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Why my cats are playing aggressively? How to stop it?

aggressive-cat

Have you ever been playing with your cat and they suddenly start biting or scratching you?

It can be really frustrating, especially if your cat usually isn’t aggressive. So why does this happen? And more importantly, how can you stop it? Read on to find out.

Why are kittens aggressive?

Aggressive cat behavior can be a problem for many people with cats. Aggression is something that all animals exhibit at some point in their lives, and it’s not always a bad thing.

Sometimes aggression is necessary for survival. If your cat is going to survive outside the safety of its mother, it will need to know when to fight and when to run.

Kittens learn these skills from their mother and littermates, so kittens who grow up with other cats tend to be better at knowing when it’s appropriate to get aggressive than kittens who only have human caretakers.

More often, though, aggression has negative consequences. It can cause serious injury and it can also damage the bond between you and your cat.

Cats who get aggressive when they play sometimes bite down too hard and break the skin.

Sometimes this might be a challenge to their dominance or territory; sometimes it’s simply because they don’t know their own strength.

When do cats play aggressively?

However, eventually, these behaviors start to become a problem. If your cat is clawing or biting you when it plays, it can make playing much less enjoyable for both of you.

Aggressive play behavior is sometimes referred to as prey-play because it’s similar to the way cats act when they encounter prey in the wild.

The good news is that this type of behavior usually stops on its own by adulthood.

 Signs of Aggression

cat-aggressive

If your cat is showing any of these signs, it might be playing a bit too aggressively with you:

•     Hissing

This is one of the clearest signs that your cat is feeling aggressive.

If your cat normally purrs then bites you when you pet them but starts hissing at you instead, it’s a sign that they no longer feel comfortable and want you to stop petting them.

•     Pouncing

If your cat typically prefers to be the dominant one when playing, they may try to pounce on you in an attempt to assert their dominance.

You can often tell that this is what’s happening in your cat uses both front paws when pouncing.

•     Biting  

If your cat is biting you, it’s a clear sign that they’re playing too aggressively.

Although many cats enjoy biting softly during playtime, if your cat starts biting down too hard or doesn’t let go when you ask them to, it’s time to stop playing.

How to stop aggressive play behavior in cats

If your cat is still a kitten, you can try separating it from its littermates for short periods of time so that it doesn’t have the opportunity to practice its overly assertive behaviors.

Offering plenty of toys and high places where the cat can retreat will also help because this teaches your cat that they have a safe space to go.

If your cat is an adult, they’re most likely practicing these behaviors because they’ve gotten away with it in the past.

Scratching and clawing with their back feet as the aggressor approaches them may seem like a good way to fend off their attacker—after all, you usually stop coming after them when they do it.

But if your cat acts this way with you, it’s usually a sign that they need to be taught a lesson.

Cats learn better from positive reinforcement than punishment, so avoid punishing your cat for aggressive behavior unless absolutely necessary.

Instead, set up some boundaries and teach them what behaviors are acceptable and which ones aren’t. For example, if your cat is clawing at your face when you pet them, put a muzzle on them to let them know it’s not okay.

By setting boundaries and teaching the right behaviors from the beginning of their life, cats usually learn better and become less aggressive as they get older.

Conclusion

If your cat is still a kitten, try spending more time with them so they don’t feel like playtime needs to be competitive.

If that doesn’t work, separate the cats and keep an eye on how they interact.

If one of them starts playing too aggressively, break up the play session before it gets out of hand.

If your cat acts this way with you, it’s usually a sign that they need to be taught a lesson. Set boundaries and teach the right behaviors from the beginning of their life.

Cats learn better from positive reinforcement than punishment, so avoid punishing your cat for aggressive behavior unless absolutely necessary.

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