If you have been bitten by a cat, do not delay medical attention. The risks are explained here –
Cat bites – what every cat owner should know
An attack on a loving and trusted owner or family member is more likely to be caused by pain or redirected aggression. If you have been bitten by your own cat, which you know is not usually aggressive, it is very possible that you have touched an inflamed area. This can be something as benign (but painful!) As a hair pad or possibly an undiagnosed abscess.
However, the attack on a complete stranger is more alarming. Even cats that are afraid of strangers tend to stay away instead of attacking. You will need to carefully investigate what happened. More often you will find that the cat was in the corner in some way, possibly picked up by a stranger against her will. This can cause the cat to panic and run wild.
Then you have to take into account the age of the person who was attacked. In many cases, cats bite or scratch a small child who is rude to them. In other – rarer – cases, cats attack people of a certain sex. If your cat only attacks men, it may have been abused – or otherwise traumatized – by a man in the distant past.
Why do cats attack other cats or pets?
The other possible victim of a cat attack is often another cat or other pet, such as a dog.
Attacks again on smaller pets such as rabbits, hamsters, birds or reptiles are especially problematic, as they can be attributed to the cat’s hunting instincts. If your cat has tried to attack a small pet, make sure you keep them separate in the future.
When another cat or dog is at the receiving end, consider how well the two animals know each other. If they have just been introduced, you are probably dealing with territorial aggression – which can be very severe. You probably need to separate the animals and go through the proper introduction process.
Check out these articles to learn more:
How to successfully present cats: The best guide
How to safely present a cat and a dog
If your cat has started attacking another cat or dog known for years, the cause is less likely to be territorial aggression.
What you need to consider is aggression caused by stress, including that caused by physical pain. Your cat may get sick, hurt, or be afraid of something else – take it out to other pets.
Still not sure? Let’s take a closer look at the things that make cats attack.
The motivations behind the attacks
We mentioned them earlier in this post, but now it’s time to analyze the possible reasons for the cat to attack someone else, feline or human.
This is probably the most common cause of more severe attacks by cats.
When a cat feels threatened, she or she will jump. The severity of the attack is directly related to the intensity of the perceived threat. Pay attention to the emphasis on “perceived”. It does not matter whether this threat is real or not. The important thing is how the cat looks at him.
Veterinarians sometimes find themselves at the end of fear-induced feline attacks. Kitty doesn’t realize that the man in the white coat is there to help her. As for her, she was transferred to an alien – and potentially hostile – environment. And now this man – whom he may remember from previous terrible visits – is trying to grab her. No wonder Kitty will do everything in her power to save herself!
Redirected aggression is actually a type of aggression caused by fear, with one significant difference:
In this case, the endangered cat is thrown at someone other than the source of the perceived threat.
In fact, we can go back to the veterinary office as an example. The cat may be afraid of the veterinarian and the clinic, but still throw himself at his loving owner when the said owner tries to pet her.
This does not mean that the cat is afraid of its beloved and trusted owner. She is simply in an extreme state of anxiety, in a full “fight or flight” mode. She will throw herself at any hand that reaches her at that moment – whether she is afraid of that particular person or not.
For more examples of redirected aggression and how to deal with it, see this article:
Redirected aggression in cats
Cats are territorial. Some more than others.
If they find a strange cat or pet in their territory, they will feel threatened. Again, it doesn’t matter if the threat is real. It could just be a little harmless kitten or puppy.
Once the fear – not to mention panic – begins, your cat will either bark