The Different Causes of Cat Aggression

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Cats are fun and playful pets to have, especially if you have a big family or even if you are living alone with your cats. House cats are mostly docile and very tamed, but sometimes they just become aggressive towards you or your family or even at other pets you have in the house.

Having an aggressive cat that scratches and bites will surely injure you or your family and friends if you try to handle the aggressive cat. One of the main reason why a cat will show aggression to somebody is that they are in pain. Finding out what causes their pain is one of our responsibilities since cats can’t talk and tell us.

Physical Causes of Cat Aggression

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Before you assume that your cat is just a plain old meanie kitty or just being aggressive because of its behavior, it is also important to consider that she might be suffering from some medical condition. If you have a docile and playful cat that is usually friendly towards you or anyone, but then suddenly it just hisses out of no of the blue when you try to handle him or is out of his usual character, then he might be suffering from some physical pain. It might be either external pain or internal pain. Whatever it is, you can first secure him in a  comfortable cat enclosure and then, investigate carefully.

A non visible wound

If you have a fluffy and furry cat then it might be one of the reasons that you can’t see the wound that is causing your cat pain. If your cat suddenly shows aggression without any reason at all, then you must bring your cat to your veterinarian immediately to have him examined. Most of the time it is just an open sore that you can’t see visibly because of your cat’s fur.

Chronic conditions

Grumpy and aggressive cats usually suffer from chronic conditions that is not obvious to the pet owner. Arthritis, dental diseases or even poor eyesight will cause your friendly cat to go grumpy because of the pain it feels. Let your veterinarian check your cat immediately to know what kind of health problem it is suffering. Cats tend to hide their pain for themselves because it makes them look weak and vulnerable to others, but when there is pain, it will cause its behavior to change drastically.


Hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis is caused by the increase of production of thyroid hormones. A cat that has this health disorder will inhibit changes in its behavior resulting in its aggression towards anyone. It also cause the cat to have increased drinking, increased urination, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat shows these symptoms, bring the cat immediately to the veterinarian and have it examined.


Rabies is common to stray cats that have not been vaccinated. Stay away from stray cats that are aggressive for they might scratch and bite you. If ever you encounter a stray cat showing aggressive behavior when being approached to, immediately call animal control. Let them handle the stray cat.

Psychological Causes of Cat Aggression

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After all the check up and examinations from the veterinarian and your cat still show signs of aggressions, it is time to consider your cat’s behavioral problems. The important thing to ask yourself first is “Is there any major or minor changes around that could trigger the way your cat is behaving right now?”.

Things to consider about asking are:

  1. Is there a new cat or a new pet around the house?
  2. Did you buy a new furniture?
  3. Is there some construction work nearby your place?
  4. Is there a new family member?
  5. Did you recently move to a new place?
  6. Is there a new routine you are doing?

Cats are sensitive to changes around them. With these changes around them, most cats become stressed resulting to their behavioral change.

New cat or pet aggression

This is one of the most common reasons your cat is being aggressive. This commonly happens to older cats in which they don’t want the presence of a new pet or another cat. This kind of aggression will surely regress as the time passes. Giving the old cat and the new pet slow introductions to each other will help out. It is important not to force them together. Let them take their time so that they will accept each other’s presence.

New mom aggression

Your cat just became a mom after giving birth to her first litter of kittens. She may be sweet before but after giving birth she became a defensive mom. This is normal and will regress as her kittens will grow. Just avoid disturbing your cat and her kittens. This is just maternal instincts kicking in to your beloved cat.

Redirected aggression

This kind of aggression is like the saying “Monkey see, monkey do”. This happens when your cat sees another cat or dog outside from your window that attacks their owner. It is like they follow what they see outside. This behavior may be hard to treat because it takes time for that behavior to be forgotten. One thing you can do is to cover the windows so that your cat can’t watch other aggressive animals outside. You can also confine your cat in a dark room for it to calm down.

Remember, you can put your feline friend in a cat cage, especially when his aggression is no longer controllable. But then again, it’s up to you. Nonetheless, does your cat exhibit some signs of aggression? Share your story with us!

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