Cat Suddenly Aggressive Towards Owner

Cat Suddenly Aggressive Towards Owner

Aggression in cats is a common problem. Your cat being aggressive with other cats or dogs might not be surprising but if they become aggressive with you could be a concern. Their aggressive behavior will most times be sudden and seem strange. Your cat may be playing with you one moment and become aggressive the next moment. They may bite your hand or scratch you with their claws. 

Understanding the cause of their aggression can help you find ways to reduce their aggression. Different reasons can cause different types of aggression in cats.

Playful Aggression

Cats who have been raised alone could have playful aggression. In this type of aggression, your cat will hide at a spot and pounce on you when you get closer. There will not be any warning from them. Your cat’s tail will be moving back and forth and their ears will be erect when they are about to attack. Sometimes your cat may scratch or bite you. Cats that have not been raised with other cats usually have this type of aggression. Their aggression is because they haven’t had the socialization they need to identify when biting and scratching is bad.

Petting Aggression

Holding you cat in your hands or petting them can also make them behave aggressively. With this type of aggression, their aggression may suddenly happen during an otherwise normal interaction with them. 

When you initially start petting your cat, they may not be aggressive. However after continuing petting or holding them, they could become irritated and lead to aggression. Your cat may suddenly jump, run away, sit or attack you. With petting aggression your cat generally has dilated pupils, ears moved backward or their tail lashing when they attack you. 

This is thought to be caused by over stimulation. Too much petting can actually lead to this type of aggression. If you are petting your cat and they look like they are getting annoyed either stop petting them, or bring out a toy and try to play with them. They can take out any aggression they have on their toy and not on you.

Fearful Aggression

Cats can become aggressive towards their owners when they feel threatened. While playing or moving around your home, they may feel corned or trapped and that could scare them. A stranger or unknown animal coming into your home can also cause this. Your cat will first try to be defensive but will attack them or you. They will lower their body, show their teeth and may hiss. Lack of cat-human socialization or history of punishment can cause this type of aggression. Loud noises can also scare your cat or cause them to act aggressively.

If you think that your cat may be afraid it is often better to leave them to themselves. If you corner them somewhere you could quickly make the situation worse.

Redirected Aggression

Redirected aggression is when you are not the cause of aggression but the cat takes out their aggression on you. It generally happens if a dog or another cat has been playing with your cat and you suddenly pull your cat away. Your cat may be confused and think they will be punished by you and may then become aggressive with you. 

Seeing or smelling other cats outside can also cause this type of aggression. Since your cat is unable to interact with the outside animal, they can will redirect that aggression towards something near them.

Pain-Induced Aggression

Pain caused by an injury, disease or a medical procedure can also cause aggression in cats. Cats suffering from osteoarthritis, a type of joint pain may become aggressive when their joints are touched. They may hiss, run away, scratch or bite you. Try to observe if touching your cat at specific places is making them behave aggressively. This could mean it is pain-induced aggression. Avoid touching your cat in these places to avoid triggering pain-induced aggression. If pain is the cause of your cat’s aggression, take them to your vet and find out what is the cause of their pain. 

Status Aggression

Status aggression is when a cat tries to establish their dominance in the home. This could happen if you have more than one cat or another pet at your home. One cat may block doors, bite you or other cats when you are focusing your attention on another animal. The best way to end this type of aggression is to try ignoring the cat when they are aggressive. You may want to wear pants and thick socks until they get the message that you won’t stop for them.

Sexual Aggression

This type of aggression is found only in male cats. Your cat may try to mount your arm or leg, may bite your skin and start pelvic thrusting. If you try to remove them, their aggression could increase further. It’s not easy to get them to stop when they’re thinking about sex, one way is to distract the cat with toys when they become aggressive. Other people have had better results spraying their cat with water when they get this way.

There is only one way to completely get them to stop thinking about sex. You can take them to your vet and have them neutered. After this they will never have any type of sexaul aggression again.