Cats are complex creatures that can be temperamental and act out of character for what you’ve grown to know. Cats seem to have behaviors that are not always so black and white, not always predictable, and some of these behaviors aren’t always easy to figure out. One of these behaviors is the out-of-the-blue attack on their human that may come as a shock or even be frightening if you know your cat to usually be a gentle, loving feline. When your cat suddenly goes into attack mode, it may take you off guard and make you feel a bit confused, nervous, and maybe a bit upset. You weren’t expecting it and don’t know where the sudden onset of aggression came from, and it’s left you wondering what you should do. There are some things you should know for when your cat suddenly attacks you, or a family member, and here they are.
1. Stay calm
When a cat attacks, it can be swift and surprising. It seems to come out of no where and you may not even know what it was that provoked the attack. It may startle you and be a bit frightening, emotions that can trigger a negative reaction out of you. If your cat attacks, it’s important to remain calm and not let the attack rattle you to the point that you want to lash out and hurt the cat. You never want to retaliate and hit your cat out of anger. This can instill a sense of fear in your cat that can potentiate future attacks by your cat, now out of fear of you, and aggression.
2. Get distance between you and your cat
By remaining in close contact with your cat right after an attack, you are keeping the emotion that triggered the attack to remain engaged and risking another attack or act of aggression. After an attack, you want to put some space between you and your cat, so move away from the cat, or try to get your cat to move away from you by tossing a toy or treat away from you to entice him to go after it and put space between you and get his focus off of you and onto something else.
3. Allow him time to calm down
Your cat may be feeling frustrated, fearful of something, or any number of emotions that could have triggered the attack. Give your cat space to calm down and relax, and it’s best if your cat can get that space in another room, away from you and where the attack happened. Try to lure your cat into a different room by getting him to follow you with a treat. Toss the treat into another room and let him calm himself and regain his composure for a bit before trying to interact with him again.
4. If you get trapped
If you feel trapped and unable to get away from your cat, try gently tossing a blanket, towel or other piece of clothing over your cat and gently removing him from the room and put him in his crate or into another room where he can be alone to calm down.
5. Treat your wounds
If your cat caused any scratches, tooth punctures or other open wounds, it’s important that you treat them as soon as possible. Wash your hands and the area well and put antibiotic ointment on the wounds. If the wounds are bad enough, or you have any doubt as to whether or not they need medical treatment, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and see your doctor because cat bites can become infected within 24 hours of the event.
6. Talk to your vet
If this type of behavior seems to be a problem with your cat, you will want to seek the advice of your veterinarian to see if a medical problem is causing this type of behavior, or get tips on how to deal with the issue. Never raise your voice at your cat as this will only frighten him and cause fearful attacks from him.
Cats are one of the most difficult creatures to understand, but in the end, they just want love and affection from their human. It’s important to not take an attack by your cat personal. Most often, there is a reason behind the incident and if you try to understand this, then you will know that your cat really does love you, but he’s just being a cat and proving that his species is at times, unpredictable, and difficult to always understand.