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What is petting aggression in cats?

Many things can lead to petting aggression in cats and you may not know it sometimes, so start facing the petting aggression in cats – and today we gonna help you to fix this problem with your pet.

This type of behavior in cats is usually quite confusing to owners. Initially, the cats act like they enjoy physical contact and may even purr and rub against the person. However, after a variable period, the cat may become agitated and turn and bite the hand that is petting them. Usually, these bites are inhibited, but they can be injurious and severe in some cases.

This has often been called a “go away” bite. What appears to be happening is that for a period the cat enjoys the interaction, but at some point, the physical sensation of being stroked and scratched is no longer pleasant. The cat then endeavors to change the situation by an aggressive outburst.

Also, petting aggression in cats is a cat’s normal response to petting or handling that the cat finds uncomfortable or feels has gone on too long.

A majority of cats exhibit overstimulation or petting aggression to some degree. However, cats vary enormously as to the extent to which they like petting or handling and for how long they tolerate these without finding it aversive. They also vary greatly in the number of warning signals and intensity of their resulting in aggressive reactions if warning signals are not seen, or ignored.

What is petting aggression in cats
petting aggression in cats?

Aggressive Behavior in Cats

Some cats exhibit aggressive behavior from time to time. Cats can become aggressive when they have had enough petting when they are picked up when they are frightened, and even when they are playing. This is a natural response and one that may be hard to change.

You must learn how to read your cat’s moods and body language and know what things cause her to become aggressive so that you can avoid an aggressive attack. In some cases, you may be able to use behavior modification to change your cat’s behavior. Listed below are several types of petting aggression in cats and the recommended treatment.

Never physically punish a cat for showing aggression. This will only make the situation worse. Cats who are physically punished will only have more “petting aggression in cats problem”.

Fearful or Defensive Aggression

Cats can become defensively aggressive when scared. The best way to deal with defensive aggression is to remove the fearful stimuli. If the fearful stimuli cannot be removed, you can work to slowly change your cat’s feelings about it using counter-conditioning.

To do this, pair an extra special treat (tuna, chicken, etc.) or a fun play session with the presence of the scary thing. Do this over and over until a new association is formed. If it is a dog your cat is afraid of, make sure your dog is never allowed to chase the cat.

Play Aggression

Cats are naturally aggressive in play because their play mimics aspects of the hunt – stalk, chase, and attack. Learn to anticipate when your cat becomes playfully aggressive (whenever you walk by the dresser, when you dangle your hand over the side of the chair, or when you move your feet under the covers) so that you can redirect the attack onto a toy.

Have a small toy ready and the second before your cat attacks you – toss the toy. Cats have motion-sensitive vision – if they see something move fast across their line of vision, they will chase it. If your cat does pounce on your moving body part – simply stop moving it – hold perfectly still so that you are no fun to attack.

Play Therapy

– It is important to play with your cat regularly to provide her with an outlet for her playful energy. Toss a ball or wadded-up piece of paper for her to chase, use a fishing pole-type toy like a feather dancer to stimulate her to chase and pounce, or provide interactive toys like round-a-bouts or treats dispensers.

If your play session occurs at about the same time every day (cats love routine) your cat will start to anticipate the fun and reserve play for this time.

petting aggression in cats
petting aggression in cats

Redirected Aggression

Cats often redirect their aggressive feelings about one thing (a cat outside the window) onto someone else (you or another pet). A cat can stay agitated for a long time, sometimes up to 24 hours, and in this state, they often attack the first thing that comes their way.

You mustn’t interact with your cat when she looks agitated (ears back, huge pupils, hair standing up, twitching or wagging tail). Just leave her alone until she has calmed down. If your cat becomes agitated by cats outside the window try preventing visual access using blinds or shades.

Petting-Induced Aggression

Some cats have a very low threshold for tolerating petting. Your cat may be fine for five pats but on the sixth one, she attacks. These types of attacks could be caused by a buildup of static electricity, you touching a sensitive body part like the stomach, or simply that your cat has a limit for tactile stimulation. The important thing to do to prevent such an attack is to learn your cat’s threshold level and don’t exceed it. The body signals that tell you that your cat is becoming agitated with petting include ears back, huge pupils, tail twitching, or skin on the back twitching. When you see these signs – stop petting because what you only gonna see is petting aggression in cats.

Inter-Cat Aggression

This is a common form of aggression because cats are very territorial animals who are very particular about their social partners. Adult cats are less likely to accept new cats into the household and may show aggression to the newcomer at first.

Aggression between cats can also be status or rank-related. They may simply be trying to work out who is the boss. Sometimes resident cats, who usually live peacefully together, will start to attack each other. This breakdown of peaceful coexistence could have been triggered by just about anything. Examples of things that could have occurred are: one cat just came back from the vet’s office and smells funny; one cat redirected aggression onto the other after seeing a strange cat outside and they continue to fight; one cat is sick and easily agitated.

You may be able to help get the cats back to a peaceful coexistence by providing food treats and fun play sessions only when the cats are in each other’s presence.

Sometimes petting aggression in cats is a sign of illness or pain. If your normally loving cat suddenly starts showing aggressive behavior you may want to consult with your veterinarian.

what are the reasons for petting aggression in cats?

we made a list of the petting aggression in cats reasons :


Anxiety, pain, or skin conditions may all be contributory to a cat that resists physical contact. Dental disease or other
metabolic conditions or illnesses may increase irritability and lower the cat’s threshold for petting aggression in cats and tolerance
to handling. If the behavior is new, a veterinary examination for medical causes is warranted. If the cat was not handled as a
young kitten or was poorly socialized, it may not be familiar with nor desire physical contact with people.

“Anxiety, pain or skin conditions may all be contributory in a cat that resists physical contact.”

Once this behavior begins, owners will respond to the cat’s bites in one of several ways. If you respond by no longer
petting the cat, you will reinforce the cat for biting. If you punish your cat or become increasingly upset or anxious, you
may add to the problem, since the cat may allow petting in the future but also be anxious and nervous at the same time.
This is known as conflicting behavior (competing motivations).

Medical Causes

Several medical conditions can cause a cat to become aggressive and should be ruled out before changing the behavior of the pet. Ask your veterinarian to check for signs of arthritis, injury, or tooth problems, and make sure that it is not the physical pain that is causing the cat to actively reject your pet.


As long as chewing and scratching work, your cat will continue to use them to control the interaction. Eliminate these behaviors by avoiding or managing the situations that lead to these behaviors so that the cat does not have the opportunity to bite or shake its claws.
But consistently practice harsh love.

If you give up before establishing the basic rules of caress and aggression, you may need to start over with conditioning.
And keep in mind that the bad habits of pets often get worse just before they leave, as your cat makes more efforts to regain previously successful behavior. Behavioral scientists call this an extinction burst, and when it happens, it means you’re on the right track.

Petting Threshold

Cats take delivery of grooming from different cats on the pinnacle and neck. But the full-frame strokes a human applies might also additionally experience unacceptable and make the cat uneasy or uncomfortable. It`s this sense of unease that stimulates the biting.
Limit your petting to the cat`s head or the lower back of its neck.

Then perceive its petting threshold. In different words, remember the number of strokes your cat permits earlier than aggressing; pay near interest to its frame language so that you can prevent petting earlier than the cat bites.
It can be 3 strokes, five, or more. Once you`ve recognized its limit, prevent it earlier than the cat assaults so you manipulate the interaction. This is the important thing to reversing this behavior: letting the cat recognize you are in the rate of the situation.
When you attain the petting threshold, if the cat is sitting on your lap, don`t push it off or it can claw at you in and try to assault your hands. To stop the petting, definitely rise and sell off the cat without touching it. Don’t engage with the cat, who might also additionally cry to get your interest. Other cats in this example might also additionally definitely run away and sulk.

What are the signs of petting aggression in cats?

CAT communication is slightly different between the cats and human languages ​​may contain different accents and speak languages. However, Body Language provides hints about what your cat wants to do:
Active tails and rotating animals show future attacks.

-The sudden extension of cat research shows excitement.

-Increase in heart rate (I feel when a cat on your knees is displayed when the cat is warned that the cat is warned.

-Warns to get rid of yourself again.

-The wavy skin on the back shows deterioration or inflammation.

-A sign or combination of signs means an imminent scratch or bite.

please don’t ignore any reason for these, because you can’t know which one causes petting aggression in cats.

How to stop petting aggression in cats
How to stop petting aggression in cats

How to stop petting aggression in cats

“…it may be possible to teach the cat to tolerate increased physical contact without an aggressive response.”

In other situations, it may be possible to teach the cat to tolerate increased physical contact without an aggressive response. This entails identifying the threshold for the aggressive response, i.e. “how many” or “for how long” the petting is tolerated before the cat begins to become agitated. The goal is to stop petting the cat before that threshold is reached and to reward the cat with a tasty food tidbit for tolerance to petting.

If the cat shows aggression, the petting session must be stopped. Over time it may be possible to increase the number of “pats” before the cat no longer tolerates the interactions. In some circumstances, it is more realistic to understand and embrace the type of interaction that the cat desires.

For some cats, this means that the cat sits close by or even on your lap without physical contact. Other cats may tolerate light scratching around the neck and chin rather than long strokes down the back and sides.

Petting interactions can be supplemented or replaced with other types of interactions that are mutually satisfying to the owner and cat. These might include playtime with toys, wand toys, teaching tricks, or games. At no time should you yell at the cat or use physical punishment. These actions will tend to increase anxiety, fear, and arousal rather than teach the cat not to be agitated.

If the cat begins to show anxiety or petting aggression in cats, calmly but quietly leave the area even if it means slowly standing up and allowing the cat to jump off your lap. For some cats, the use of pheromone diffusers (FeliwayTM) is quite calming and may be a useful adjunct to treatment. Keeping the cat’s nails trimmed may also diminish injury.

If the problem is severe, the cat may need to be confined away from small children and people with physical disabilities or immune-compromised status.

Steps to stop petting aggression in cats:

  • The first thing to keep in mind to stop petting aggression in cats is that it is very important to avoid getting the cat to the point where it is overstimulated or irritated. Even if you feel okay with the aggressive behavior, it is still quite stressful for the cat.It also reinforces the biting behavior habit and may increase aggressive incidents and/or intensity, possibly due to the kitty feeling less trustful of the person pushing them. So, for example, if you know the cat may get overstimulated after about 5 minutes of petting, then only pet the cat for 4 minutes. Or, if you know the cat doesn’t like to be petted a certain way or in a particular area, avoid doing so as much as possible. After a while, you can increase petting time a little and see how well the cat tolerates it.
  • One of the most important steps to stop petting aggression in cats is observing for signs of petting aggression in cats. Cats almost always give warning signals before biting or scratching. Cats are very subtle in their body posturing by nature, so these signals are sometimes difficult to pick up on at first. Common signals include tail swishing or flicking, ears flat, staring, quick head turn to watch your hand as you pet, pupillary dilation, stillness or tenseness, low growl, and walking away and lying down. Note that re-directed aggression can also be a reason for biting, so pay attention to environmental triggers such as loud noises, animals and people present, other cat smells, and changes in the environment.
  • Interrupt behavior at the first sign of any of these signals by withdrawing attention. You can do this by just keeping your hands still by your sides. If the cat is very upset you may want to walk away from the cat, or if on your lap, stand up slowly and let the cat gently slide off.
  • Wait before attempting to pet again. Some cats only take a few minutes to settle down, others can take hours, even a day or two if very upset. At least give a 10-second break. Make sure that all signals of irritation have stopped. If the cat is still worked up, switch to playtime with quiet interactive toys such as Feather toys, or string. This can help relieve anxiety for the cat, while still allowing you to interact and stop petting aggression in cats.
  • · If the cat does nip or scratch during overstimulation, use verbal correction such as telling the cat “no” or “ouch”, or you can blow in the cat’s face lightly. Correction should only be enough to stop the petting aggression in cats. It should never scare or frighten the cat and cause it to run away. If this happens, say the correction more quietly, or blow in the cat’s face more softly. A correction that is too harsh may cause the cat to become fearful of you. This can increase the frequency and intensity of the biting behavior.
  • Keep in mind that correction won’t have an immediate impact. Some cats take months or even a year or more to show changes in their behavior. Realistic expectations are that the biting incidents will occur less frequently, and eventually with less intensity. Initially, this will be due to watching for signals of irritation, but eventually, this may change because of a building of trust and lack of reinforcement. However, most cats will still exhibit this behavior to some degree for their entire lives.

The prognosis for this type of behavior in a home situation is good. In many instances, if the cat has the freedom to get away from a situation that is overstimulating him, he will choose to do that instead of causing petting aggression in cat’s issue. The following will help in behavior modification:

  1. No young children.
  2. The ability to read the cat’s body language/ willingness (on the part of the human) to learn. An understanding of basic cat behavior.
  3. · Ability to accept limitations to petting and the patience to not push the cat to accept more than he can take.

petting aggression in cats – conclusion :

After following these steps to stop petting aggression in cats, you should be sure that you will not face this issue again ever with your cats because cats are that kind of adorable animals which face some problems we can’t be able to find out about them, so they suffer in silence and what we only see is petting aggression in cats and wonder about why they are so, so we wrote this blog about petting aggression in cats to help you and we hope we did.

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