A Cat Suddenly Attacked! Thorough Explanation of the Causes and Countermeasures for Cat Attack Behavior

A Cat Suddenly Attacked! Thorough Explanation of the Causes and Countermeasures for Cat Attack Behavior

I was surprised when my cat suddenly attacked me for no apparent reason. Many pet owners may have had similar experiences.

During such moments, even a cat that loves its owner may attack seriously. Moreover, because they have sharp claws and teeth, it can be very dangerous and may lead to severe injuries.

This time, we will introduce measures to protect yourself from a cat's sudden attack and preventive measures in daily life.

 

Table of Contents

1. Cat Attack Behavior vs. Play
∟ 1-1. Attack Behavior
∟ 1-2. Play
∟ 1-3. Reasons for a Cat's Sudden Attack
2. What to Do and Points to Note When Suddenly Attacked
∟ 2-1. Avoid eye contact
∟ 2-2. Minimize reactions even if attacked
∟ 2-3. "Scolding" or "threatening" the cat is counterproductive
∟ 2-4. Take a defensive position to ensure safety
3. Things to Do to Prevent Attack Behavior
∟ 3-1. Avoid making loud noises near the cat
∟ 3-2. Create a stress-free environment
∟ 3-3. Check for illnesses or injuries
∟ 3-4. Consult with a veterinary clinic
4. The possibility of illness in sudden attacks
Conclusion

 

1. Cat Attack Behavior vs. Play

Even though both attacks and play involve similar actions, they are entirely different. Since the appropriate response varies, we will briefly introduce the characteristics of each.


 

1-1. Attack Behavior

There are two types of attack behavior: aggressive attack behavior, where the cat actively attacks to achieve its goal, and defensive attack behavior, where the cat attacks to protect itself when attacked or threatened.

  • ・Aggressive attack behavior: Actively attacking the opponent to achieve its purpose
  • ・Defensive attack behavior: Attacking to protect itself when attacked or threatened

Aggressive attack behavior actively attacks the opponent for dislikes, dissatisfaction, or self-assertion, posing a significant risk as the cat aggressively attacks to achieve its goal. Defensive attack behavior, on the other hand, results from fear, anxiety, or conflict and is a passive behavior where the cat, feeling cornered, attacks reluctantly to protect itself. Therefore, you may notice behavior such as hissing or growling before the attack. In both cases, since the cat attacks seriously, it is essential to address the issue while the aggression is still mild. Consultation with a veterinarian is recommended.


 

1-2. Play

For cats, play is hunting. It is a behavior based on the instinct to catch and eat prey. During play hunting, cats usually do not vocalize or threaten as in attack behavior.

In play hunting, some cats go through the entire process of catching and eating prey, while others only perform part of the hunting process. If the target of play is a toy, there is usually no significant problem as long as you pay attention to not let the cat eat it.

However, when a human becomes the target of play (prey), various problems can arise. Usually, there is no serious injury, but if a cat starts to exhibit behavior such as stopping the breath or dismantling the prey (human) during play, there is a risk of severe injury, and caution is required.


 

1-3. Reasons for a Cat's Sudden Attack

There can be various reasons why a cat becomes suddenly aggressive. Some common cases include:

  • Stress
  • Attack due to fear
  • Startled by a loud noise

Of course, not all triggers for aggressive behavior are "noise." The cat's seemingly innocent actions or events by the owner may also be the cause.  

 

2. What to Do and Points to Note When Suddenly Attacked

What should you do if you are suddenly attacked by a cat? Here are some essential points to keep in mind:


 

2-1. Avoid eye contact

When a cat feels threatened, it often perceives direct eye contact as a challenge or threat. Therefore, avoid staring at the cat's eyes and lower your gaze.


 

2-2. Minimize reactions even if attacked

It's essential to minimize your reactions even if attacked. Do not scream or make loud noises, as this can further agitate the cat.


 

2-3. "Scolding" or "threatening" the cat is counterproductive

Scolding or threatening the cat can be counterproductive. It may escalate the situation and lead to more aggression. Stay calm and avoid aggressive gestures or words.


 

2-4. Take a defensive position to ensure safety

If the cat's attack continues, take a defensive position to protect yourself. Use a thick towel or blanket to shield your body from scratches and bites.

 

3. Things to Do to Prevent Attack Behavior

Preventing attack behavior is crucial for the safety and well-being of both the cat and the owner. Here are some preventive measures:


 

3-1. Avoid making loud noises near the cat

Cats are sensitive to loud noises, which can stress them. Avoid making sudden loud sounds or playing loud music, especially when the cat is resting or sleeping.


 

3-2. Create a stress-free environment

Create a stress-free environment for your cat by providing a comfortable and safe space. Ensure they have access to hiding spots and places where they can retreat when feeling overwhelmed.


 

3-3. Check for illnesses or injuries

Illness or injuries can contribute to aggressive behavior. Regularly check your cat for any signs of health issues and consult with a veterinarian if needed.


 

3-4. Consult with a veterinary clinic

If you notice a sudden change in your cat's behavior or aggression, consult with a veterinary clinic. There could be underlying health issues or stressors that need professional attention.

 

4. The possibility of illness in sudden attacks

If your cat suddenly exhibits aggressive behavior, there is a possibility of underlying illness or pain. Cats may become aggressive when they are in pain or discomfort. In such cases, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any health issues.

 

Conclusion

Understanding the difference between cat attack behavior and play is crucial for responding appropriately to your cat's actions. In the case of sudden attacks, staying calm, avoiding eye contact, and taking defensive measures can help ensure both your safety and your cat's well-being. Additionally, implementing preventive measures, such as creating a stress-free environment and regular veterinary check-ups, can contribute to a harmonious relationship between you and your feline companion.

 

The information provided in this article is for general reference only and is not a substitute for professional advice. If you have concerns about your cat's behavior, consult with a qualified veterinarian.

 

 

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