Cause #4: Anxiety and stress, the causes of your cat’s aggression?
The most common situations that lead to an attack
As you might have guessed, a normal cat won’t attack for no reason. Besides play and physical discomfort, a cat can also bite because it is under too much emotional stress. When a living being experiences an intense and unpleasant emotion, he will seek to move away from the source of that emotion, of this stress. On the other hand, if he is unable to get away, or if he thinks he cannot get away from it, he will try to push back the source of the stress, by any means possible. We have all seen or heard of a cat going mad or aggressive at the vet. This is indeed a common situation where the cat, because it is too scared, may decide to attack. But, even at home, a cat can get scared (or very angry) and become aggressive for this reason. Here are some examples: when you want to do something to the cat that it is afraid of (such as giving it a pill by mouth or brushing it), when a stranger comes too close and the cat can’t get away, when it is surprised when it wasn’t expecting it at all and feels threatened, etc.
Knowing my cat’s language to avoid bites
Fortunately, cats will almost always warn you before they bite or attack. So it’s important to learn to recognize the warning signs of an attack. Cats may not speak in words, but they have a lot of other ways of telling us that they don’t like something. Generally, before biting, a cat may, in no particular order: growl, hiss, spit, try to run away, whip its tail, fold its ears back, paw, cower or try to look bigger, etc. To avoid bites, listen to what the cat is “telling” you and avoid approaching the cat when it shows that it might attack. By giving the cat some space, it will feel less threatened and will begin to calm down.
To learn more about cat language, play this quiz that will tell you a lot about it!
How to react in case of a cat bite?
If your cat does bite you, here’s what to do.
First, stay calm. By agitating or screaming, the cat will naturally (and unfortunately) bite harder or intensify its attack. So try to stay as calm as possible during the attack so that the cat will release its grip more quickly.
Then (or from the start, if possible), use a cushion or blanket between you and the cat. You can gently isolate the cat in a room until it calms down. If the cat has been through a big emotion, it may take some time for it to calm down. Don’t put yourself in danger: wait until your cat is completely calm before opening the door of the room.
Do not punish your cat, as this will only make things worse and increase the risk of injury.