Aggressive Cats? Here’s How To Keep the Peace


Aggressive Predatory Cats

Predation is the way in which cats obtain their food in the wild. It is debatable whether this behavior classifies as aggression in the true sense, but because it involves the destruction of a third party, it is usually included. There are two situations relating to predatory behavior that cause owners concern. One is during kittenhood when predatory behaviors are being rehearsed and honed, sometimes at the owner’s expense, and the other occurs in adulthood when true predatory behavior is directed toward small varmints.

Predatory play is one of several categories of play behavior exhibited by young kittens. Although the evolutionary function of predatory play is to rehearse and sharpen predatory skills for use in later life, it is often interpreted by owners as blatant aggression. When a kitten has playmates (normally litter mates) for company, predatory play aggression is rarely a problem, but when feline company is lacking, kittens may direct their playfulness towards their owners. Typically cats in this mode hide behind walls stalking and pouncing on approaching feet and ankles, inflicting scratches and minor bite wounds.


Can Aggressive Cats Eventually Be Friends?

As you may have guessed, it is not always possible to get two cats to live together without hostilities occurring. Cats are more like humans than most of us would have ever imagined! When two aggressive cats are apparently incompatible, it may be possible — by working with a behaviorist — to defuse overt aggression and allow the pair to live together in mutual indifference, if not harmony. In many instances, even mutual indifference would be an acceptable conclusion to the owners.

Barring occasional oil and water personality mixes, owners often find that problems between cats often do settle eventually and sometimes relationships between cats positively blossom. As mentioned, there is no absolute way to tell which cat is going to react in which way and which ones will reconcile their differences in due course. It’s mainly a matter of trial and error … and luck. Cat personality-wise, good omens for a successful blend include a history of proper socialization, no prior history of inter-cat aggression (either as aggressor or recipient), curiosity, and a calm, even-tempered personality. With all these factors present in the cats to be brought together, the mix should be just purr-fect.

Resources for Aggressive Cats

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