September 2011 Issue

Has Your Cat Become Aggressive?

Here’s how you can identify the trigger — and work to regain your cat’s formerly pleasant demeanor.

We all know people that we try to avoid, but what if your cat develops an unpleasant attitude? What if one cat attacks another in your home, or even your dog — or even you? Territoriality and fear are usually the causes. Luckily, both can be controlled with some patience and understanding. Cats don’t plan these unpleasant behaviors to bother you. They aren’t plotting ways to punish you, either. “It’s more likely that your cat is saying, ‘Hey, this is my house,’” explains Katherine Houpt, VMD, PhD, and the emeritus James Law professor of Behavior Medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

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