What is petting-induced aggression?
Petting-induced aggression common problem many cat owners experiences. One minute you are enjoying some time petting your cat and all of a sudden he turns around takes a bite or swipe and then runs off and hides.
The cause of this behaviour is unknown although it is thought that some cats can only accept a certain amount of petting before becoming uncomfortable.
Being taken away from their mother and siblings can lead to a number of behavioural problems, which highlights the importance of not adopting a cat until he or she is a minimum of 10-12 weeks.
How do I avoid petting-induced aggression?
Take your cat to a veterinarian for a medical check-up:
There are a number of disorders which can lead to aggression in cats such as liver disease, dental disease, arthritis and hyperthyroidism. This is especially important if the behaviour is new.
Watch for signs he’s had enough:
Be aware of your cat’s body language will help prevent these attacks. Common signs include tail twitching, dilated pupils, looking around (for an escape route), if you notice these behaviours, stop petting your cat.
Never punish a cat who has acted aggressively:
All this will achieve is to make your cat more fearful of you.
Know what he likes and doesn’t like:
Not all cats are the same. Be aware of your cat’s physical comfort zone. Some cats like belly rubs, others don’t. Read your cat’s body language and let him determine where he wants to be petted, if at all. Signs your cat are at ease and enjoying being petted include sticking their tail up and their bum in the air, purring, rubbing your hand with their head, kneading and some cats will drool.
Don’t play rough with your hands:
Teach your cat from an early age that hands are for stroking and not playing.
Let your cat seek you out:
Some cats have a lower need for attention than others. We have to respect that and let your cat decide if and when he wants attention.