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You are watching: Why does my cat attack me and no one else


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Does it ever before feel favor you’re being specifically targeted by your feline “friend”?

Maybe you’re the favorite human most of the moment and your cat plainly loves you (congrats) but it still appears favor you’re the just one that your cat decides to randomly attack!

So what’s going on below and why does your cat strike you yet no one else? Unfortunately, there’s not a simple answer that uses to every case however in many instances, your cat is simply reacting to the type of attention you’re giving them or they’ve decided that you’re the most fun to strike and also play with!

But that’s really just scratching the surchallenge (check out what I did there) of why your cat could do this.

Let’s dig a small deeper right into the feasible factors beginning through the most prevalent. We’ll likewise talk around ways that you have the right to proccasion your cat from attacking you in the initially location.

But initially, let’s answer a crucial question.

Is Your Cat Actually Attacking You? 

Okay, you can be rolling your eyes and shouting “Yes! Of course, my cat is attacking me!”

But there’s a BIG difference between play behavior and also genuine aggression- also if they both finish up through you feeling struck. Understanding the distinction between play and aggression is the initially step to figuring out why our cat has actually determined to attack! While the difference is obvious to an additional cat, sometimes we people have a tough time telling the distinction in between play and genuine aggression. So we must look at the as a whole conmessage of our cats to number if they’re trying to play with us or if they really desire to steal our lunch money.

Context Clue #1: Wbelow Is It Happening?

Our initially context clue is the area of the attack. Cats are frequently ambush predators which means they favor to hide and also wait for their prey. So if you’re being struck as you revolve a edge or pass your cat’s favorite hiding spot there’s a great opportunity they’re playing and also simply couldn’t resist the chance to offer you a swipe. If instead, your cat sees you as a prey animal then we’ve gained bigger troubles however this pretty unmost likely.

The various other point to think about is whether or not the strike is happening around a resource like food, furniture, or around an additional pet. These scenarios all suggest to aggression rather than play considering that your cat might feel the need to protect their room from you or an additional pet.

Conmessage Clue #2: What Was Your Cat Doing?

While it’s very closely pertained to our initially conmessage clue, we must consider what your cat was doing prior to they made a decision to attack. Did they run as much as you or were you petting them?

It’s additionally essential to take into consideration what YOU were doing prior to the attack. For example, if your cat only attacks you when being pet then you may have to change the way you pet your cat- especially if you’re the just one being struck mid-pet.

Conmessage Clue #3: Check the Ears

While feline body language is complicated and complex, I usually find that the ears make a great indicator of how your cat is feeling. Flat ears that are as cshed to your cat’s body as feasible suggest a defensive posture and also indicate that your cat feels intimidated. On the other hand, a cat that is hunting or playing will certainly “store his ears forward to collect as much auditory information as feasible to execute a effective pounce.” If your cat is mirroring level ears through a tense body then it’s most likely they think they’re in a fight.

What To Do With This Information?

If your cat is attacking you out of play then the solution is generally pretty straightforward- you must offer your cat more correct play outlets than they already have actually. But if your cat is attacking you bereason they feel threatened or uncomfortable then we’ll should do a little more digging to number out exactly how to settle it.

But Why Me and also No One Else? 

If your cat is attacking you and also no one else there’s an excellent possibility that there’s something different about you and your relationship. For a super straightforward instance, let’s say that you’re the only one in the household that ties your shoelaces in the living room wright here your cat have the right to check out you. Tright here are plenty of cats that just can’t resist a possibility to attack a couple of shoelaces! Once your cat starts attacking you and your shoelaces they might decide that it’s a totality lot of fun. Maybe you react in a method that your cat finds way even more entertaining than other human being in your home.

Now, what started as a simple shoelace assault has turned into a preference for attacking you and also you alone.

So we really need to do some feline detective work. Now that we’ve functioned out some of our conmessage clues to figure out if we’re being played via or bullied we have the right to break down a few of the common factors for assaults to number why our cat has actually chosen us for their feline fight club.

Let’s start via the many likely factor.

Reaboy 1: Your Cat Is Overstimulated

Overstimulation is a really prevalent but frequently extremely misconstrued feline phenomenon. Ssuggest put, it occurs when good petting goes negative either because it’s gone on as well lengthy or because your cat is being pet in a spot they don’t’ prefer. The tricky thing is that overstimulation looks various in different cats and each individual feline will certainly have a different threshost for petting.

So if your cat is attacking just you while you pet them then there’s a great chance you need to adjust your petting. The simplest resolve is to sindicate shorten your petting sessions however focusing on the head is typically a safe bet as well. Cats are much even more most likely to come to be overengendered as soon as they’re pet on their stomach so it’s finest to avoid that location altogether.

The initially indications of overstimulation deserve to be subtle and periodically it feels favor our cats go from happy via the petting to complete strike mode in an instant. But the reality is, many cats are providing subtle signals.

Check out this video from Jackboy Galaxy for great examples of subtle overstimulation cues:

Reachild 2: It’s Fun To Attack You! (Sorry) 

Let’s say you were going to play a prank on someone at work.

Who are you going to pick?

Even if you aren’t precisely a prolific prankster, you probably have someone in mind that you recognize would certainly make a great candidate. They’re probably someone who won’t gain as well upcollection but they’ll still provide you a fun reactivity.

Well, there’s a possibility you’re the best office pranking tarobtain. Except rather of an office prank you’re the taracquire of your cat’s boredom and you simply so take place to be the many fun targain to strike in between naps. So ask yourself, what makes you various from other people in your house?

Do you have a funny reaction or probably you begin a vigorous play session as quickly as you’re attacked?

Reason 3: Redirected Aggression

VCA Hospitals specifies redirected aggression as developing as soon as your cat is agitated by “one more pet, perkid, or occasion but is unable to direct aggression in the direction of the stimulus.” One of the most widespread examples happens once an indoor cat sees an outdoor cat with a home window. Your cat could be frustrated and threatened by this cat but they can’t direct any kind of of that in the direction of the outdoor cat considering that there’s a obstacle in between them.

Like a perkid who’s having a really poor day, your cat will take out that frustration on the next critter they come in call with, and also periodically that could be you.

So exactly how could this describe why your cat attacks just you with redirected aggression?

We’ve acquired to go back to our context ideas to figure out what’s going. One of the many widespread scenarios requires one more pet. It’s pretty common for a cat or dog to pick their favorite human and dogs specifically will certainly frequently decide to follow this perboy about the residence. While cats and dogs deserve to definitely get along the connection is frequently a tiny tense and your cat might be redirecting some of their aggression and also frustration onto you.

If your dog is always hanging out through you then that would certainly define why you’re the just perchild obtaining attacked by your cat.

But it doesn’t need to be a dog, redirected aggression deserve to likewise occur between cats and also is a lot of regularly an worry of resources. A high variety of feline fights take place over furniture like cat trees or the perfect place in the sun. So if you always sit in the same spot on the couch (you know, right beside the cat tree) and also find yourself the victim of feline assaults you might have to pick up another cat tree. In my opinion, the folks at Go Pet Club have actually the ideal selection and also top quality of trees and you can inspect out their keep on Amazon. You don’t necessarily need to go all out via a enormous cat tree for eexceptionally cat yet eincredibly kitty have to have an area that’s uniquely theirs.

However before, redirected aggression isn’t limited to other pets and also animals alone. Pain and stress and anxiety can cause cats to lash out however generally it won’t be targeted to one perkid (unmuch less you’re a very aggressive petter).

Reachild 4: You Smell A Little Funny

There’s a possibility that a details scent encourages your cat to attack you. Similar to redirected aggression, your cat gets overly excited around some kind of stimulation (in this case scent) but doesn’t understand just how to expush it various other than attacking you.

The the majority of noticeable possibility is the smell of one more pet, particularly an additional cat. If the cat that’s doing the attacking hasn’t been spayed or neutered the smell of another cat will likely make an also greater impact. Decreased aggression is just one more advantage to spaying or neutering your cat as the majority of cats are a lot calmer after spay or neuter.

But it isn’t constantly apparent what could collection your cat off. While citrus smells like oranges are offensive to cats, they aren’t likely to assault you bereason of it. Instead, less noticeable smells like bleach or ammonia could trigger a weird response in your cat. That’s bereason bleach can smell a lot like cat urine to many type of cats and cause them ending up being overly excited.

So if you’re on a regular basis cleaning with bleach (maybe at work) and also the various other civilization in your house aren’t that might define why your cat has preferred you as the major assault tarobtain. Even you can’t smell it doesn’t suppose it’s not tright here since cats have a feeling of smell that’s 6 times greater than humans.

Reakid 5: Due to the fact that It Works (Unintended Positive Reinforcement) 

Optimistic reinforcement is the structure of modern pet training and also the idea is pretty simple: if a critter does what you desire them to do then you give them a treat immediately after that behavior and also over time this will certainly encourage that habits.

So what the heck is unintended positive reinforcement?

That’s as soon as you end up encouraging habits that you have actually no intention of cultivating. The classic instance is a cat that’s meowing for food in the middle of the night. Let’s say you get up and also feed your cat in order to stop the meowing.

But what has actually your cat learned? That meowing is a good method to gain food. So the next time she’s hungry in the middle of the night all it takes is a barrage of meows to gain a snack! Now you’ve unintentionally produced a midnight meowing monster!

The exact same procedure have the right to explain why your cat would certainly strike you and no one else. The question then becomes, what execute you perform after the assault that others aren’t doing? If you’re engaging your cat in playtime or providing them a snack to appease them after an strike then you’re actually encouraging them to attack more!

You deserve to check out how this have the right to further be implemented if other human beings in the family members don’t offer your cat what they desire after an attack. Gradually, you come to be the just one they still assault because it still works on you!

That’s why it’s important to not market your cat positive reinforcement after they strike you- even if you don’t mean too!

Reaboy 6: Okay, Your Cat Might Not Like You

I hate to say it…yet if your cat is only attacking you then there’s a opportunity that they just don’t like you exceptionally a lot. As turbulent as that sounds, it’s not somepoint you need to take personally given that it’s even more likely to be a mix of things fairly than simply you as a perkid. Maybe you’re routinely approximately other pets so you have some interesting smells, are a little bit of a louder talker and your petting abilities could be boosted. While that sounds harsh, all this combined might bring about your cat politely asking you to store your distance with a well-inserted paw.

If it does seem choose your cat simply doesn’t favor you in specific it’s typically finest to begin by improving your petting. Reach out with a finger and let your cat strategy you then focus on short pets on the head. Unless there’s somepoint else going on, some quiet, gentle petting over a couple of days will win over a lot of cats.

Reakid 7: Are You Ssuggest the Resident Cat Person? 

Even though it sounds choose a place that I’d prefer to live in, the majority of families aren’t filled through cat human being. That indicates there’s a clear distinction between world that hang out via the cat and also human being that don’t! So while it might seem noticeable, it’s important to ask yourself if you’re being struck sindicate bereason you’re the one spending time with your cat!

Other members of the family could not gain assaulted by your cat because they don’t spend any time through your cat in the initially place! I understand, it’s obvious yet it’s an often-overlooked explanation especially as soon as it involves younger cats that are all set to play fight anybody (and not simply you).

Reaboy 8: It’s All About Territory 

We’ve already touched on this in some of our conmessage clues however it can be because you’re interacting via your cat at the wrong time and also more importantly in the wrong place.

Cat are normally territorial creatures so it have to be no surpclimb that this is sometimes problematic inside our residences. The ASPA explains that “Cats’ territorial aggression is usually directed towards other cats, yet it can be directed toward dogs and also civilization, as well. A cat deserve to present territorial aggression toward some household members and also not others and also toward some cats but not others.”

In various other words, your cat might be attacking you and also not others bereason you’re the just one encroaching on what they perceive as their area or bereason you’re the just one they view as a threat. The tricky component is figuring out specifically what your cat considers to be their territory. Your cat’s wild ancestors and also feral friends control big areas of land also and also researchers found that “one male kitty’s array covered 1,351 acres (2.1 square miles).”

The ASPCA also goes on to define that a “cat’s regarded area could be the entire house or component of it, the yard, the block, or the area.” So while it will be tough to number out precisely what territorial line you’ve crossed, by paying attention to the context ideas you can figure out where you went wrong.

As is the case through many type of issues of aggression, cats that haven’t been spayed or neutered are not only even more most likely to be aggressive however also more most likely to be territorial.

How To React To Feline Aggression

While the specific solution to feline aggression will depfinish on the underlying cause, tright here are a few things that apply across the board. Aacquire the distinction in between playing and actual aggressions is important here.

Should I Tell My Cat “No”?

Many kind of world attempt to discourage their cat from attacking by using the same techniques they’d usage through a boy or a dog. But unlike a dog that will clearly respond to your social cues, many cats will certainly simply look at you choose you’re insane. Or as cat professional Tony Buffington puts it “your cat thinks you’re a vast, unpredictable ape.”

In order to understand why we must look into our cat’s previous. Buffington goes on to say that cats aren’t able to attach negative reinforcement favor saying “no” via any type of of their habits bereason “cats progressed as solitary hunters with bit need for reading social cues, specifically those for behavior modification.”

In other words, saying “no” or yelling at your cat isn’t going to perform much.

What Should I Do Instead?

The initially thing you want to execute is make sure you’re not encouraging the actions. The finest point to perform is commonly walk amethod. Your cat does care about you and in the instance of trying to play wants your attention. By walking amethod you show your cat that their aggressive playstyle isn’t going to gain them what they want.

On the various other hand, if the aggression is clearly not playing then your first goal is to figure out what’s causing it and fix the underlying playing. That’s why I’ve stressed the prestige of knowledge the distinction between play and also aggression making use of our context hints so many kind of times.

Play Therapy

Playing is an essential part of being a cat and also being a cat parent. Playtime is how your cat satisfies their herbal instinct to hunt, chase, and also capture. While the reasons why you’re especially being struck deserve to be varied, minor aggression can periodically be managed via some play therapy!

Try playing via your cat 15 minutes a day for a week and track the events of aggression. There’s a great chance they’ll decrease. Interactive playthings are always ideal and also my favorite is Da Bird which you can view here on Amazon. Cats absolutely lose their mind over this toy and also I honestly haven’t viewed a cat that isn’t interested in chasing down Da Bird!

When To Find Help

Okay, we’ve made a few jokes around feline aggression however at a details point, it isn’t anypoint to laugh about.

But once is this suggest and also once should you look for out professional help?

The initially point to take into consideration is the level of aggression. Cat bites are a severe issue and over a decade in the veterinary field, I’ve watched dozens of cat bites that turned right into incredibly severe wounds via a handful even requiring surgical procedure. If your cat is reflecting aggression that results in deep bites then there’s a major trouble and it’s plainly not play behavior. Your cat is having a major difficulty that needs instant attention and also you have to consult your veterinarian as quickly as feasible.

Even if it’s not quite that major, your veterinarian can assist preeminence out any type of clinical problems that may be causing aggression. But if your cat is concentrated on attacking only one perkid (you) it’s much even more likely that your cat has a habits issue. Your veterinarian deserve to help refer you to a qualified feline behavior professional that can help you breakdown the trouble and figure out what’s going.

But the conmessage clues and also reasons we’ve currently discussed should give you an excellent head start.

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Closing Thoughts

While it might feel pretty individual to have actually your cat just assault you, there’s regularly an underlying concern that’s not specifically particular to you. It’s vital to put on your feline detective hat and figure out specifically why our cats have determined to targain us personally. Even though it often feels random, via enough effort we can normally figure out why our cats are acting out.