5 Myths About Your Angry Cat and How You Can Help
Why is your cat angry? Well the truth is, he or she is likely not truly angry. But they may have behavioral issues that make them hard to live with. If your cat displays aggression, scratching, spraying, or other annoying behaviors it is not likely that the cat is vengeful or feels the need to make your life miserable.
Human emotions and animal emotions are not expressed in the same ways. Cats, however, can feel distress, and with limited ways to communicate with their owner, they may display that stress in what we would consider an aggressive manner.
As much as we like to humanize cats and their emotions, the truth is that their anger comes from a very different place. However, there are ways to help your cat to feel calmer and more contented.
Why Do People Think That Cats Are Angry?
Many people might interpret a cat's actions as angry because they correlate to the way a human being acts when he or she is angry. Cats may ignore you, hiss at you, scratch you (or the furniture), and spray.
While this can be frustrating and make the owner feel like the cat is out to make everyone's life miserable, the truth is these behaviors can range from normal to a sign of stress. The causes of stress can range from a change in routine to illness. Knowing what to look for and how to understand your cat can be the keys to making a more peaceful household for you and your cat.
Here are some common cat myths dealing with "angry" or aggressive cats and the real reasons your cat may be displaying these behaviors.
1. My Cat Purposefully Ignores Me When He Is Mad at Me
It's natural to want to attribute complicated human responses to our lovely, feline friends. But the truth is, our cats do not think in the nuanced and complicated ways that we do.
Your cat CAN, however be upset with you and because of that he or she may hide or not show as much affection.
Or your cat could just be tired and resting.
If you feel like your cat is ignoring you, make sure that he or she doesn't have any health issues.
- physical appearances
for any sign of problems or issues. And rest assured your cat is not ignoring. He is just being a cat.
2. My Cat Is Not Eating Because She Is Mad at Me
As mentioned above, your cat is not likely to be able to process complicated emotions. But if your cat is not eating, it can be serious.
Here are some real reasons that cats may not eat:
- A recent food change.
- Hairball or Blockage
Cats should not go without food for very long as it can cause damage to their internal organs. If your cat has stopped eating, get her to a vet as soon as possible.
3. My Cat Is Spraying the Furniture Because He Is Mad At Me
Some cats have a tendency to spray things. For most cats, simply spaying and neutering the cat will make this issue go away. But for others, they will continue to spray objects in or around the house.
If your cat is spraying, it may be a sign of
It is important to consult with a vet about the possible reasons for spraying. There are external and internal medications that may help to discourage your cat from spraying.
He is not spraying to be bad or to get back at you. He is simply spraying because it is an instinct and a habit.
4. My Cat Is Scratching Or Biting Because She Is Mad at Me
A cat that scratches or bite may feel stressed, cornered, frightened, or confused.
Scratching or biting are natural reactions to these triggers.
However, a cat does not hold a grudge and bite or scratch to get back at the owner for a past event. If they continuously feel stressed or threatened though, they may get in the habit of reacting this way.
As a cat owner it is also important to make a distinction between play-biting and a real bite. Some cats, especially younger ones, may playfully nip at their owner as a sign of affection. Usually the bite is not hard and the cat is not giving other signs of distress like flattened ears and a puffed tail.
If your cat bites or scratches, firmly tell it no and remove yourself from its presence. You can also consult your vet for some ways to redirect your cat when they want to bite or scratch.
5. My Cat Is Hiding Because He Is Mad at Me
Your cat may very well hide in response to something you do. Cats can make associations. For example, if you get out the cat carrier and your cat associates that with a trip to the vet, she may run and hide.
Or, if you go on trips and the cat associates a suitcase with his beloved owner being gone, he also may hide.
But if your cat is hiding and there is not a real trigger, he or she may be sick. Cats naturally want to hide when they are feeling bad. This comes from their wild instincts. Animals in the wild that are sick hide in order to protect themselves from predators.
If your cat has started hiding, it is important to get a complete check up with the vet to rule out an underlying illness.
Cats Can Suffer From Mental Illness, Too
With all of this said, cats can have mental illnesses and disorders just like people. Most commonly they may suffer from some type of anxiety disorder.
I have a cat that came from the shelter at 4 years of age. His history before that time was unknown. He has many issues including biting, scratching and spraying. After trying other methods, the vet put him on a low dose of human Prozac. Within a few days he had calmed down, stopped spraying and was much happier.
If your cat is acting strangely, don't just assume that they are being bad on purpose or that they want to upset you. There may be a real issue making them act the way they do.
Animals With Disorders
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
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© 2014 L C David