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Common Reasons for Aggressive Behavior in Cats

February 15, 2017

Do you have a cranky kitty? Our feline friends all have their own personalities, and every one of them is unique. Some cats are very lovable and cuddly, and want nothing more than to be petted and snuggled. Others? Not so much. If you have a furry little curmudgeon on your hands, read on! Here, an Oconomowoc, WI vet discusses aggressive behavior in cats.

Health Issues

Just like people, kitties often get crabby when they don’t feel well. If you have a grumpy kitty, have Fluffy thoroughly examined by a vet. It’s very important for you to rule out the possibility that health problems could be causing your feline buddy’s behavior.

Pent-Up Energy

Cats are predators in the wild. They often spend massive amounts of energy hunting in a short time, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing. If your kitty isn’t getting enough exercise, she may unleash all that pent-up energy on you. Take time to play with your feline pal every day. This will help her burn off any excess energy, and will give her a proper channel for her angst. Once playtime is over, Fluffy will likely be more interested in napping than in attacking your toes.


If Fluffy has nothing to do but nap and stare at the walls, she could get bored and irritable. Keep your furry pal’s toy box full, so she can amuse herself when you’re out. Your furball will also appreciate a comfy seat with a good window view, so she can watch local wildlife.

Negative Reinforcement

Cats aren’t purrfect: in fact, they have some bad habits, like scratching improperly. Never punish your pet for doing something wrong, no matter how frustrating it is. Kitties don’t think like we do, and they don’t really understand punishment. Fluffy may just end up feeling anxious or angry, and could lash out in response. (Note: bribery often works quite well with our four-legged friends. Offer your kitty toys and treats when she is being nice.)

Other Causes

Cats can act up for many other reasons, including anxiety, jealousy, and territorialism. Your kitty may also simply never have learned good petiquette. If you aren’t sure why Fluffy is so grumpy, consult your vet or a professional behaviorist.

Is your kitty due for an exam? Contact us! As your Oconomowoc, WI animal hospital, we’re here to help!