For most of us, cats are a part of our family. But what if I told you that there are millions of people with the same problem?
I don’t like cats and I never have. Until recently. Then, my life got turned upside down by the biggest and meanest cat in the history of cats. What was a tiny, shy, mousy, quiet kitten became a vicious, feral beast that would rip my arms off at a moment’s notice. This is the story of my transformation from terrified victim to master of a feral cat who would rip my arms off.
Asking cat owners about the difference between cats and people can get you into some pretty interesting discussions. Here are ten surprising things we’ve learned about our feline friends.
Why Does Your Cat Attack Only You And No One Else
Do you ever feel that your feline “buddy” is particularly targeting you?
Even if you’re your cat’s favorite human most of the time and your cat plainly adores you (congrats), it still appears like you’re the only one who your cat attacks at random!
So, what exactly is going on here, and why is it that your cat only attacks you and not anybody else? Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every circumstance, but in most situations, your cat is just responding to the sort of attention you’re providing them, or they’ve determined that you’re the most fun to attack and play with!
But that’s only scraping the surface of why your cat may do this (see what I did there).
Let’s take a closer look at the various causes, starting with the most prevalent. We’ll also discuss how to prevent your cat from attacking you in the first place.
Your Cat Is Overstimulated
Overstimulation in cats is a common occurrence that is sometimes misinterpreted. Simply defined, it happens when nice petting turns terrible, either because it continues on for too long or because your cat is being pet in an uncomfortable location. The problematic part is that overstimulation manifests itself differently in various cats, and each kitty has a varied touching threshold.
If your cat is only attacking you when you pet them, you may need to change your caressing technique. The simplest solution is to just reduce the length of your petting sessions, although concentrating on the head is typically a safe idea as well. When cats are petted on their stomachs, they are far more prone to become overstimulated, therefore it’s better to avoid that region entirely.
The early indicators of overstimulation can be subtle, and it might feel as though our cats move from being content with stroking to being in full attack mode in a moment. However, the majority of cats send forth subtle messages.
It’s Fun To Attack You! (Sorry)
Let’s pretend you’re planning a work prank on someone.
So, who are you going to choose?
Even if you aren’t a serial prankster, you undoubtedly have someone in mind who you think would be a good fit. They’re probably not going to be too unhappy, but they’ll still have a good time with you.
There’s a possibility you’re the perfect target for an office prank. Instead of an office prank, you’re the object of your cat’s ennui, and you’re the most enjoyable target to assault in between naps. So, what distinguishes you from the other members of your household?
Do you have a weird reaction when you’re assaulted, or do you immediately begin a violent play session?
Redirected aggression occurs when your cat is aroused by “another animal, person, or event but is unable to focus aggressiveness toward the stimulus,” according to VCA Hospitals. When an indoor cat sees an outside cat via a glass, one of the most typical scenarios occurs. This cat may frustrate and threaten your cat, but there is a barrier between them, so none of it can be directed towards the outdoor cat.
Your cat, like a human having a really terrible day, will vent their frustrations on the next animal they come into touch with, which may or may not be you.
So how does this explain why your cat’s misdirected aggressiveness is limited to you?
To figure out what’s going on, we’ll have to go back to our context clues. Another pet is one of the most prevalent circumstances. It’s rather usual for a cat or dog to have a favorite human, and dogs, in particular, will frequently choose to follow this person throughout the house. While cats and dogs can get along, their connection is generally tight, and your cat may be channeling part of his or her hostility and dissatisfaction toward you.
If your dog is usually around you, this might explain why you’re the only one who gets attacked by your cat.
It doesn’t have to be a dog; redirected aggressiveness may also happen amongst cats, and it’s usually a resource issue. A large majority of feline disputes occur over items such as cat trees or the ideal spot in the sun. So, if you’re consistently sitting in the same location on the sofa (just next to the cat tree) and you’re getting attacked by cats, you might need to get a new cat tree. Go Pet Club, in my view, has the finest assortment and quality of trees, and you can find their store on Amazon. You don’t have to go all out with a large cat tree for each cat, but each kitten should have their own personal spot.
Redirected aggressiveness, on the other hand, isn’t just confined to other pets and animals. Cats may lash out in response to pain or stress, but this is rarely directed at a single person (unless you’re a very violent petter).
You Smell A Little Funny
There’s a potential that a certain odor will make your cat attack you. Your cat becomes too enthusiastic about some form of stimulation (in this example, fragrance) but doesn’t know how to show it other than attacking you, which is similar to misdirected aggression.
The fragrance of another animal, particularly another cat, is the most obvious possibility. If the attacking cat hasn’t been spayed or neutered, the smell of another cat will likely have an even stronger effect. Reduced aggressiveness is another advantage of spaying or neutering your cat, since most cats are more calmer following the procedure.
But what could irritate your cat isn’t always clear. While cats dislike the fragrance of citrus fruits like oranges, they are unlikely to attack you as a result. Instead, less visible odors like bleach or ammonia may cause your cat to react strangely. Because bleach smells like cat urine to many cats, it might cause them to become extremely stimulated.
So, if you’re cleaning with bleach on a daily basis (maybe at work) and the rest of your family isn’t, it could explain why your cat has picked you as the primary attack target. Even if you can’t smell it, it’s still there since cats have a 6 times stronger sense of smell than humans.
Because It Works (Unintended Positive Reinforcement)
Positive reinforcement is the cornerstone of modern animal training, and the principle is simple: if a critter does what you want them to do, you reward them with a treat right away, and this reinforces the behavior over time.
So, what is unintentional positive reinforcement, exactly?
That’s when you wind up supporting conduct you didn’t want to encourage. A cat meowing for food in the middle of the night is a classic example. Assume you get up and feed your cat to put an end to the meowing.
What, on the other hand, has your cat learned? That meowing is an excellent method of obtaining food. So the next time she’s hungry in the middle of the night, a bombardment of meows will suffice! You’ve unwittingly produced a meowing monster at midnight!
The same mechanism can explain why your cat would only attack you. What do you do after the assault that others don’t? You’re really encouraging your cat to attack more if you engage them in playfulness or give them a food to pacify them after an assault.
If other people in the house don’t give your cat what they want after an assault, you can see how this may be reinforced even further. Because it still works on you, you eventually become the only one they assault!
That’s why, even if you don’t mean to, it’s crucial not to give your cat positive reinforcement after they attack you.
Okay, Your Cat Might Not Like You
I hate to tell it, but if your cat is exclusively attacking you, it’s possible that they just don’t like you. As harsh as it seems, you shouldn’t take it personally because it’s more likely to be a mix of factors rather than just you. Perhaps you’re used to being around other pets and have developed some unusual odors, are a bit of a talker, and your stroking abilities should be enhanced. While it may sound harsh, the combination of these factors may cause your cat to respectfully urge you to keep your distance with a well-placed paw.
If your cat doesn’t appear to enjoy you in particular, it’s always best to start by increasing your caressing skills. Allow your cat to approach you by reaching out with a finger, then focus on brief head pets. Unless there’s something else going on, a few days of calm, gentle petting will win most cats over.
Are You Simply the Resident Cat Person?
Despite the fact that it seems like a location I’d like to reside, most houses aren’t cat-friendly. That suggests there’s a distinct difference between those who hang out with the cat and those who don’t! While this may seem self-evident, it’s crucial to consider whether you’re being assaulted solely because you’re spending time with your cat!
Other family members may not be attacked by your cat since they don’t spend any time with him in the first place! It’s apparent, but it’s an often-overlooked reason, especially in the case of younger cats that are eager to play battle with anyone (and not just you).
Reason 8: It’s All About Territory
It might be because you’re interacting with your cat at the wrong time and, more significantly, in the wrong place, as we’ve already mentioned in several of our context hints.
Cats are territorial creatures by nature, so it’s no wonder that this may be an issue within our homes. “Cats’ territorial violence is mainly focused at other cats, but it can also be directed toward dogs and people,” according to the ASPA. Territorial aggressiveness can be displayed by a cat toward some family members but not others, as well as toward some cats but not others.”
In other words, your cat may be attacking you and not others because you’re the only one infringing on their territory or posing a threat to them. Finding out exactly what your cat perceives to be their area is the difficult part. Scientists discovered that “one male kitty’s range extended 1,351 acres (2.1 square miles)” and that your cat’s wild forebears and feral companions control enormous expanses of land.
A cat’s imagined territory, according to the ASPCA, “may include the entire home or part of it, the yard, the street, or the neighborhood.” While determining precisely what territorial border you’ve violated will be difficult, paying attention to context indicators might help you find out where you went wrong.
Cats who have not been spayed or neutered are not only more likely to be violent, but also more likely to be territorial, as is the case with many forms of aggressiveness.
Your Cat May Be In Fear
Fear is at the foundation of virtually all cat aggressiveness, and their acute senses don’t help matters. They are aware of potential risks in their environment, like as sounds, objects, people, and other pets. If they believe the threats are too great for them to manage, they’d rather walk or run away.
If individuals believe they will fail to develop feasible escape strategies, aggressive conduct may emerge as a result of their anxieties. Hissing, spitting, swatting, clawing, and growling are all examples of hostility.
You should keep your cat in that position for a few minutes before attempting to reclaim her attention.
While domestication has allowed modern-day companion cats to harness certain wild tendencies, they still have predatory characteristics. When a feline detects an intruder intruding on his area, territorial conflict ensues.
Tomcats and queens both defend territories they believe are theirs, however males tend to have greater territories than females. Territorial aggressiveness is usually directed at other cats, but it can also be directed against humans and other animals.
Another typical source of territorial hostility in cats is a lack of available space.
When three cats share one litter box and one food dish, for example, the imagined competition for these resources may escalate into territorial hostility.
Pet cats may regard humans in the house as outsiders, pursuing, stalking, and pouncing them depending on the scenario.
Introducing a new pet or household member, a recent relocation, or new cats in the neighborhood can all be triggers for territorial violence.
She Wants To Play With You
If your cat exclusively attacks you and no one else, it’s most likely because it isn’t actually attacking you.
Your fluffy ball only wants to play with you and you alone, even if it is a little harsh. Here are a few entertaining activities you may perform with your cat.
Rough play amongst felines happens all the time, so your small kitten could assume you enjoy it as well. Bite marks on your hand might turn into severe bites.
Cats might be aggressive when playing, but they are not malicious. They simply want to have fun. And it just means they’ll need some time to get used to not treating your hands like chew toys.
May Be You’re Petting Too Much
When a furball that adores being pet suddenly changes his attitude, this is known as petting-induced aggressiveness.
While they enjoy being petted, they can only accept it to a certain level. The rhythmic motion is said to change from pleasurable to annoying over time.
When cats feel that stroking is becoming too much for them, they bite, hiss, or nibble as a warning.
In the case of well-behaved cats, they gently warn anybody who touches them, and their assaults seldom result in serious damage.
As a result, if you see petting-induced hostility in your pet, it’s better to let it go before the situation gets out of hand.
While it may appear that your cat is exclusively attacking you, there is usually an underlying issue that isn’t specific to you. It’s critical to don your feline detective hat and discover out why our cats have chosen us as their special targets. Even though it appears to be random, we can generally find out why our cats are acting out with enough effort.