Petting Aggression Is A Common Behavior In Cats, But You Can Work With Your Pet To Stop It
Petting aggression is also called status-related aggression. The cat wants attention and wants the petting, but then will bite you after only a few strokes. It's a very common behavior in cats. You can work with your pet to stop it. There are many types of aggression. A one-size-fits-all program doesn't work. Cats often have a low tolerance for being petted. They can become overstimulated quickly. Animal behaviorists call it petting-induced aggression. Petting aggression can be explosive and dangerous, especially for well-meaning young children. Learning to identify and avoid situations that might lead to this behavior can help you avoid some medical conditions that may cause a cat to become aggressive. Check your cat for signs of arthritis, an injury, or dental problems to make sure it's not any physical pain that's causing your cat to aggressively reject your petting. Cats accept grooming from other cats on the head and neck. But full-body strokes that a human applies can make the cat uneasy or uncomfortable. Use positive reinforcement to teach your cat that all good things in life must be earned. Say "come" in a cheerful, strong voice and then turn on the can opener, get the kibble, or pick up the treat Jar. When the cat likes it, reward it with a treat or bowl of food. If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. Desensitize the cat and improve its petted tolerance. If it allows three strokes before its ears and tail signal distress, add one more stroke, paired with a reward such as a mouse. . . .