The threat could be anything from another cat approaching or being handled by the veterinarian or even the cat parent. Mimicry is a common behavior in the anmal world when it comes to survival. Some animals will mimic a predator vocally or visually as a deterrant. The cat is counting on the fact that the hiss provides enough of a warning. A hissing cat is clearly giving a warning so don’t ignore it.
So how should you handle a hissing cat? It’s very important to establish the cause of the cat’s fear. If your cat hisses every time you try to handle her, make sure she’s not in pain. If there isn’t any medical reason for the hissing when handled then it’s time to work on trust-building with the cat by gradually getting her more comfortable with your presence. View hissing as a red flag that all is not happy in your cat’s world. We’re sorry but Pam is unable to respond to questions or remarks posted in the comment section.
If you have a question about cat behavior, you can find many answers in the articles Pam writes for the website as well as in her best-selling books. Permalink to How Often Should My Cat Poop? How Often Should My Cat Poop? But she hisses at me many times when I approach her. A brief quick his no ears back or body posturing. Then in 2 seconds she is loving on me.
She was a stray and her owner got her from shelter. But she has come out of her shell and is quite friendly with people she knows. Your email address will not be published. Permalink to Is Your Cat Stressed Out? Is Your Cat Stressed Out? Pam Johnson-Bennett is the best-selling author of 8 books on cat behavior.
She starred in the Animal Planet UK series Psycho Kitty, and is one of the most popular and sought-after cat behavior experts in the world. Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved. The Household Dynamic To add to the initial grief of the surviving cat, there’s the fact that human family members are acting distraught. Cats are creatures of habit and they depend on their human family members to behave the same way each day. As the human grieves the loss of a pet, the household dynamic changes and the grieving cat picks up on the elevated stress level. When the cat sees the cat parent crying and stressed out, it sends a red flag that everything in his world has turned upside down. During our own grieving time, we also are more at risk of neglecting normal routines so mealtime may end up being late, pets don’t get played with as often, and general interaction with surviving pets can become tense.
You may clutch and hold onto your cat desperately as you grieve. The message that gets sent to the cat is one of restraint and confusion and not affection and love. Maintain a Normal Schedule for Your Cat Even if your cat’s appetite has decreased or doesn’t seem as interested in interacting with you, it’s important to keep schedules as normal as possible. Engage in your typical schedule of interactive playtime, even if your cat doesn’t seem as enthusiastic. When it comes to meals, this is the time to maintain good nutrition so resist the urge to entice your cat to eat by offering unhealthy treats or introducing a change in food. Do make sure though, you make the meal as appealing as possible so don’t leave canned food out in the dish to harden. Serve wet food at room temperature or slightly warmer to release enticing aromas.
If you free-feed dry food, keep track of how much you put in the bowl so you’ll be aware of whether the cat is eating his normal amount. If several family members are responsible for filling the dry food bowl it can be easy to lose track of how much is actually getting eaten. Designate one person to replenish the free-choice feeding bowl so amounts can be monitored. Stay in touch with your veterinarian for guidance if your cat stops eating. Monitor Your Own Behavior for Your Cat’s Sake When we grieve, it’s normal for us to want to hold our family members and our pets as we cry. It’s a typical way for giving and receiving comfort. When it comes to your cat, be aware of whether the affection you give borders on clutching and clinging in a way that sends up warning signals. Your cat is very sensitive to your emotions and too much clinging can create anxiety. Even though playtime and more fun activities may be the last thing you want to do, it’s important to help prevent your cat from falling into a depression or becoming more stressed than he is already is. Create a Memorial This is something that may help the human family process grieving, which will then help the surviving cat. If you feel you have a way to honor the cat who has passed it may create more comfort for you. This can be especially helpful for children in the family who can easily feel left out and confused by what’s occurring in the household after the death of a pet. Anything you can do, whether it’s to create a special garden, photo album, or even honoring the cat by making a special donation to an animal welfare organization, may provide a little more comfort and peace for you. The surviving cat, being the sensitive animal he is, will benefit from any body language signal of peace and comfort you display.