If you have a new cat, congratulations! West Ballantyne Animal Hospital of Charlotte will be happy to help with any vaccinations or procedures your new pet may need.

Some unlucky cat parents find themselves on the receiving end of bites and scratches for no apparent reason. So what causes this aggression in cats? Is there any way to eliminate the attitude? Here are some helpful tips for eliminating aggression in your new kitty:

Pay Attention

To find the source of the aggression, think about when it happens. Does your cat only hiss and bite when you are going to give him a bath? Is your cat really playing instead of trying to hurt you? When your cat acts aggressively towards you, think about his behavior in the half hour leading up to the aggression. This might help you find the source of his energy.

Redirect the Playful Aggression

If you have a kitten, you may know that they usually don’t know when to stop! Kittens are still learning to attack their prey. Even if these little nibbles and scratches don’t hurt now, that doesn’t mean they will feel as gentle when your cat is full grown. When you play with your kitten or cat, make sure to keep toys nearby to redirect their playful aggression.

Dealing With Non-Playful Aggression

Your cat may not be playing when he attacks. If this is the case, it could be due to something else that upset him. If you pet him and do not pay attention to his body language (flicking the tail, flattened ears), he may begin to attack to get you to stop. Your cat might have also seen another cat out the window that made him angry and taken it out on you. Distract your cat with toys and stop touching him immediately. If your cat is fixated and growling about something outdoors, clap loudly to get his attention and distract him.

When aggression is an issue, make sure you do not try to use your hands to get your cat to stop. Toys, spray bottles, or loud clapping can help distract your cat. If you are still having difficulty with your kitty, reach out to the experts at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital!