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As the owner of a cat who exhibits signs of redirected aggression, life can be quite tough. Redirected aggression is defined as the aggressive behavior displayed by a pet cat, when it experiences over-stimulation, fear or over-arousal. The cat’s aggression is usually aimed at the human owner or anything that is close by. For instance, another pet could end up facing your cat’s wrath.
So, why does this happen?
Well, as stated earlier, something has triggered your cat. It could be another pet, prey, or even something as mundane as a doorbell. The cat, as a result, becomes agitated. There have been stories of cats destroying curtains because they could detect odors on the owner that reminded them of the vet’s office, which they obviously weren’t too fond of.
Dealing with this sort of thing certainly be a tough challenge. But, with these tips and strategies, you can make a difference.
Safety comes first. So, if your cat is in a bad mood, don’t try to pick her/him up or pet him/her. They are too upset to be bothered by you. The only thing that’s going to happen when you do this is that your cat’s going to attack you and you don’t want that.
So, keep away.
You don’t want your cat hurting anybody else nearby, so make sure he/she is separated from prospective victims. What you can do is place items such as pillows or cardboard around the aggressor. If you have another pet, make sure he/she is kept in another room or any other safe location.
Positive reconditioning involves using something that your cat likes to distract him/her from this sort of aggression. For instance, there have been cases where owners have used food to deal with their cat’s redirected aggression. This has often worked.
You can also distract your cat with his/her favorite toy or any other such item.
Talk to your vet and see if they can prescribe something that can calm your cat down. There are anti-anxiety drugs such as diazepam that can offer some relief. However, make sure you discuss everything with your vet. Never do this without your vet’s approval and supervision.
Take it Seriously
Redirected aggression is a big deal and ignoring it can only make things worse. Talk to your vet immediately and seek their advice on the issue. In fact, ignoring it can make the aggression worse and lead to some serious harm.
Your cat is also under a lot of stress, which is one of the reasons why he/she is acting this way. This kind of stress can also cause over-grooming and hair loss.