On YouTube, there are 8,309 comments for this video and not one, that I can see, answers the question why this nice cat attacked his owner when he opened a Christmas present. They all make jokes about it which I can understand but it would be nice and instructive to try and figure out what’s going on. I’ve got to try and figure it out. The first point to make is that the cat is not attacking the man as a prey animal. That clearly isn’t the case. The cat is reacting to the man’s behaviour which is noisy and which creates a lot of chaos around him. The box that he is opening is large and the wrapping paper is being torn off which makes quite a loud noise as well, which all together leads to a a spontaneous example of defensive cat aggression.
You have to be drawn to one conclusion and that is the cat feels threatened as if about to be attacked. In an instinctive response he cat makes a pre-emptive move and attacks the man. It seems that the cat, for a brief moment, no longer recognises his owner. From the cat’s perspective, suddenly a hostile stranger (a large strange animal) is in the room right next to him. And so the cat has to defend himself. My assessment is that the man’s behaviour which was abnormal from the cat’s perspective, combined with the large box and the noise of the paper turned him into an ‘alien being’ to be seen off with violence. The cat may also have felt a threat to his territory as well.
It has to be about defensive aggression and defensive aggression can only take place when a cat feels threatened and the cat can only feel threatened in the presence of an animal whose behaviour is threatening which is how the cat interpreted this man’s excited and strange behaviour.
This is my reasoning as to why this otherwise friendly cat attacked his owner viciously causing quite a serious injury on the head and ear. You’ll notice that he went right for the head. I’ve seen this before. When domestic cats are really pushed to a point of extreme aggression they jump up to the head which shows a lot of courage because a human being is much larger than them. Therefore they are risking injury themselves. This is another indication that this cat was seriously wound up to the point where he put aside the possibility of being injured himself. It also dramatically reminds us that inside the domestic cat, right near the surface, is a wild cat about to spring out when the right buttons are pushed.
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