Dealing with an angry cat can be intimidating. Cats may be small, but they can still act unpredictably. When cats are in a state of emotional distress, they need time and space to calm down.
Never approach an angry cat until it is ready to do so. Their anger could manifest as aggression, and the cat could scratch or bite you. Find out why your cat is angry and give her space. After a short time, offer her a peace offering such as food or treats. A snack or meal will distract your cat from her anger. Conclude calming the cat with a game to restore harmony.
It is harmful for cats to feel exaggerated emotions, such as anger.
Cats are most content when they can live a calm lifestyle without hostility.
So, try to avoid any behavior that might cause frustration in the cat.
Can Cats Get Angry?
Cats have a reputation for being aloof, emotionless animals. This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth.
Cats experience a range of complex emotions. This emotional spectrum includes anger and frustration.
Knowing about cats’ emotional well-being is as important as learning about their physical health.
If your cat is angry and upset, you should respect this emotional state. Failure to do so can harm the relationship between humans and cats.
How to Tell if a Cat is Angry
With cats, it’s difficult to tell their mood. Fortunately, there are ways to gain insight into a cat’s emotional state.
To do this, it’s essential to learn the meaning of cat body language and expressions.
Just because your cat doesn’t respond to you doesn’t necessarily mean it’s angry and upset. Rather, this indicates that you have a secure bond with your cat.
Angry cats often make their displeasure very clear. Look for any of the following characteristics or a combination of them:
- Standing with a hunched back (cat hump)
- Excited vocalizations such as hissing or growling
- Tail sweeps across the floor
- The eyes are wide open and fixed
- The ears are flat against the head
- The mouth seems tense
- The cat bares its teeth
- The claws are extended and ready for use
If your cat is upset, you should find out why. There are plenty of explanations. The blame may lie with you or with another source.
In either case, knowing what made your cat angry is helpful to avoid a recurrence.
What Makes Cats Angry?
You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered why your cat is angry.
Cats can get upset by several seemingly innocuous things. Sometimes, however, there is an understandable explanation for a cat’s anger.
Cats love to nap. This passion for naps is not just an act of laziness. Just being awake and moving around is exhausting for cats.
Especially for older cats, exercise is a real workout. Arthritic joints need rest to recover from the exertion.
When your cat is in a deep sleep, he must not be disturbed. This can be unpleasant if the cat is in the way or sleeping on something you need.
However, waking a cat from a deep sleep before it is ready can make it angry.
Cats feel vulnerable when they are sleeping. When a cat sleeps in a public place in its home, it is a sign of trust and confidence.
If the cat is awakened, it is a betrayal of that trust. The cat will immediately react with anger.
If you must touch your cat, do so sparingly. Usually, cats like to keep all four paws on the ground, and they call the shots regarding touching.
If you touch a cat unexpectedly, especially from behind, it may become angry.
Touching your cat is sometimes unavoidable. For example, you may need to give her a flea treatment. Such an action should not be enough to upset or anger a cat.
If you put your cat in the bathtub, that’s another matter. In this case, expect to argue with your cat, at least temporarily.
Even simply petting your cat can upset your four-legged companion. Cat skin is sensitive.
While the initial reaction may be a contented purr, the cat may soon become restless. If the skin is overstimulated, petting her will become painful.
Look for signs that your cat has received enough physical attention.
Body language cues include fidgeting in your lap, tensing her body, and watching your hands.
Maybe the purring will stop, too. At the very least, the tone of voice will change.
Ignoring these signs will annoy the cat. She will feel you are not listening to or paying attention to her signals.
The overstimulation will likely end with a scratch or bite before the cat runs away. Don’t let it get to that point in the first place.
Remember the golden rule of handling cats: Avoid touching the paw pads and rubbing the soft underbelly.
Cats usually loathe being touched in these areas because they are so sensitive.
Pain and aggressive behavior go hand in hand in cats. Cats are reluctant to show that they are uncomfortable.
If your cat is uncharacteristically jumpy, he may be in pain. Also, if you accidentally step on your cat’s tail, he will initially react angrily.
It is also normal for a cat to be angry after a vet visit. This may be a necessary evil, like a vaccination.
If your cat has to undergo a major or minor surgical procedure, he will be even more agitated afterward. The after-effects will be noticeable.
However, cats recover from a vet visit in a very short time. Also, your cat will eventually forgive you for putting her in this situation.
However, this forgiveness may take a while. You will probably have to compensate her with food, toys, or treats.
If your cat has never been to the vet, it may be time to schedule a visit. Your cat could be suffering from pain due to an undiagnosed medical condition.
Toothaches, for example, are common in cats. However, your cat may also have a urinary tract infection or other infection.
Intrusion Into Territory
For cats, their territory is the most important thing. When a cat claims a territory for itself, it will guard it with jealousy.
Invading their territory immediately makes a cat angry. This intruder could be another pet or a human.
Each cat should have its territory in its home. Ideally, this should be an entire, little-used room.
If this is not possible, a corner of a room will suffice. Wherever this territory may be, you should consider it sacred.
Other cats that approach that territory will understand. Cats rarely invade each other’s territory if you have a multi-cat household. Any unwelcome visitor will be quickly and unmistakably chased away.
Respect for the territory also applies to humans. Cleaning a cat’s territory is considered aggression.
Removing items your cat has carefully collected will also cause considerable anger. Disturbing a cat that is resting in its territory is an absolute no-no.
Instincts and drives determine the behavior of domestic cats. If the cat cannot follow these instincts, it becomes restless.
Take hunting, for example. All cats love to hunt. Preventing a cat from hunting leads to frustration.
An example is cats observing birds through a window. Initially, a cat is content to watch from indoors. After a while, however, the cat will begin to scold and cling to the window.
The hunting instinct takes over, and the cat wants to get at the prey.
You should also have a female cat spayed if you are concerned about aggressive behavior.
A cat in heat is subject to intense mood swings. Such cats are affectionate one moment and downright demonic the next.
Again, the reason is frustrated instinct. Cats want to go outside and breed. However, if you confine the cat in the house, this is impossible.
Expect the cat to take out its frustration on you.
Ask yourself if your cat is frightened rather than angry. Fear and anxiety can cause a cat to act angry.
For example, if your cat seems angry after being outside, it may be scared after a fight with an animal in the neighborhood.
Make sure your cat’s home life isn’t causing undue stress. Cats love routine.
So make sure you feed and play with your cat simultaneously every day. Provide the cat with its territory and keep unnecessary noise to a minimum.
Your cat will be incredibly anxious if you have a new guest or family member, especially a newborn or new pet.
It would help if you showed her that the new arrival will not replace her in your affection. Be patient and clarify that the cat’s needs will continue to be met.
Even a ride in a car can cause anxiety in cats. So you should prepare your cat for such situations if possible.
How to Calm Angry Cats?
Now that you know why your cat is angry, you can try to calm it down. If you are dealing with an angry cat, you should take action.
Do not ignore an angry cat. Turning your back on her and feigning ignorance may only make matters worse. If your cat is frustrated, it wants you to acknowledge that.
Don’t approach the cat immediately. Your cat is probably not in the mood for company.
Instead, ask yourself what might calm your cat. You may know from experience how to soothe your cat’s temper.
If not, don’t worry. You can go through the four steps described below in order.
If you do them with proper attention and respect for your cat’s feelings, he will eventually calm down.
Provide Space and Privacy for the Cat
Whatever your cat is upset, it won’t help if you crowd him. As mentioned earlier, cats act on instinct.
When upset or threatened, they instinctively attack first and ask questions later. As an angry cat extends its claws, this can be painful.
Step away from your cat and clarify that you are not a threat. Speak softly and keep your hands visible.
Address her with gentle, reassuring words. Leave the cat a clear, obvious escape route without interaction.
If your cat has a territory, she will likely go directly to that part of the home. Avoid that area for a while.
Cats need a little time to themselves to calm down. If you make contact immediately, the cycle of trouble will start all over again.
Offer the Cat Food and Treats
After a while, you should approach the cat. If you leave the cat alone for too long, it will feel ignored.
However, such an approach causes stress, which, in turn, can lead to aggression. It is a balancing act to know when to approach a cat.
If you feel that enough time has passed to interact with your cat, you should not do so empty-handed.
You should offer her something, particularly if you have wronged the cat. Cats are not resentful of their loved ones but expect some form of compensation.
A tiny morsel of food or a treat is ideal for this. Food always attracts a cat’s attention.
When it gets a snack, the cat forgets what has annoyed it and gets down to eating. After that, you can consider another approach.
Approach the Cat
At some point, it’s time to approach the cat. Do this slowly and gently, on your hands and knees. It will feel more comfortable if you get to the same height as your cat.
Continue to talk to the cat as you approach, maintaining a gentle tone of voice.
Monitor how your cat reacts to your presence. Pay attention to the body language and expressions of an angry cat.
If the cat stares at you and arches her back, she is not ready to interact with you. If it hisses, move away again.
Never raise your voice if your cat shows aggression. Anger on your part will exacerbate the reaction. Instead, accept that the cat is still angry.
Repeat the second step in about 30 minutes if the cat has not yet approached you of its own accord.
However, it may be that your cat is ready to approach you. When the cat begins to rub or snuggle up to you, it sends an apology.
You can now strengthen your bond through physical contact.
Offer the Cat Play and Caresses
You should only take this step if your cat signs that it welcomes it. Keep your hands to yourself unless your cat asks for petting.
You should know by now when a cat accepts petting and similar interactions.
When the cat snuggles up to you, pet and scratch him on his favorite body parts. The areas behind the ears and under the chin are usually unbeatable.
If the cat purrs contentedly, you are well on your way to completing the calming process. Make sure to stop petting before the cat becomes overstimulated.
Conclude the petting session with an offer of play. Get the cat’s favorite toy and suggest a small activity.
A game is a final step to confirm that all is well. The cat will release its excess frustration, and thank you for your efforts to restore emotional balance.
How Long Does It Take for Cats to Calm Down?
How long it takes cats to calm down depends on the individual cat and what upset them in the first place.
Some cats are very quick-tempered, while others are comparatively calm and settle down quickly.
Calming scents can speed up this process. Cats pick up a lot of information through their nose.
Consider investing in Feliway or a similar product from the pet store. Alternatively, lavender or incense scents can also calm a cat.
The most important thing is to give cats as much time as they need to calm down. Whether this takes five minutes or several hours, let your cat decide when it is ready.