Animals

How to control aggression in your cat

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Feline aggression is caused by many reasons. Among the most common are:

Unlike dogs, the domestication of cats is not complete, so they can easily even with small gestures return to their former wild state.

If your cat is adopted and has shown chapters of aggression with you or with members of your family, it is possible that he has previously been mistreated and relates the human figure with pain and suffering, which generates a fear that tries to fight aggressively.

Give him his time, let him adapt to the new environment and let him see for himself that your home is a quiet place, full of peace and love, where he also has a place.

There are circumstances that your cat may not be used to. For example, you may have done a mischief and when you call him to scold him he becomes aggressive with you. It is a rare situation for him and not knowing how to react generates a situation of stress in him that tries to calm aggressively.

If your cat has a tendency to become aggressive because of stress or to be nervous before unfamiliar situations, try to introduce them to them gradually so that it is not a shock too big for him.

Redirected Aggression

When they receive the attack of a person or a cat that intimidates them and they feel weaker, cats may discharge their anger against a person with whom they feel stronger. This could be you because he knows you want him and he thinks that makes you vulnerable. Mark him from the beginning the hierarchy system making him see that who is in charge is you without taking away his dose of corresponding love.

Perhaps it has happened to you that you have been stroking your cat and suddenly he has become aggressive as if he were crazy. This can be for several reasons:

  • One way to say "enough is enough, thanks"
  • He was half asleep and woke up startled and defensive
  • If it is a cat not used to socializing.

You can know that your cat is not comfortable while you caress it if it stops purring, move its tail from side to side or twitch its back a little. If you see one of these signs, it is best to get up so that it is removed and is not on top of you.

«Under oppression even a wise man acts like crazy»

How to calm your cat when it gets aggressive

If your cat directs its aggressiveness against you, there are several things you can do to defend yourself.

  • Water gun. Cats hate water, so having a water gun at hand never hurts. This will help you in case your cat confers an attack or if he is fighting with another pussy he will be very useful to separate them.
  • Get away. Leave the room and close the door to leave the animal alone for about 20 minutes. It is likely that when you open the door you will have forgotten>

I want to do it

Training your cat and transforming it into one of appropriate behavior requires first of all that you learn two important lessons in feline language:

• Your cat will never do something he doesn't want to do: No matter how many times you try to call him waiting for him to respond running happily towards you, your cat does not do what he is told, it is part of his independent instinct. To adapt to your life, you must fill yourself with patience and find yourself in the middle.

• The cat always wants to know what he earns by obeying: Either a sweetie or a snack, the pussy needs compensation for his effort.

Now, it sounds narcissistic and selfish on your part but do not take it badly, it is part of your cat behavior. It does not mean that he does not love you or that he prefers to be alone to curl up in your skirt, is that you have to learn that the cat is not a dog and shows his affection differently. The same happens with its aggressiveness.

Steps to control aggressiveness:

• Make sure it is not a medical problem: The first step before starting to train him is to take note of his behavior. Perhaps what appears to be aggressiveness is actually a symptom of some disease.

• BE CONSTANT: To learn to control your aggressive instinct you need to be constant in your training. If your cat notices that one day you say NO! When climbing to the table but the next day you become blind and leave him, he will never learn to behave as you want.

Remember that the cat is a lover of the routine, if you keep the routine of scolding him by committing the same action over time he will understand.

• Never be violent with your cat: The cat does not associate physical violence with discipline. Hitting it will only lead to stress and avoid being around you.

• Play defense: Turn your house into a war field ... for a while.

It sounds dramatic but it works. If you manage to cover or change those areas that your cat prefers and turn them into unpleasant places, the pussy will change his mind. For example:

• Covers furniture: Use plastic, foil or even strips of adhesive tape on both sides to cover the furniture. All are unpleasant surfaces for your cat and after trying to settle in such a glue, you will understand the message.

• Assume it on the spot: The cat does not understand (or does not want to understand) when you scold him after he gets off the table. The time to make him understand is when he's climbed on the table and you scare him in fraganti. For this the bottles to spray water are very effective. If you don't want to deal with water, you can place coins in a glass container and shake it when you see the cat behaving inappropriately. Try not to see the cat, so he will associate the table with the noise or the water jet and learn the lesson.

• Put tabasco: To avoid eating your plants, place a few drops of tabasco on the leaves. The sense of smell in your cat is so acute that he will not dare to approach it.

• Each situation must have its substitute: With training you will surely stop scraping the sofa but keep in mind that scraping your nails is part of your feline instinct.

They need it to mark their territory and remove layers of dead nail.

For this reason it is important that for each of the workouts you have a positive alternative such as:

• scraper posts in strategic places of the house

• surfaces to jump near the windows so you can sit and watch the world from a place other than your dining room table

• your own garden with herbs to eat like catnip

What if my cat doesn't calm down?

Your cat may be more sensitive and may not respond positively to your training. Take it to the vet and explain the situation. He can give you solutions or recommend treatment with specialists in cat behavior.

If you still feel you can help him at home, here are other alternatives:

• Back to the beginning: An alternative is to retrain it as if it had just arrived at your home.

Create a room or area in the house that is alone for him. Bring your litter box, your food and water and leave it alone. Although it may not seem like it, cats suffer from stress and transmit their feelings aggressively. Leaving it locked in your area will give you peace of mind. When he asks you to take it slowly around the house, one room at a time.

• That new chair causes you stress: Walk around your house and take note of any changes in it. It can be something as minimal as a new plant or the reorganization of your living room furniture. What for us is something fun and new, for your cat it is a change in his beloved routine and he does not see it with good eyes. Let him get used to it little by little.

• A sweetie relieves the situation: Obviously not when he misbehaves, but if you see positive changes in his behavior, let him know. Your cat will feel calmer knowing you're happy with him.

Why can cats be aggressive?

There are several reasons why a cat, even the most affectionate, can be aggressive:

    Feel cornered: for example, when a second cat, dog or person watches over you while you cover or close a possible salt> What to do to stop being aggressive?

In addition to what we have commented so far, several things must be kept in mind when we adopt a cat. One of the most important and obvious is that its not a dog, that is, we cannot pretend to get your trust the same day we take you home. For that, we first have to show him that we really want him and that we respect him. How? Very simple: with cans of wet food, with toys, and with unexpected caresses (for example, when you are eating or distracted with something).

Another thing we will do will be respect your space and your way of being. This means that you don't have to try to change your personality. I mean, if it's a cat who doesn't like being caught, we won't do it. I can tell you that one of mine is quite disgusting: he does not like to be held and can even growl at me if I do it for a long time (1 or 2 minutes), however, he loves to be caressed when he is relaxed in his bed. It's all about finding the ideal time to show you how much you love him.

Don't let him bite you or scratch you. You have to keep this in mind. In the same way that you are not going to mistreat him, he has to learn not to use his fangs or nails to hurt you, even playing. Therefore, from the first day he arrives home you must teach him not to do it. In the links I explain how to achieve it.

Castrating your cat before he is zealous (with six months or so) is a way to reduce and even eliminate aggressive behavior. This is a simple operation after which the animal will recover quickly (a week in the case of cats, and a few days in the case of cats).

Mutual respect will be what turns your relationship into a pure and lasting friendship.

How is the behavior of a cat?

A cat is a solitary and territorial predator. Its territory is the house or the place where it lives and shares it with some animal and with some human (not all, so that some human member can be considered as “non grato”). Tolerates relatively well the presence of other cats, although always with hierarchical tensions, because it does not develop a linear type (it would be one that once defines who is the dominant one, this is for everything).

This means that one cat can be dominant for access to food and the other to approach its owner. The establishment of the hierarchy by resources is always done more or less aggressively, with war of eyes or directly with aggression.

They really like to sleep and have short periods of activity and play (as more adults become, less play). They are not like dogs, who constantly seek the caress and play of their master. They will only do it at certain times and when they choose.

From the way a cat's normal behavior is being described, it seems that they are all arisco. They compete for each of the resources more or less aggressively, he chooses the moments to share with the owner and is also lonely. However, there are very sociable cats, but there are also very aggressive ones, so far the behavior of an average cat has been described.

What causes the cat "unexpectedly aggressive" reactions?

Aggression is frequent after caress. That is, the owner arrives at his house (for the cat is his territory) and the cat runs towards him. In principle, the cat's body language indicates that it is friendly (straight tail high). The cat entertains itself in smelling the owner's legs and begins to scrub, from head to tail. The owner at the sign of "love" catches the cat and it is stirred and tries to flee, but the owner insists on his love and the cat responds aggressively. Really the cat It is not welcoming us, it is marking us with its smell and nullifying the smell that can be brought from the street or other feline territories.

The stares They also usually cause this type of reaction. The stare between 2 cats indicates challenge and tension, which can trigger (both in a flight and in a fight. Humans like to stare into the face of another human, it is a sign of communication, we even smile (we show teeth) ), for a cat this is a sign of threat.

The constant caress on his head and the spine goes from being a pleasant sensation to being unbearable in tenths of seconds (it has a large number of odor generating glands in this area, as well as nerve receptors sensitive to touch and pressure). The cat is usually removed when the caress starts to bother you, so you have to let him go.

How to get a cat is not so crappy?

The first thing is to know your natural behavior. A cat has never behaved like a dog and therefore you cannot expect the same answers from them, on the other hand, you have to keep in mind that although this has lived with the human being for thousands of years, it has not been tamed like the dog. The cat can manage very well alone, without depending on the owner, because still retaining his hunter instinct (A hunter has to be aggressive) and that quality is what has been selected for thousands of years (hunting mice and rats, in order to protect human houses and crops).

Until barely 70 years ago, there were very few cat breeds, the selection criteria based on beauty and behavior are relatively recent.

The second is to be aware that by being territorial, it marks and defends its territory. Do not urinate out of your drawer to annoy, is expressing a behavior of saying what is the border of your territory or is expressing stress. This behavior can be reduced or eliminated, but it can never be misunderstood.

The third is advised to use the method of the immediate reward for a behavior to be reinforced (operant conditioning with positive reinforcement). In cats (and in general in no animal) punishment is never advisable after the conduct of a behavior that the human being considers inappropriate.

The aggressiveness of the cat

Aggression in cats It is usually the second of the problems of feline behavior, as long as aggressiveness manifests frequently.

A cat that is aggressive, is a dangerous animal to live with in our home, because in addition to the danger it represents for family members, the cat also usually manifests its erroneous behavior with everyone who passes the door of our home. Not all cats demonstrate their aggressiveness in the same way, there are those who scar and try to relate as little as possible to people, such as those who directly attack people violently to one or more members of the family environment. Many times, you are violent manifestations They are not taken with sufficient consideration by the owners. We must keep in mind that any manifestation of feline aggression that occurs frequently, whatever the intensity, should be assessed by a veterinarian or an ethologist.

Until the professional can assess the causes of these behaviors, it is best to try not to encourage, provoke or motivate aggressive behaviors, such as playing with our hands and allowing the cat to bite or scratch them. We must bear in mind that before entering to evaluate this type of violent behavior, medical examinations should be done that rule out possible diseases that may be causing the problem. Cystitis, dental problems, arthritis, pathologies of the nervous system, can be some of the causes of aggressive manifestations of the cat.

When we are going to pose our problem to the veterinarian, we have to provide very precise and detailed data about his behavior since he is with us, the following information is important:

- Cat temperament, if dominant, fearful, independent, etc.

- Age of the beginning of the aggressions (there are cats that are genetically aggressive from birth) - Their body attitudes, postures, movements

- Facial expressions of the cat such as the position of the ears, its eyes - The sounds that the cat emits, screams, snorts, etc.

- In what situations the aggression occurs, if it is while playing, when it is caressed, etc.

- Intensity of aggressions

- How each family member handles such attacks

It should be clarified that kittens and young cats usually show signs of aggression during the game, because they are learning, because they are innate predatory hunters. The mistake we should not make is to reinforce these behaviors with increasingly violent games, because this can lead to more serious attacks in the future.

There are signs during the game with them that should not be allowed:

- When the cat goes to the face

- Bites and scratches

- They do not stop attacking despite our attempts to avoid it We must never physically punish a cat, this is not effective and will only increase the tension of the cat, increasing its aggressiveness. Nor should we offer prizes, caresses or food to an aggressive cat to try to appease him, because the signal the cat is receiving is that its owner is rewarding him for his violent attitudes.

Some solutions to deal with aggressive cats: - The kitten who does not stay long enough with the mother and her siblings, usually has these problems

- Do not propose aggressive games

- When aggression occurs, complain in an exaggerated way

- Avoid any type of physical punishment

- Divert your attention during aggression to moving toys, etc.

- Assess the possibility of incorporating another cat of similar age and temperaments, sometimes the presence of another cat allows "hunting" games do not fall on humans

- Separate the animal to another room immediately after the aggression occurs and leave it there for a few minutes and repeat this as many times as necessary. These are some tips, but the first thing we have to do is consult with a professional to rule out possible disease-related problems.

Signs of cat aggressiveness

- Stare at the person who will be attacked, with the mustaches and neck stretched and the ears back

- Tail separated from the body, bent down or vertical with the tip bent up

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