Cat Scratching

QUESTION

My cat attacked me twice and scratched me on my leg. The cat also did this to my husband. We did not provoke the cat. Why did the cat do this for no reason that I can see

Thank you


Hi,

Without having a very detailed account of your kitty's life and everything that led up to the incident, I could not guess why she did this. However, although I don't know why and you wrote that there is no reason that you can see, I assure you there is a reason.

Possible reasons are:

(1) your cat was playing, but a little rough. The action you mention is typical play of some cats when they are imitating their real instinctual predatory behavior.

(2) Your kitty saw another cat or dog or animal through a window and couldn't get to it to attack it so displaced her instinctual agggression to you and your husband. This is VERY common.

(3) Were you visiting a friend that had a pet and came home smelling like another pet? That could trigger such a reaction.

I could go on and on listing possible causes, but you have more information than I do. I'm just trying to give you some ideas on how to think about this. Think back to absolutely everything that happened prior to these attacks and see if you come up with something.

Your reaction may be more important. When something like that happens, you need to freeze or, if possible, calmly/casually walk away and act as though nothing happened. She will lose interest in doing it eventually if you stay calm.

Never use negative punishment on a cat. It will only make things worse. When she is being nice, praise her and give positive reinforcement. When she is not acting appropriately, DO NOTHING.

Good luck. Write again if you think of something and have further questions.

Best,
Dr. Neely

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