Referred cat aggression

Referred cat aggression is something I have seen but never put a name to. This form of cat aggression occurs when a cat is upset or more usually scared by the presence of another cat/person or event and before the cat has had time to settle down after a nasty experience we, perhaps inadvertently, or deliberately, get involved and approach our cat, who proceeds to attack us. Why?

The kind of experience that our cat may encounter is sensing the smell of another cat with which he or she is having problems. Or he may have heard a sound that makes her anxious. Another event is a recent spat with another cat. When his space then becomes invaded by us the automatic response is to attack. This is not personal, just programmed.

You can see a classic case of a person invading space and some referred cat aggression, when the cat is a little wound up by seeing this video of a Bengal cat - this was my fault, the cat is simply acting naturally:

A cat that is in defensive/attack mode has dilated eyes, arched back, hair standing on end and a fluffed up tail. But it might be even less than that sometimes. Our cat may simply be a little wound up and more prone to go into attack/defensive mode if we overdo things.

The best course of action to avoid referred cat aggression is to leave our cat alone and give space and time to behave in her/his normal way before we communicate and when we do a soft melodious voice will calm a cat down more quickly. The sound of a familiar and calm voice is I think a very important part of communicating with a cat.

Referred cat aggression to Bengal cat behavior


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