How to calm an angry cat

How do you calm an angry cat? The first thing to do is to remove yourself from the vicinity of the angry cat. Don’t force the issue. This action in itself will solve a lot of the problems to do with angry cats. It will certainly solve the problem if the angry cat doesn’t know you and vice versa. Cats can become hostile towards strangers because they become defensive. If your cat is angry then removing yourself from the vicinity of your cat will also help because it will stop you becoming scratched or bitten. You can then work out what’s wrong. The list of causes for an angry cat on this page is not comprehensive.

Angry grey cat?
Angry grey cat? Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The ultimate angry cat saga – Lux


Pain

If your cat is in pain the anger may be caused (acute irritation/distress) by the pain which in turn may be exacerbated by touching your cat or picking her up. Once again distancing yourself from your cat will alleviate the problem and give you time to assess what’s going on.

New cat

If a resident cat is angry because there is a new cat in the home, this should be obvious and you will have to take steps to introduce them slowly. In an ideal world the owner shouldn’t get themselves into this sort of situation where they have antagonism between resident cats. It can be hard to solve this problem. It’s better to make sure that the cats will get along before placing them together in a home. That may be easier to say than to do.

Overstimulation

Another reason why your cat may be angry is because you have overstimulated him or her in play. Once again removing yourself from that activity will solve the problem.

Redirected aggression

Sometimes cats can engage in redirected aggression. This is when they want to attack a cat outside but end up attacking their owner or another cat inside. It can happen spontaneously and without any warning. The cause may or may not be obvious.

Provoked agression

This is obvious. Click here to read a story on this. Cure: leave the cat alone.

Scared cat

Please click on the picture please. Cure: back off and stop messing around!

Nice cat attacks man opening his Christmas present
Nice cat attacks man opening his Christmas present. Screenshot

Hidden reason? – Declawed

Domestic cats are never angry unless there is a genuine reason. They don’t wish to attack people out of malicious intent just for the fun of it. It will be a natural response to something in their lives, present or past. I am minded to think about declawing. I tend to go back to that when I think about pain. A lot of declawed cats are in pain because of botched operations. This may alter the cat’s character making them more irritable. Irritability can lead to anger and a lower tolerance to pleasant interactions with their owner. And we know that a declawed cat is more likely to bite because they can’t use their claws to defend themselves. I think cat declawing is worth mentioning because it might not be an obvious issue knowing how cats hide pain.

botched cat declaw operations
Botched cat declaw operations stud results

Lux

Perhaps the best known angry cat of all on the Internet is one called Lux. Her owners escaped to the bathroom to protect themselves and called the police! Jackson Galaxy was involved with trying to “cure” this cat of her anger. As I recall he couldn’t do it. He tried drugs and the cat was re-homed but still became aggressive towards the new owners. This sort of behaviour is extremely rare. The root cause maybe due to abuse when she was young kitten during her early years of socialisation. Or maybe due to continual abuse at a lower level when an adult. Her behaviour may have become ingrained. She became indoctrinated into a defensive mentality behaving like a feral cat. In other words she learned to distrust people so as soon as she was around them she became agitated and occasionally aggressive.

Lux
Lux

Change

Change in a cat’s life of any kind can make them edgy. If you add to that condition another such as acute boredom or overstimulation in play then it’s more likely that they will become aggressive. Moving home is an example.

Bottom line

The bottom line, for me, is that you should stand back, give your cat some space to calm down and then calmly assess what happened and why. It will invariably come back to human behaviour either direct or indirect.

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