine over night, but then we came home and she pooped everywhere. When I pet her and calm her down, then she’s okay but when my other cat comes around, she starts the hissing, growling, and screaming again. When she screams, sometimes she pees as well. She doesn’t really respond to her name anymore. She’s just been acting very strange & I’m really worried about her.

  52. Avatar Roberta says:

    I have had a cat for about 11 years now, 3 years ago I got a dog. The dog would try to get the cat to play but all ahe would do is hiss at the dog, now out of the blue the cat is trying to bite the dog. The cat does not have front claws only back. The cat does not hiss or growl at the dog when she is attacking him. The dog does not bite and has never tried to bite the cat but now the cat is biting the dog. What can I do? I am scared to death that the dog will turn on the cat. When the cat tries to bite the dog the dog tries to hide from the cat. Any ideas?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      For now I’d separate the cat and dog whenever I was not home. For additional ideas I encourage you to post this question on our forum.
      Good luck!

  53. Avatar joe says:

    We have had our male cat 5 years. Has never shown aggression. It looked out the window and saw other cats,rabbits and squirrels and his behavior didn’t change.All of a sudden last april out of the blue he started howling and making weird noises and tried to attack my wife. We closed the rec room door to settle him down but every time she walked by he would growl and howl. After about 30 min. I could go down and pet him no problems but if he saw my wife he would start again. The next day he would be fine with her, cuddle purr.then a week later same thing. Her again. The weird thing is that she started menopause in april. Could that be a facter because it hasn’t done any of that towards my teenage daughter or me

  54. Avatar Susie says:

    I have a three yr old Maine coon neutered cat. Came to me from breeder at 12 weeks.
    I have read so many things about vicious cats & tried it all to no avail…I am desperate. He bites legs, feet &hands, all unprovoked.
    I have tried, ignoring him, gently pushing him away (when he was younger) removing him from the room, making noises even carried a bottle of pebbles around to shake at him, I have also tried clicker training. All my attempts have failed
    He doesn’t have fleas, has good teeth, has been checked by my vet, who can find nothing physically wrong with him.
    There is no warning before an attack, please don’t tell me I am missing the signs I’m not!! If there are signs it is happening so quickly it’s not possible to counteract.
    He doesn’t growl or spit just bites.. To the bone or until his teeth are clamped together through my flesh.
    I am now at my wits end… On antibiotics for the second time & in lots of pain.
    One more point, we have never used our hands as play toys, gus has scratching post & toys.
    He has ever been rough played with or left with children unsupervised.

  55. Avatar Karen says:

    PLEASE HELP!!! I have a cat she is about 15. I have had her since she was 6 weeks old. She can be “witchy” but she has always been lovey with me. Everynight at bedtime she come to bed with me. She will layon my chest with her cheek on my cheek. Whe will “love” me until she wants to leave. I dont try to force her to stay ect. About 2 years ago she stared to become very aggressive towards me! It is only at night in the bed. She will attack me, biting me as much as she can. It is like she is in a trance.I cant get her to stop. Pushing her off the bed and she will jump back up. It is very scarey! She will even try to trick me into bringing my hand out from the covers and then attack me. She will reach her paw into the blankets and gently touch my bare skin, when I bring my hand out she will viciously attack! I didnt bring my hand out one time and she attacked my head! I brought her to the vet, they could find nothing wrong other than she was in early stages of kidney failure. She is eating fine seems to be normal, but at night I never know what it going to happen. I have been to the ER for antibiotics at least 4 times. I cant keep doing this. I dont want her to hurt someone else or myself. I love her so much. Someone recently suggested having her fangs pulled. I know it sounds dramatic, but my only other choice would be to put her down. I dont want to do this. Please if you have any information for me please, please let me know.

    • Avatar Marko says:

      I would ask my vet for calming medications that your cat could take at night.

      In addition, we have loads of cat lovers on our forum and I encourage you to post this there for free for a much better “back and forth”.
      Good luck!

  56. Avatar Megan Schad says:

    I have a 5 month old male kitten. His age was somewhat in question when we got him so I believe we took him from his mother at 6 wks. He is very playful but has become very strong and attacks me and my children to play but has begun to hurt us. The only person he does not bite or attack is my husband. We love him dearly and do not want to get rid of him. Help!

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Too late now but taking a kitten from its mother at 6 weeks was too early and I hate to say this, but this is irresponsible breeding practice. Ok I said it – moving on.

      A kitten needs to stay with its littermates for around 8-12 weeks in order to socialize with its littermates and learn important things like the bite inhibition reflex. This article on dogs still applies to cats

      No need to get rid of him! Just NEVER EVER EVER EVER play with the kitten with your hands in a rough way. NEVER EVER let your sweet kitten nip on your hands for fun. NEVER.
      Use toys with strings to play and stimulate the cat. He’s a fab toy that cats go crazy for . If the cat nips, a loud no might well do the trick. When petting the cat, watch for the twitching tail…then STOP.
      Basically reward the cat for good and give the loud NO for bad behaviour.
      Hope that may help – For further questions and a better back and forth, please post questions directly in the pet forum.
      Good Luck!

  57. Avatar Leigh Williams says:

    Hello I have a kitten who at first was loving and didnt cause any harm to anyone. Then maybe when he was 3-4 months he got attacked by a lab and had a huge gash on his back leg and it was broken in 2 places. He was in a cast for 3 weeks and had to be put in a cage away from the dogs. Since then he has been aggressive to everyone in the house but me. What should I do or what needs to be done? He can’t be around the other animals yet and I have a two year old that I need to watch him around. What would you advise to be done. Thankyou

    • Avatar Marko says:

      For the time being, I’d suggest keeping the cat away from the child. Maybe you have a basement, if not then might be best to confine the cat to the largest area possible and put the food and litter-box there. When it is safe (you can supervise them both, child is napping, you’ve taken the child out somewhere etc.), then let the cat out. That’s the safest route. I wouldn’t want my cat stalking my child.

      In a year or two the child will be much bigger and will likely scare the heck out of the cat- so you’ll have less worries.

      If this were my cat I might give a loud noise or No! as i saw any type of aggression toward any human member of the family.

      Just my opinion of course – i am not a vet – Good luck!

  58. Avatar Natalya says:

    Hello, I need to ask for an advice as it is not getting any better. I have a 7 years old male cat. He is a Nibelung, a mix of Russian blue and domestic long hair. Got him in the shelter when he was 2 months old. Moved with him from one place to another, from one state to another even! Very affectionate to me and my mom, OK with my dad ( they lived with me for 2 years in the house).They moved out in Nov 2012 and in June of this year my new boyfriend moved in with me. The cat never was super friendly to guys but he’d be just ‘ whatever, I don’t care’. My boyfriend is the first guy in about 3 years who started to actually live with me, in the same apartment. I moved cat’s litter box back to my bathroom to make it less stressful. Also there is plenty of space and we never close the doors anywhere (except for the bathroom if someone in the bathroom) ’cause the cat does not like closed doors. It was OK for first 2 months and then by BF tried to fit the cat, opened the cabinet door to get the bag with the cat’s food and the bag ( almost empty) fell. Cat freaked out and climbed on my BF and then ran away under the bed. Since then, the cat hisses and growls constantly at BF and hides under the bed. And growls from under there. Is there a way to reintroduce them to each other? My BF is not a ‘cat’ person but he wants to make it better because he loves me. Last night we were sitting on the balcony and the cat was sitting in his ‘condominium’ structure. I sat on my BF’s lap and kissed him and then tried to pet the cat and the cat just bit me as hard as he could. It is upsetting as he never ever behaved this way before. Also once my BF is out of the door, the cat becomes his normal purring self again. Help!!!

  59. Avatar Lindsey says:

    Hi I have a 2 year old male cat. It has been pretty much me and him since I got him at 6 weeks old. When I have female friends over he needs a few minutes to adjust to having company and he’s ok with them. Male friends usually take longer. My boyfriend recently moved in about 4 months ago and my cat has been nothing but aggressive towards him. Growling and hissing he even attacks him when we are sleeping. Is there anything I can do to help my cat relax and not be so aggressive towards my boyfriend?

  60. Avatar Mike says:

    My female cat is about 2 years older than our male, they have been extremely close ever since we got the male. All of the sudden the female has completely changed and is very very aggressive towards the younger male. Why would this happen just out of the blue?

  61. Avatar John says:

    We have a cat that watches my feet as I walk through the house and attacks my legs as I pass him. He hides out and waits for me then attacks drawing blood, then runs off. When I approach him after the attack he looks at me like he doesn’t know he did what he did….any help out there?

  62. Avatar jane says:

    Hi we got our female 2 and a half year old cat from a rescue centre a few weeks ago everything was fine at first but the other day she was sitting on my lap and her claw got caught i tried to help free it and when she was free she bite and scratched me several times before runnin off now she sits on the stairs waiting for me if i try and pass she jumps up and bites snd scratchs me im beginning to become scared of her now as its like shes out to get me what can we do to stop her attacking?

  63. Avatar Brenda says:

    Hi, I have two 5y our old fixed female tabby cats and 9mths ago a neutered male tabby (we are unsure of his age) turned up at our place.We couldn’t find an owner and he stayed.They all have unlimited access to outdoor,indoor as we live in a rural community. the male has started to continually attacks the girls to the point they are both terrified and I cant get one to stay inside anymore. We really want to keep all of them but what behaviour modifications do we need to try. Any help would be appreciated

  64. Avatar Taggy says:

    My male 1 year old cat was in my brothers room after midnight at like 2:30am I went up to it and IT HISSED FOR NO REASON then it stalked me to my room where i slamed the door in its face it scratched at it all night HELP I’M TRAPPED IN MY ROOM!!!!!

  65. Avatar Ruth says:

    Hi -I have one lovely gentle old tom cat of nearly 15,a large male rescue cat who is now 6,and has always been rather aloof,and recently adopted a 6 month old kitten who had been in care for most of her life(he i now about 10 months) and all 3 are neutered.Recently the kitten,who has always been confident and assertive has started to become aggressive to the old cat-we think she is trying to be affectionate,as she want to sit on him,or knead at him,or just cuddle up,but he is getting distressed by this although he does try to tolerate her.The middle cat just stays out all the time,as she adores him,and follows him round mercilessly when he does drop in.Is this likely to be a coming of age thing?Is there anything practical I can do?They are all much loved members of the family and it feels as if it is disintegrating-please can some one help?

  66. Avatar mike says:

    I have a 10 yr old siamese who was the most loving and loyal pet you could possibly want. About 8 months ago my situation changed and moved into an apartment. Unfortunately he went from being with family all day until I got home from work to being alone for 12 hours a day. I sensed he was depressed so I brought him to the vet who suggested I get him a playmate around 3 yes old. So I rescued a cat who is very sweet and introduce them correctly they seem to get along fine however my 10 yr old is getting aggressive with me hissing growling and sometimes biting. I’m not sure if this will correct itself or I should look for a home for the new cat

  67. Avatar Chelsie says:

    I have a super affectionate cat, but about once a day he turns hostile and acts like a completely different cat. He’ll walk over and sit on me and cuddle on his side with his head nuzzled against me and be purring, and while he’s still purring he begins to scratch me, and then he tries to bite me, and his eyes just stare into me and he looks really aggressive, I’ve never heard him his, but he will do this strange meowing behavior and lunge at me repeatedly. This has dramatically increased over the last week or so. He normally loves to cuddle so I am very confused when this happens. It seems totally out of the blue and isn’t predictable. Should I take him to a vet?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Seems like petting aggression to me…and it’s (normally) very predictable.

      Just watch your cat while you are petting it. Before he bites you his body language will change if you are paying attention to it. The tail will twitch, the ears may go back…these are some common signs.

      But there WILL be a change between between ecstatic purring and attacking….it’s up to you to notice it.
      Here’s another article that may help. Good luck!

  68. Avatar Karen says:

    Hi, we have got to cats that used to get on really well until now, ie.. Sharing there bed / grooming each other but since we started letting them out in the garden just to get use to their surroundings the female one keeps attacking the younger male when he comes back in the house and we carnt understand why? Can you help us?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Please feel free to post this on our forum for free for a better back and forth. But it may be because the cat’s smell has changed while outdoors.
      Good luck.

  69. Avatar Ruth says:

    Hi, my 88 year old mother has had her cat for 15 years and just recently the cat will jump into her lap and my mum will pet her and the cat will suddenly hiss and bite or scratch her! The cat is Siamese and has never in 15 years done anything like this! She scratched her so hard the other day that she drew blood. My mum is a cancer survivor and I am concerned about her getting an infection from a cat scratch! The cat may have a bit of arthritis or maybe she is just old and grumpy. I feel that maybe the cat should be euthanized as in infection could really have some serious consequences:(

    • Avatar Marko says:

      This is normal cat behaviour, so no need to euthanize the cat.
      This is simple petting aggression – give this article below to your mum.

      When the cat’s body language changes, tell your mum to IMMEDIATELY stop petting the cat. It really is that simple in most cases. The tail flicking and ears changing position are 2 very common precursors to a bite. Cats, like dogs, and humans almost never do things ‘suddenly’ when it comes to aggression. There are almost always observable signs.

      Here’s the article and good luck –

  70. Avatar People Should Not Own Cats If They Cannot Handle It says:

    I think a lot of the bad behaviors here are because the owners do not treat their cats right. For instance, you cannot corner a cat and try and pet him when he is in fight or flight mode. All this talk about cat aggression makes me wonder what these people are doing to the cats to elicit reactions. I see people do mean things to cats like throw them around like balls, and pull on their tails, so no wonder their cats are aggressive. Maybe owning a cat is not for you if you do not want an animal who never bites or scratch. Get a fish that will swim around in a bowl, I think that is more your speed. I never have had any of these problems with cats attacking me, but as a cat owner I give my cat space, and let her come to me when she wants to. I do not pick her up with she is in flight or fight mode.

  71. Avatar Jillian wile says:

    I have an orange tabby. He’s my main man and my best friend. I have had him for about 4 years. I got him from a shelter hours before he was scheduled to be put down, so that was his past. He has grown rather find of me and gets serious separation anxiety whenever I walk out the door. He urinates on things and scratches stuff up but once I walk back in he’s perfectly fine. After failed other attempts at helping him the very recommended we think about a friend for him. We ended up with a male sphynx kitten since their nature is usually to be very submissive. It’s been about 6 months and my tabby still is having issues with the sphynx who gets pretty playful aggressive with me. He wants to play rough all the time. He was also a rescue which forced him to be taken from his mother and litter mates far to early and was bottle feed. Any way we have tried everything to get the tabby to get used to the sphynx including the 9 feliway plugins we have strategically placed through out the house. And the tabby was placed on a natural anxiety med. Charles my tabby will lash out at me anytime he smells or sees radar the sphynx. Radar had his own room and Charles gets free roam when we aren’t home but when I get the two together Charles growls hisses makes awful noises and radar wants to play and pounce on him even stalking him some when radar gets too close Charles swipes and lunges but never has actually scratched him. Me on the other hand is a different story. He could be fine and loving until I Pat him with a hand that smells like radar. I need help with these boys I love them both dearly and wouldn’t dream of parting with either but I don’t want poor radar to be stuck in his room every time we leave the house.

  72. Avatar michelle says:

    I have a 12yr old spayed female cat. I have had her for 11 of the 12 years. She got extremely aggressive a couple of years ago. I put her on what amounts to ‘Kitty Prozac” for a couple of years she was better. I say better because Shes always been vocal for lack of a better word, she talks and will not hesitate to hiss if she doesn’t like something. since the Prozac, there were no attacks. unfortunately she fell out of a window, which required her to take antibiotics, she is not easy to get to take meds, in fact she has never been easy about anything. Also at the same time cropped up a bladder infection, and one really enlarged kidney. The vet believed that this could be a symptom of the prozac. I took her off of it, still she was fine behaviorally , improved even. More affectionate, and present. I moved a month ago, we are still dealing with antibiotics, and now she is attacking for no reason again. for a better timeline, may 2 years ago we started prozac, October she fell out of the window, we stop prozac, march I move, to an apartment 2 door away, no travel or anything, I carried her over there, and a month later she is attacking me. for now, its back to the Prozac, but any other advice would be appreciated.

  73. Avatar Laurie says:

    I have 3 who are 6 years old. 1 male and 2 females who are spayed and neutered. My one female however seems to like to shake her tail like she is spraying/marking her territory. I don’t understand this behavior since I clean their litter boxes 5 times a week and have 4 litter boxes. I have always trained them with a squirt bottle in every room for such behavior. I’m kind of puzzled at this behavior.
    Also, I have adopted a 2 year old male who is neutered and was raised with a dog since he was 6 weeks old. The growling and hissing when he wants to play is getting out of hand. He gets sprayed with the water bottle when he just won’t stop, but not sure how much time it will take them to get along. Any help would be appreciated.

  74. Avatar Ashley says:

    I’ve got a two year old male cat, outdoor. Originally we also had his two brothers. Recently we got a puppy (the cat was fine with our other small dog.) And one of my cats brothers returned to us (his owner suddenly decided he could no longer keep him and basically we either had to take him back or he went to the shelter) my problem is, the cat we’ve had for two years has started acting incredibly aggressive since we got the puppy and the other cat returned, toward me and all the other animals. It’s weird and I don’t know what to do about it.

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Feel free to post this on our forum for a better back and forth between members.

      A couple of things come to mind though. Do a search for feliway and rescue remedy – both these products help some (but not all) cats relax in stressful situations.

      secondly – change stresses out cats. It’s entirely possible that this situation will get better over the next few weeks as the cat habituates to the change.
      Good luck!

  75. Avatar Amanda says:

    Hi my name is Amanda and I have a female cat, i’m not too sure what type of cat she is i just know that she is a calico. My cat is very friendly towards my boyfriend and my roommate but sometimes when we have new company over she gets aggressive and she has attacked one of my friends. when he went to the bathroom she latched on to his chest and scratched his arms, face, and stomach, and she started peeing everywhere and then she attacked my aunt and my aunts boyfriend. She latched onto my aunts boyfriends face and dug her claws into his head and neck and was viciously biting his nose. My boyfriend and i are planning to move into a new apartment and i am very nervous to bring her into a new environment and have company at our new place… she isn’t spayed and we are planning to get her spayed as soon as we get the money to do so. we are hoping this will calm her and be more friendly towards our family and company. I don’t know what else to do, i am hoping you have some advice?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      If the only problem is when people come over, the easiest solution is the lock the cat up when you have guests. The spaying may well help this situation.

      Feel free to post this question on our forum for additional ideas. good luck!

  76. Avatar Bobbie Boyd says:

    We put my son’s cat to sleep for attacking everyone that came near it. The last straw was a severe bite to my son’s face . Don’t tolerate biting at the expense of family and friends. We tried a bunch of things to try and solve the problem but the vet felt we should not pass this cat on to a shelter or another family.

  77. Avatar Tiffany says:

    I have a 9 month old torti. I just adore her but her attitude sometimes makes me wonder if I need to get her help or if I’ve done something wrong. She seems to snap and growl/hiss when I’m petting her which Is probably just her getting tired of me petting her. But the thing that I don’t like is this;
    I hate seeing any animal cooped up inside all the time so I bought her a leash and harness to let her go outside with and enjoy the fresh air. She’s been fine for MONTHS. Now suddenly whenever I go to take her back inside she gets seriously hostile and growls, hisses, and put her ears back. Even when I’m carrying her. She’s never bit or striked at me though, she just seems to get very upset when it’s time to go back inside. Was treating her to the outdoors a mistake?

  78. Avatar Judy says:

    I’m truly concerned about my domestic short-hair. She’s 6 years old and only allows me to give her affection. I have a husband and two adult sons. We have two other cats (all from the same family) but they don’t interact with her – she pretty much stays in my bedroom. My concern is now for the 3rd time in about 3 years she has attacked me in my sleep – viciously biting me. Each time has been through my covers and on the leg. I have no idea what would provoke this. Any advice????

    • Avatar Marko says:

      Cats sometimes track things that move…and toes and legs move at night while you sleep. If I had to bet, I’d bet that the cat is tracking your feet as though it is prey. This is an instinctual behaviour and is not about you as the cat likely doesn’t even know that it is biting you, its owner.
      If it’s the same behaviour – my cat has done this to me and my wife in the past but he’s not a hard biter.
      For a better back and forth please post this in the forum.
      Good luck!

  79. Avatar Andrea says:

    I am pet sitting for a cat who hisses at me, sometimes as soon as when I first walk in the front door. Sometimes the cat shows curiosity, sniffs me, and then hisses as I enter the kitchen to feed her. Any tips on how to make things more calm for both of us? :)

  80. Avatar Amela says:

    I am 28 weeks pregnant. Recently, my cat has turned agressive towards me. He is friendly with my husband. He bites and meows, attacks my feet, and every time i try to pet him he bites my hand. This is really odd behaviour for him. I was always his favorite human. He sleeps with me. He usually follows me everywhere I go. This is our first baby. Momo has been our only cat for 3 years. We had him since he was a kitten. I just want my kitty to be happy again.

  81. Avatar Lisa Grace Root says:

    Hi There

    I have a half siamease half tabby cat. Shes four years now. My issues is that she becomes very agressive around pretty well all children excluding maybe one or two. it’s hard to even remove her from the room. She then becomes vocally aggressive towards myself almost like she is upset that i’ve allowed the children in the room. I don’t want to get rid of her, but we fear that she is actually going to attack a child someday. What are my options to reverse this behaviour?

    • Avatar Marko says:

      As the cat ages it might become less aggressive toward kids, but MANY cats don’t like kids because kids don’t know how to behave around cats and it freaks cats out.

      I’d say keep the cat separated from children until the cat hopefully mellows out over time.
      Good luck

  82. Avatar Sarah says:

    What kind of disgusting person removes a cat’s claws? it is a cruel mutilation that leaves the cat defenseless. The operation hurts and often can cause infection. If you cannot figure out how to trim your cats claws like fingernails (you don’t cut the pink areas) then hire someone else to do it.

  83. Avatar ibrahim says:

    i had one persian cat male and a female now i have bought a siamese cat male about 1 year he bites every person in home except one women first the two males used to fight but now they do not fight but the siamese one bites us so please help us

  84. Avatar leanne says:

    My 2 year old cat had kittens 5 months ago and we kept one of them, she has recently started to hiss and claw at him when all he is doing is walking past her. Is there anything we can do to stop her doing this as he is getting scared of her?

    We had her spayed 6 weeks ago and are getting the boy neutered asap, could this be anything to do with it?



    • Avatar Marko says:

      Sometimes kittens are a pain…and maybe the mother cat just wants to be left alone.
      Mom should mellow as kitty gets older.
      Good luck

  85. Avatar Ryan says:

    My GF and I have had our male cat for 5 years since he was a few months old. He is a fixed American Shorthair. A month ago, he became extremely aggressive toward her. Half the time he’s fine and sits near her, allows her to pet him and give him treats. The other half of the time, usually beginning in the morning when I’m gone at work, he becomes viscous and aggressive toward her, hissing, screaming and growling. He stalks her through the apartment and screams at her, hackles raised and will lunge at her with teeth or claws if she gets too close. This generally lasts the entire day. Sometimes two. He will chill out in one of his spots and then if she comes into view, he goes insane again. Its directed at her for certain. She doesn’t hit him or anything. She’s an insane cat person. Total crazy cat lady. We have not changed residence, moved or changed his food. His water is in the same place. His litter is scooped regularly. No person or pets have been introduced into the household. I can’t take much more.

  86. Avatar Ryan says:

    The stimulus seems to be mostly visual. If I put him in the bedroom during one of his little episodes and he sees her feet under the door he starts screaming again. He sees mine and does nothing.

  87. Avatar Mark says:

    I’m looking for some advice if you can help. We have 2 cat’s aged around 3 years both sisters from the same litter both spayed and both kept indoors. With myself and my partner they are really nice loving cats. We kept them in the kitchen for a while when we moved and they seem to have adopted this as their room now because even when we give them run of the house they come out have a nosey around and always return to the kitchen. We can’t separate them in different rooms because they howl for each other at different sides of the door. They have only ever known each other and it doesn’t cause any problems. We also have a dog which they don’t bother with one of them will even sleep in his bed with him. HOWEVER if a person (mostly males) who they aren’t used to go into the kitchen without us they go absolutely balistic they howl and hiss, their ears go down and they fluff themselves right up then 5 hey start fighting with each other in a really vicious way before turning on the person who’s in the room. One seems to set the other off with growling and howling just before all hell breaks loose. I can go in the room to save the person in there and get them out and although still growling and hissing they won’t go for me and I can calm them to a degree I normally have to just leave them to calm fully of their own accord. Up to a point we joked with people saying “don’t go in there the guard cats will have you” it just doesn’t seem right that cats that are normally so soft and loving and react in such a nasty way. It can’t be good for them to get so stressed and wound up and it’s certainly no good for anyone who’s on the receiving end of it.
    Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    • Avatar Marko says:

      For a better back and forth from fabulous cat people…feel free to post this on our forum.

      But the low tech easiest solution will be separate the cats when gusts come in the house.
      You could also try diffusing sprays like Feliway.
      Good luck

  88. Avatar Claire says:


    I wondered if you can help me. I have a male cat who is 3 years old. He can be such a sweet cat but also has an aggressive side. This manifests itself by attacking my leg when I walk along. He will grab my leg really tight with his claws and bite very hard and jump away within a few seconds. There is no warning, as I said, I will just be walking along, and there does not seem to be any common feature in these attacks. He will then go for a month or two and not do it but then will launch into this attack again. The first thing he does is run away but often I bruise really badly as he claws and bites so deep in my skin. As an example, he just did this and within 2 minutes he has got on my bed to settle down with me for the night. I have tried so many ways to stop this including yelling, saying jobs, spraying him with water. Please help because I don’t like having to defend him to other people about this aggressive behaviour.



  89. Avatar Nicole says:

    Me and my fiance have had our cat since it was a kitten, she is about three years old. We lived in a small apartment and never had people over. She has never really liked strangers. She has always had a negative reactionto the sound of a doorbell. We just got a house and our nephew came over. She doesn’t love him but knows him and is always fine with him. He rang the doorbell before he came in and was in our entryway with my fiance and his mother who our cat has never seen. our cat lunged at him. My fiance gently kicked her away and she chased after him and bit him. She is the most loving and wonderful cat to both of us. I think her reaction is our move and for some reason her horrible reaction to the doorbell. But now im in a position where i have to put her in a room if someone comes over because i dont want that reaction to happen again…..incase its not just the trigger to the sound of the doorbell. She isnt spaid. So we are doing that this week. But is there anything else i can do or need to do? I cant handle the thought of getting rid of her so i need help.

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