Causes of Aggressive Cat Behavior

Cat behavior may be diversified, starting from affectionate behavior to aggressiveness. Aggressive cats are a risk for owners as cats bite, scratch and are very vocal. The causes of aggressive behavior range from defensiveness to a medical condition. Aggressiveness in cats may be corrected by training, but it is imperative to know what causes the behavior.


If a cat is used to playing rough games or tug games, he will be likely to be aggressive while playing, considering the behavior normal.

A kitten needs to spend the first 8 weeks with his mother and brothers, so as to be able to learn to play safely, be moderate and not to harm anyone while playing.

If you get the kitten from an early age, don't play tug games and always make sure that you give a toy to your cat, without involving your fingers or feet in the game.


A cat can get defensive in new situations, when meeting new people or at hearing noises such as alarms or fireworks.

A cat can also get defensive even while you are petting him. Each cat has a certain tolerance threshold and when the cat had too much affection he will get defensive.

A cat that is about to get defensive will start twitching his tail and have laid back ears.

If you would like to boost your pet's tolerance level, you need to give him a treat when you notice he is close to becoming aggressive.


A cat in pain may become aggressive. In case your cat has suffered from an injury or he has an internal disease, pain will make him irritable and aggressive.

Check his paws and skin for any possible injuries and monitor your cat to detect any symptoms. Consult the vet for a diagnosis and treatment.

Redirected Aggressiveness

Cats like to observe or hunt different animals such as mice or squirrels. However, if your cat is engaged in following an animal and he is distracted by you, he is likely to redirect his aggressiveness towards you.

Don't interrupt your cat while he is on a mission to prevent bites and scratches.

Guarding Territory

Cats can get very territorial and become aggressive when they feel a stranger has invaded their personal territory.

Typically, territorial aggression is directed towards other pets. This is the reason why cats get aggressive when you try to introduce a new pet in your home.

Territorial aggression may be corrected with therapy.

You can also try to introduce the new pet gradually, by keeping him in an isolated room and allowing to meet the old cat only a few minutes or hours per day at first; increase the time as the pets get friendlier.


Aging can cause behavior changes in cats. Your cat may suddenly become aggressive; however, most of the times, the aggression is due to pain.

To train your cat not to be aggressive, you need to use a high pitched voice every time he becomes aggressive. Ignore your cat for the following 10 minutes. If performed properly, this technique should teach your cat not to be aggressive within a few weeks.