When a cat becomes agitated by a stimulus but cannot respond directly, the cat may redirect its aggression toward a human or another cat. Common stimuli that trigger redirected aggression include loud noises, seeing an outside or stray cat through a window, or a fight with another cat in the house.
Causes of cat aggression
Since we are not able to quickly understand cats’ thoughts and emotions, it is not always possible to know when they may be acting aggressively.
Fear. Sometimes the best offense is a good defense! When a cat feels threatened, it may take measures to protect itself. This is the most common type of aggressive behavior, so keep in mind that as you develop a behavior modification plan, the goal is to make your cat feel comfortable, not to further intimidate him.
Sports and excitement. Some cats have great difficulty distinguishing between appropriate and inappropriate play. The forms of play that may be appropriate with our litter mates may also cause us to bleed. These cats often have great difficulty controlling themselves and may not have learned the self-control necessary to control their play before the injury occurs. Quick Tip: Play with stick-type toys with your cat to create distance between you and him.
Pain and sensitivity. Many medical conditions can also cause pain and discomfort. Just as we lash out to protect ourselves from pain or anticipated pain, cats do the same. Quick Tip: Consult your veterinarian.
Dislike of pampering. Some cats show extreme sensitivity to being petted in certain places, and their irritation can flare up in an instant. For example, some cats may behave aggressively when their rear end is touched or when they are petted while sitting on someone’s lap.