What is it?
ever thought you cat attacked you for no reason? Believe it or not, your cat has
a reason, you just don't know it, yet!
Genetics. You cat
may be exercising the genetic code
to prowl, pounce and play. A good
way to prevent cat attacks on people
is to provide plenty of prey-play
interactive games with your cat
directly that attention and skills
Professional help. If
this problem persists after
following the steps in this topic,
consider making an appointment for a
pet behavior case analysis by a
veterinary behavior consultant. For more information on this service, call 1-800-372-3706.
reflex. If your cat
tends to attack when startled, you can put a bell on the cats collar to alert
you that the cat it near. Try to call to your cat when you enter the home to
alert the cat of your arrival. Be sure to praise your cat, preferably on cat
level, when your cat remains calm for greetings.
Avoid aggressive play and slapping games with
your cat. Do not allow
your cat to nip or to place hard pressure in play or when mouthing your hands.
Pet selection. The best prevention
for aggression begins with careful kitten or cat selection. Ideally, families rule out adopting kittens or cats that show tendencies to be excessively frisky and possibly aggressive.
If you know the cat's parents were aggressive, consider choosing another well
deserving cat or kitten with more friendly genetics on board.
possible, adopt a cat or kitten who was properly socialized as a kitten to people and other pets. The best age to socialize a kitten to people and other pets is from 3 to 7 weeks old.
Ideally, kittens experience
everything they will encounter later in life in ways that develop a confident,
calm, loving, social, gentle personality. Frequent body massages and gentling exercises during these first two months of life
help kittens learn to accept gentle human handling.
Gentle mouthing. Teach bite inhibition by giving
your cat feedback on how much mouth pressure is allowed on your skin. Respond to any firm placement of the teeth on
human skin with a loud cat yowling sound, freeze and withdraw all attention.
your cat puts more pressure than is acceptable
with a play bite, stop play and all social interaction for at least 30 seconds.
What not to do?
scolding or physical punishment. Do not
respond to aggression with any type
of aggression as this will only
reinforce the cat's perception of
you as a threat and cause the cat's
aggression to escalate.