Feline Status Related Aggression
"Some cats just do not like to be held!" There was never a truer statement made concerning variations in feline personality. Many people have the mistaken idea that all cats act the same and that behavior must conform to some preconceived notion of cat behavior they had as a child. If they remember a cuddly cat when they were growing up, then all cats behave that way....Don't they?
The other situation is a household with young children who see the cat as another stuffed animal to be hugged and squeezed, even if against its wishes. This can be the origin of cat bites directed towards children's faces. How is this problem approached?
- Recognize the signs which cats use to communicate. a) A low pitched rumble is a clear sign of displeasure. b) Twitching of the ears and flicking of the tail communicates a need to be freed. c) Squirm ming and struggling is the cat's way of saying, enough is enough.
- Recognize the tolerance level each cat has. Some cats will allow endless stroking. Others can only stand a few seconds. Look for the signs as indicated above and respect them. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE SAME!
- Do not pursue the cat for affection. Let it come to you.
- If your cat is sitting on your lap and displays these signs, you are not restraining it and the aggression continues, stand up and let it drop to the floor. If it persists, walk away and leave it alone in the room. You are telling the cat that interaction will not continue on these terms.
- Increase interactive play with the cat using a variety of cat toys. Become both directly involved in play using toys and also supply self play type toys which many pet stores have.
- Reward calm behavior with attention or food treats but grant the attention for an abbreviated period. Discontinue petting BEFORE the signs of agitation begin. KEEP HIM ALWAYS LOOKING FOR MORE.