Vet Tech Rounds: Aggression in Cats – How Matricalm Can Help Vet Talks 5 min read
Many kitty parents can relate when it comes to aggression in cats. For those who are experiencing cat aggression, they can guarantee you that it is no laughing matter. Kitty aggression can become so intolerable, that many pet parents will end up seeking professional guidance regarding the issue.
It is important to remember that this does not have to be a constant problem. It is very possible to treat but requires a lot of patience and time.
There are many reasons why cats behave aggressively and end up scratching and biting owners. Some of these reasons include:
This aggression comes from a kitty’s normal behavior in the wild. A wild cat will naturally prey and hunt. This behavior often ends up being encouraged by pet parents because of rough play as kittens. Adult cats that prey and bite their humans and/or other cats, is generally caused by boredom. They build up a lot of extra energy and will naturally begin to pounce and bite their selected “victim”. Some cats will also do this due to territorial behavior. It is good to remember not to rough house your kitten no matter how entertaining it is.
This occurs when your kitty feels threatened or trapped in a situation. Their immediate response is to either fight or run away. Unfortunately, more often than not, kitties will react with the fight response. This type of aggression can result in some pretty bad injuries.
Intact Male Aggression
Like in the wild, cats are very territorial animals. Not only does this type of aggression occur in mating cats, but nursing mothers can also be very protective of their kittens. Whether we are kitty parents or not, we have all experienced the terrifying sounds of male cats fighting. Intact cats not only act aggressively, but they can also tend to spray urine everywhere and anywhere they can.
Aggression from Overstimulation
This is generally caused by (and I hate to say it) too much petting and cuddling. We associate these moments as sweet and relaxing but for a lot of kitties they are extra sensitive. Enjoying a loving and bonding moment with your furbaby can turn into a battlefield. This is because cats become overwhelmed by the constant petting and cuddles or you’ve ended up hitting a sensitive area. In this scenario, most cats will give you a warning sign before acting. When you notice these warning signs, it’s time to take a step back. In this particular situation, do not try to restrain your kitty. Try to shift the focus on something else.
Signs of Aggression in Cats
There are many warning signs that cats will display before actually attacking their owners or other cats. Here are some of those signs to watch out for:
Almost like a dog’s behavior, when the ears are back this will indicate that the kitty is feeling nervous, stressed, or irritated. When the ears are flat down, this means that your kitty is feeling aggressive because they are scared.
The Tail & Posture
Cats will often swish the tail back and forth. They could be trying to gauge a certain situation, or they are feeling irritated. A big sign that a cat is feeling threatened or scared, is when they try to make themselves look a lot bigger. The back will become arched, they generally stand sideways, and the tail will be bristled to also appear larger. The shapes that kitties make will really show you what is going on and how they are feeling. If your cat becomes very frightened, they may also keep their tail down and tucked between the legs.
If a cat feels comfortable and happy in its surroundings, it will blink slowly. If the pupils are big and dilated, this means they are stimulated. Cats that are in a playful mood can also have dilated pupils, but it can also indicate fear, excitement, or anger.
Supporting An Aggressive Cat
In some cases, cat aggression will require a lot of training, perseverance, and maybe even some play therapy. There is no need to panic or become upset in these situations, cats were once wild and predatory animals. They have been domesticated for many, many years but some traits will always remain unless you dedicate the time to solving the problem.
Another solution that many pet parents have found to be beneficial, is to use calming solutions. You will find that a lot of veterinary clinics use certain pheromones to calm cats, due to them being in a stressful environment. Pheromones are a type of chemical scent that cats use to interact with one another. Pheromones can at times, help with calming cats. Many pet parents will see results while others see no benefits at all.
One supplement that can help with calming cat aggression, is the Matricalm. Matricalm contains 5 herbs that can help with reducing anxiety, agitation, and aggressive behavior. It contains:
Chamomile – This is an excellent calming agent with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
Passion Flower – This contains alkaloids and flavonoids which are effective and non-addictive sedatives. It helps to create a feeling of relaxation and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Lemon Balm – It is an aromatic herb that has been used for reducing stress and anxiety.
Valerian – This herb helps to prevent heart palpitations and helps with lowering blood pressure and regulate the nervous system. Valerian can help to improve sleep latency and quality!
Hops – This is a mild sedative. It is often used to treat mood disturbances such as restlessness and anxiety.
We know that aggression in cats can be discouraging, but we are here for you! If you have any questions about Matricalm, or just need to vent, our pet experts are here to help.
Holly graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Nursing from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland. She also completed a 1-year Animal Care course. Worked in small Animal Veterinary practice for 3+ years before moving on to working in the Equine Industry. Professional Boston Terrier carer – includes skills such as fart eraser and immune to loud snoring sounds.
Published: August 18, 2020