Once aggressive behavior in cats has developed, it will take time and patience to stop this behavior in its tracks. However, successful behavioral modification in even the most aggressive cats is possible using these tips and techniques.
Stopping Aggressive Behavior in Cats
If a cat suddenly develops aggressive behavior, the first thing pet owners need to do is take the cat to a veterinarian for a complete physical check up. Painful conditions, bacterial infections, viral infections, and parasitic infections can cause aggressive behavioral changes, and so it is important to make sure a health condition is not causing this behavior.
Once a cat has been physically cleared, pet owners need to look at the cat's environment, and spay or neuter condition. Cats living in a non-stimulating environment, or who have not been spayed or neutered can develop aggressive behaviors due to boredom and hormonal changes.
If a cat is an inside only pet, then pet owners need to make sure the cat has plenty of scratching posts, climbing trees, toys, and catnip items. If a cat has not been spayed or neutered, and becomes extremely aggressive, this surgery may stop the problem.
The wrong type of interactions between people and cats will also cause aggression in cats. Cats that are played with roughly, or treated roughly, can quickly develop a poor temperament. Children in households need to be taught how to treat the cat gently and respectfully, and pet owners should never use any part of their body, especially their hands, to play with their cat.
Sometimes cats behave aggressively towards other pets in the household. If this is the case, a system of rewards and punishments may help to change the cat's behavior. When the cat behaves aggressively it should be completely ignored or placed in a quiet room by itself for awhile; cats should never be given attention, whether positive or negative, for bad behavior.