How to Manage an Angry Cat

June 3, 2020
First of all, to mitigate the aggressive tendency fo cats, we recommend you respect the weaning period of 14 weeks. This includes a socialization process with the mother.

Many people prefer dogs to cats because they believe cats have fickle characters. People generally describe cats as loving their independence. However, sometimes this independence may border on indifference or aggressiveness. In this article, we’ll tell you how to manage an angry cat.

The vast majority of aggressive behavior occurs when the animal is stressed or feels like they are in danger. In these situations, there isn’t much a cat owner can do. Instead, it’s important to recognize the signs and causes of your cat’s anger.

How to recognize an angry cat

Firstly, we must keep in mind that cats are less domesticated than dogs. As a result, situations of danger, stress, or uncertainty, cats tend to react in a way that is more similar to a wild animal than a domestic animal.

An angry cat hissing on a couch.

If you want to approach an unfamiliar cat, do so with caution! Don’t rule out that the cat may react with aggression.

Certain behavior that seems innocuous can lead to an unpleasant response. Young children, for example, tend to play with cats’ tails or treat them roughly. This can make a cat feel stressed. As a result, they may react to the “threat.”

Here is a list of clues that can help you recognize when a cat is about to react with anger or violence:

  • Dilated pupils.
  • Posture. A cat that feels threatened will arch its back, show its teeth and claws, and adopt an attack posture. Its hair will also stand up on end. This is a defense mechanism that creates the illusion that the cat is larger than it actually is.
  • Folded ears.
  • Pulling back their lips to show their teeth, often while hissing.
  • Grunting.

Early weaning and the development of an angry cat

A recent study highlighted the relationship between early weaning in cats and the development of angry behavior. Early weaning can also create some stereotypical behaviors, such as the cat repeating movements that have no function.

Two kittens play fighting.

The study, which was published in the journal of Scientific Reports, looked at the consequences of weaning cats that are less than 12 weeks old. They worked with 5,726 cats comprising four different breeds. The results indicate that cats weaned at eight weeks were more likely to show aggressive behavior than fearful behavior.

In fact, cats weaned after 14 weeks appear to be less tense around strangers and have less of a tendency to develop certain behavior patterns.

These findings suggest that weaning after 14 weeks is the best option for the animal.

A mother cat feeding her young.

We define weaning not just as stopping to breastfeed, but also separating the kittens from their mother. Wild cats usually spend four to eight weeks with their mothers. However, the common domestic cat usually spends four months with their mother before becoming independent.

The importance of early socialization in animals

Also called imprinting, the socialization period that kittens spend with their mother is important for their subsequent neurological and social development. Many of the problems that pets develop in adulthood actually stem from early weaning.

During the first week of life, the mother stimulates the kittens in order to develop certain reflexes that are essential for bodily functions. She encourages them to move and find her teat. The mother will even stimulate the peritoneum to facilitate defecation.

Early weaning could cause kittens to become aggressive.

In the event that a cat isn’t weaned properly, a series of syndromes could be the result, such as the ones below:

  • Separation reaction syndrome. Animals with this syndrome have abnormal and destructive behaviors when left alone for prolonged periods.
  • Hyperactivity syndrome. During socialization, kittens play with their siblings by biting. This teaches them not to bite down too hard. However, if they don’t go through this process, they’ll channel their energy destructively and bite their owner hard.
  • Deprivation syndrome. This affects animals that can’t tolerate certain noises, such as car engines, sirens, or horns, for example.