I know that Shark Week is upon us, so you may be thinking about all things shark for mid-summer, but what about that wonderful little fur creature with whom you coexist? I bet there have been times where your cat bestie up and takes a good bite right into your hand or your leg. For such pretty creatures, they surely have teeth that can bite like a miniature Big White! With that in mind, let’s look at a number of reasons that may cause our felines to suddenly turn into little beasts.
Cats Are Predators: Since the days of yore, cats have been following their natural instincts to hunt. They have been domesticated for a much shorter time than have dogs. We cannot change their nature, but it is important to keep their nails trimmed and look for the physical signs that an attack is imminent. Be on the lookout for flattened ears, diluted pupils, and a tail swishing back and forth.
Cats Just Wanna Have Fun: Their idea of fun may be different from ours. When they play with each other, it is often not so gentle. To ward off playtime antics that can turn hurtful, make sure you have plenty of toys so they can release their excess energy. Cats get bored easily and crave mental and physical simulation. Since they want to explore, make sure their toys fulfill each of those needs.
Cats Can Become Overstimulated: Too much of anything can result in overstimulation. This can become painfully apparent when too much petting or scratching results in their sudden pouncing—with you the attack victim. To curb such behavior, keep petting and scratching gentle. Make sure you do not use your hands when playing or they will consider your hands their targets. When playing use wand toys instead of hands, and do not overdo these activities.
Cats Need to Be Socialized: Some felines have not spent enough time with their littermates when they were kittens. This can result in their not knowing the clues about what is okay and what is not when it come to interacting with others. The best way to teach them is to distract them from attacking by refocusing their attention. You may want to use toys or verbal cues that can be repeated as often as needed. Do not scare the cat by yelling and never spank the cat. Felines usually respond well to training since they are smart and curious.
Cats Crave the Outdoors: Indoor cats will spend hours sitting at the window so they can study the flora and fauna they observe outside. But sometimes, a bird or insect that they cannot get at will get them so riled up they will pounce on you instead. At this point, they have gotten irritated that they are inside and the object of their predatory instincts is outside and out of reach. What you can do is observe which critters are her favorites and study their sights and sounds. Provide toys that are the best match to satisfy Kitty’s need to hunt.
Cats can be Scared or Sick: When frightened and caught in a situation beyond their control, cats will commonly lash out to protect themselves. This behavior can occur when they go to the vet or other foreign place where they are not comfortable. Diffuse their fears by letting them have a quiet space to which they can retreat and hide. If transporting in a carrier, you may want to cover it with a blanket while providing soothing verb encouragement at the same time. If the trip to the vet is for illness or injury, you can use the same protocol. The cat has used aggression to cover up her vulnerability and displeasure at not feeling well.
By observing these clues, you can learn to avoid cat attacks before they occur.
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