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How to Deal with an Aggressive Cat

Learn how to deal with an aggressive cat from board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. E'Lise Christensen, DVM in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Do you have a cat that bites and scratches at home? It's actually a really common problem. But it can be really scary, and sometimes, it can be really severe. If you have a cat that's causing injuries with you, and you need to stop an interaction with your cat, one of the best things you can do is leave the room yourself, or lure your cat into another area to calm down.

Many times when cats are being aggressive toward their owners, people focus on trying to get the cat to stop by punishing the cat, using spray bottles or loud noises or hitting the cat or screaming at the cat. It's really best if you don't do those things, because many cats will become more aggressive when you try to implement that type of technique.

If you can, lure your into another room. You can use treats or a laser pointer. You could even use a yarn toy. Once they're in there, shut the door, and give them some time to themselves. You really want them to calm down, because cats can be agitated for a long time after an aggressive event. If you open a door a few minutes later, maybe ten or fifteen minutes later, and your cat's still got big, big eyes with dark pupils, and it seems agitated, tale thrashing, hissing, growling, leave them in there for a couple hours at least, and always check back. If he seems friendly and is coming out and seems relatively calm, go ahead and let him out, give him one or two scratches if it feels safe. Give him a couple treats, and move on with your day. And don't repeat whatever triggered the aggressive event. Then, consult with your veterinarian to see about other options.

And that's how you get out of a problem with a cat with aggressive behavior.

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