Unprovoked Aggression in Cats | Types, Causes and Treatment

Are you concerned about unprovoked aggression in cats? Unprovoked aggression in cats is an unhappy and disturbing trait of our modern day. It was almost unheard of in the not too distant past. If your cat is biting or clawing you, you will need to do a little detective work to figure out why. Unprovoked aggression in cats takes many forms, and the solution to the problem depends on the cause.

Unprovoked Aggression in Cats Causes

Here are some factors that can cause unprovoked aggression in cats:

a. They want to defend his territory

When a cat has reached two years old, he will be possessive about the area around him. He will mark his territory by spraying it, and he won’t let another cat get near his territory.

When you bring a new cat to your home, make sure you place him in a separate area for about one or two weeks. Release the cat and introduce him to another cat slowly. Cats need a long time to accept a new addition to family members.

b. Hunting behavior

Naturally, cats like to hunt, and this behavior can’t be changed. They want to hunt and kill small prey such as pet canary and wild birds. Keeping a cat indoors is advisable to stop this cat problem. You can control the predator instinct of your cat by giving him toys.

c. The cat is feeling stressed and scared

When a cat is afraid of something or a stranger approaches him, he will show his teeth to protect himself.

Unprovoked Aggression in Cats  Types

Territorial aggression:

 It occurs when a cat feels that an intruder has invaded her territory.

Cats can be aggressive toward one cat yet friendly and tolerant with another.

Aggressive behavior problems often occur when a new cat is brought home, a young kitten reaches maturity, or a cat encounters neighborhood cats outside.

The most typical behavioral actions are stalking, chasing, ambushing, hissing, loud meowing, swatting, and preventing access to places such as the litter box or another room.

A female feline can be just as territorial as males.  I know because I have one.

Inter-male Aggression :

The adult male feline may threaten and sometimes fight with other males. This aggressive behavior is common with typical feral cats or cats that have not been neutered. They may fight over a female cat, for a higher place on the totem pole, or defend territory.


Cats stalk, stare, howl, and puff up their fur to back each other down. If the feline does back down and walks away, the aggressor, having made his point, will usually walk away as well. If no one backs down, the cats may fight. They may roll around biting, kicking, swatting, screaming, and suddenly stop, resume posturing, fight again, or walk away.

When you see signs that a fight may occur, distract them by loudly clapping, tossing a pillow, or squirting them with water. These tricks can also be used to break up a fight.

Defensive Aggression:

 Defensive aggression behavior occurs when a cat tries to protect himself from an animal or human attacker he believes he can’t escape. This behavior may be in response to the following:


  • Punishment or the  punishment threat from a person

  • An attack or attempted attack from another animal

  • Any incident that makes the feline feel threatened or afraid

  • Demonstration of aggressive defensive behavior postures include:

  • Crouching with the legs and tail hide between legs

  • Shaking the ears against the head

  • Rolling to sides

  • Cat in this position is likely to attack.

Redirected Aggression:

 Cats have this type of aggression toward another pet, or even a person, who didn’t initially provoke the behavior.

An excellent example of redirected aggressive behavior is when your cat sees another cat in his territory. You happen to pet him during or shortly after, and the cat attacks you. The cat doesn’t even know who you are at that moment because it is so worked up about the other cat that he attacks the first thing that crosses his path.

How to Treat Unprovoked Aggression in Cats :

a. Train your cat while he is still a kitten. Introduce him to another member of your family or your dog slowly.


b. Take him to the veterinarian. A medical problem such as an abscessed tooth can also cause this terrible behavior problem.

How To Treat unprovoked aggression in cats – According To Reason

1) If your cat is striking out because he is afraid or hurting, your best bet is to leave him alone and work on the underlying problem.

A cat in pain will have his ears flat back against his head, and his body will be rolled into a defensive posture low against the ground, with claws up and ready. Your cat is saying, “Do not come near me!” Let him calm down or hide if need be before you get your veterinarian to check him out.

2) If you are petting your feline friend and suddenly grabs you with his claws and teeth, he probably has been overstimulated. What should you do in this case? In the short run, freeze. Do not hit your cat because that might trigger another even harder bite.

Sometimes by smacking your other hand against a table will start your cat to release your hand. However, if you stay still, he will calm down and remove you. 

Also read more related to : Why Do Cat Meows All The Time? Stopping Constant Meowing

Cat lovers often think these attacks come without warning, but in truth, you have failed to recognize his body language, and he has had enough. Often these attacks go if you have been petting his belly. It is a very sensitive area for cats, and even if he appears to want you to rub his stomach, you are always better off leaving that area alone.

3) The cat who pounces on your feet, then bounces off the wall, is not trying to hurt you, but he is playing. For this cat, you should increase your play sessions with your cat using an appropriate toy, such as a cat fishing pole or a toy on a string, and not one of your body parts, to help your cat burn off excess energy before you have a quiet petting session.

Let him know that attacks such as these are not permitted by blasting an air horn or squirting him with a spray bottle.

Actions to avoid during the reintroduction process:

Don’t shout at the cats to work things out. If the more cats fight, the worse problem is likely to occur. To stop a fight, make a loud shout such as clapping your hands, squirt the cats with water, or throw something soft at them like clothes or a pillow.

Please don’t attempt to touch them. Your chances of personal injury from a scratch or bite are highly likely.

Don’t punish the cats involved. Punishment will only cause further aggression and fearful responses that will make the problem worse. You could yourself even become a target for redirected aggression.

Don’t add more cats or get litter mates in the beginning. Some feline is willing to share their house and territory with multiple non-litter mate cats, but the more cats share the same territory, the more likely they will not get along.

In summary, the unprovoked aggression in cats is usually due to introducing another cat you brought home or from other neighborhood cats in its territory. Litter-mates tend to get along better if you are inclined to have more than one pet.

Some cats are just aggressive regardless of other cats, and a trip to the veterinarian or a cat behavioral specialist may be needed. Remember, there are several types of aggressive behaviors that can be demonstrated, and you should be aware of the signs.