If you have an aggressive cat, you're no stranger to scratching, hissing, and cranky felines taking a stand. Cats are aggressive for all kinds of reasons, from feeling territorial to pain and fear. Some cats also become aggressive when establishing their status and authority in the home. Whatever the reason, there are ways to calm an aggressive cat and keep its behavior in check. Here are a few ways to get started.
Get a Check-Up
The first step in calming an aggressive cat is figuring out if there are any underlying health issues. Schedule a check-up for your cat to determine if they may be suffering from discomfort and pain, like an infection, arthritis, or dental disease. Specific conditions like FIV can also cause extreme aggression in cats. Ask your vet for any feedback and clues to your cat's behavior and how you can help soothe your furry friend.
Preventative care is also essential. Make sure your cat is drinking plenty of water and isn't struggling with hairballs or a matted coat. Poor dental health can also lead to pain and aggressive cat behavior. Our Pet Dental Care is a water additive that helps reduce bacteria building up in your pet's mouth. When used consistently, our Premium Formula reduces tartar and plaque buildup, which causes Periodontal Disease in Pets.
Try Some Cat Nip
Catnip is often associated with over-stimulation, but it can also be used to help calm your feline. Research suggests that the catnip targets receptors in their brain to make them feel happy. After an initial bout of stimulation and excitement, the herb helps soothe your cat and calm its aggressive behavior.
Create a Safe Space
Some cats act aggressively due to fear or over-stimulation. Provide a safe space to give your cat secure downtime to calm their nerves. A cat condo or a corner of a quiet room can help the cat know they have their own space and are safe from whatever is bothering them.
Bored, restless cats need stimulation with toys and games to release pent-up energy. However, some cats will act aggressively after being petted for too long, leading researchers to believe too much stimulation is also a trigger for some cats. Pay attention to how your cat reacts to stimulation, and provide as much as they need to give the outlet they need.
Some cats are known to react and act aggressively with specific sounds, including other cats or babies crying. Attempting to reduce the trigger or de-sensitizing your cat to the noise could help.
Look at your own reaction to your cat. If you're using noise to prevent your cats from scratching, you could be making their aggression worse. Instead, pick up a product like Stop the Scratch Natural Cat Scratch Deterrent Spray for a natural way to reduce scratching. Derived from natural ingredients, the spray is non-toxic and safe for any area of your home.
Watch for Warning Signs
You can calm an aggressive cat by paying more attention to its warning signs and triggers. Don't assume their behavior is unrelated. Are they aggressive during mealtime? They may feel frustrated by people standing over their bowls while eating. Do they look angry and switch their tail when you get home from work? Look for clues like if their food or water bowl is empty. You may also be making too much noise or not allowing your cat to transition before trying to engage with them. Look for clues surrounding their behavior and try to change the environment to help calm their aggression.
Calming an aggressive cat doesn't need to be complicated. Some patience, a proactive approach, and listening to what your pet is trying to tell you to go a long way in changing their behavior.