How to Handle Cats Who Display Overt Aggression?
By Ruth Riley
Mon, Nov 29, 2021 at 12:42PM

How to Handle Cats Who Display Overt Aggression?

How to Handle Cats Who Display Overt Aggression?

Does your Florida feline’s aggressive behavior make it seem more like a cougar than a kitty-cat? In a sense, it’s quite normal. That’s because house-cats likely descended from big cats and possibly from the African wildcat.

So, aggressive responses are part of the animal’s predation, social conflict, and play. That said, felines generally avoid physical conflict as it can cause injury and reduce hunting skills.  

As a pet owner, you’ll likely want to prevent cat aggression. Possible options include natural products to reduce inflammation or a brain anatomy check for cats


Why Do Cats Become Aggressive?

Cats may show aggression towards other cats for various reasons, including:


  • A long-term tension between at least two resident cats
  • A new cat entered the home recently
  • Source of stress produces tension among cats
  • A one-time event causes aggression between two cats

Such events can cause fear, mistrust, and negative vibes among household cats.


Meanwhile, cats may also show aggression for various causes, including:


  • Fear or anxiety
  • Illness or pain
  • Social pressures
  • Frustration
  • Inappropriate play

How to Resolve Scenarios of Cat-on-Cat Aggression

Here are some typical scenarios that cause aggression from cats and how pet owners can deal with them:

Strange Cat-Triggered Attack on Companion Cat

Sometimes cats seem to redirect aggression from one cat to another cat. For example, they may see a strange cat outside the home, then attack a companion cat indoors.

Cats possess a “fight or flight” anti-stress mechanism that causes adrenaline rushes to pump up muscles to prepare the feline for danger. The cat’s body releases adrenaline hormones when it experiences extreme emotions.

The cat’s aggression towards household cats can be accidental and result from the aggressor preparing for a potentially hostile situation. 

In this situation, separate the battling cats in different rooms for 24 to 48 hours. Isolate them for longer periods if needed.

Household Cats Suddenly Start Fighting

If cat-fighting turns into intense fighting, separate the felines for 24 to 48 hours until they’ve both calmed down.

If the conflict escalates into a UFC match, separate them for a longer time.

Bully Cat Attacks House Cat

In some situations, cat “bullies” show territorial aggression towards other cats. They seem to be claiming territory. 

Such cats may attack residential cats in Florida neighborhoods. These bully cats, usually male tomcats, often victimize old, sick, or shy cats.

When cat owners’ pets get “beat up” at home, it can be incredibly stressful. Remember that as a pet owner, you’re responsible for protecting your pet. 

Studies have not produced definitive evidence that bully cats are displaying abnormal behavior.  

In this situation, cat owners can take various steps:

  • Learn if the attacking cat is an owned or alley cat
  • Suggest that the cat stay inside at night if the cat has an owner
  • Block all possible entry points of your home

How to Resolve Scenarios of Cat-on-Human Aggression

If cats show aggression towards Florida residents, here’s how to handle them:

 Kittens Bite Owner When Playing 

Kittens often conduct “play fighting” but stop rough-housing to prevent biting their siblings or friends. However, baby cats may become more aggressive when playing with humans, sometimes triggering biting or scratching.

The solution is to prevent your hands from getting in contact with the kitten. You can use cat toys attached to rods or sticks, which can protect your hands. 

Cat Bites Its Owner That’s Petting It

This scenario could happen even if the owner is displaying affection toward their furry friend.

Cats often enjoy the sensation of a human stroking them since it resembles the experience of their mothers grooming them as tiny kittens.

Meanwhile, adult cats possess an instinctive survival mechanism that can cause them to feel vulnerable when you pet them. They can feel too relaxed, making them unprepared for potential danger.

This response may produce aggressive behavior from a human stroking them. A key factor is the cats’ past interaction with humans as young kittens.

If you observe specific reactions to your petting, such as purring stoppage, hissing sounds, or side-to-side tail thrashing, stop petting the cat immediately.

Cat Hisses at Its Approaching Owner

Cats can display offensive and defensive aggression. For example, fear-based aggression becomes a survival strategy when a feline feels vulnerable.

For example, cats with negative experiences with humans may perceive nearby humans as unwanted advances. The hissing is a warning sign to the human.

If you don’t move away from the cat, it may use its teeth and claws to escape.


Cats’ aggressive behavior towards humans, objects, or other cats is often based on fear and mistrust. There's some good news. Learning the triggers of such emotions may help minimize damage from scared, worried, or angry cats. 


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