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by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started - Preventing Cat Attacks

Cats show aggression for many reasons.  One source of aggression can be physical discomfort or pain. The first step to understanding aggression is to rule out any possible medical causes by getting a thorough diagnostic examination with labwork.

Behavioral motivations for aggression include:
fear, territory, parental, play, redirected, predatory, petting-induced, pain-induced, social status, medical or learned. Cats may show more than one type of aggression.

Aggression can also be situational or specific to one family member, strangers, other pets in the household, or to unknown pets only.

Keeping a behavioral diary helps identify what causes aggression.

Behavioral treatment usually includes behavior modification techniques, changes to the cat's environment and medical therapy.

Late Socialization: 9 to 16 weeks old

  • Continues to learn social skills.

  • Social play peaks.

  • Social conflict over status may emerge.

[1] AAFP. (2004). Feline Behavior Guidelines.

Unwanted pet behavior is a leading cause of pet neglect, abuse, abandonment to back yard jails, surrender to shelters, and euthanasia 

For your education

Library Topics

Aggression Toward People
Aggression Toward Owners
Redirected Aggression - Q&A
Pet Aggression Primer - Q&A
Pet Aggression Territorial - Q&A

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