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Is It Normal For A Cat To Growl At A Toy?

If you have noticed that your cat is growling at its toy it may seem weird and make you wonder why it’s happening…

Is It Normal For A Cat To Growl At A Toy?

Yes, this is normal behavior, especially if you or another animal is trying to take that toy away! Cats can be possessive, just like us, and they do have favorite toys from time to time.

Even if you aren’t trying to take it, your cat could be practicing their ‘predator skills’ on the toy, and that just happens to include growling. It’s nothing to worry about, so just keep an eye on your kitty and enjoy the show. It’s always a treat to watch a wily cat at play!

Do cats appreciate cat toys?

Orange tabby cat biting a blue toy.

Orange tabby cat biting a blue toy.

Yes, cats definitely appreciate having toys, and indoor cats really need to have some in order to keep them from getting bored. You’ve got lots of options, such as simply hanging strings from the door or more complex toys like cat lasers that will move around at random so your cat can chase the ‘dot’.

Be sure to try out a few and to ‘freshen them up’ every now and again with new toys. That way, your kitty will always have something fun to do.

How can I prevent my cat from growling at its toy?

You can often simply distract your kitty by tossing them a treat, but when they get possessive of a toy, often the only thing that you can do is to present them with some new toys. Cats are extremely territorial and as such, they’ll claim places, people, and things quite naturally.

While you can try giving your cat a treat, taking the toy away, and replacing it with something else, results are going to vary a lot from cat to cat. Territoriality is in their nature and most likely the only thing that is going to soften that attitude is time.

What toys keep a cat entertained for a long time?

Cats are surprisingly easy to please when it comes to toys. If you are on a budget, you can simply hang strings in different spots around the house, or place 1 or 2 empty cardboard boxes nearby and your cat will make do quite happily.

A laser pointer is also cheap and probably one of the best toys around, just don’t overdo it – your cat can’t actually catch it and if you let them chase it around too long before calling a ‘treat break’ or tossing an actual ball, then your cat might get worked up and a little aggressive from frustration.

Try different toys to see what works, as each cat is an individual. You’ll be surprised and highly amused at their choices!

Are cat toys good for their exercise?

Yes, cat toys are great for exercise, especially basic staples such as ‘super bounce’ rubber balls. Just make sure that you pick a size that isn’t easily swallowed, as a cat can get overly zealous and try to eat their toy!

That said, and toys that they can bat at or chase are going to be great for helping your cat to get a little exercise, so choose stuff that they can interact with and find a comfortable place to sit – your cat will certainly give you quite the show if they like their new toys!

Do I need a cat toy?

Yes, you really should invest in toys for your cat – if you don’t, they’ll find their own! Cats need stimulation, just like we do, so that they will get a little exercise for their bodies and minds. Balls are classic and always work and there isn’t a cat alive that doesn’t get tempted to chase a string.

Try out different toys and see which one is your cat’s favorite. It’s fun to do and you’ll quickly start to learn your cat’s specific preferences when it comes to playtime.

Why is my cat aggressive with toys?

Orange tabby cat tugging at a blue toy.

Orange tabby cat tugging at a blue toy.

Cats are naturally wired to be territorial and it isn’t just about adding their scents to an environment. Cats will also guard resources. In the wild, this is likely to be specific areas where they like to hunt, watering holes, and favorite hiding places (a behavior you get to see when a cat plays in a box!).

In a home, this is going to manifest with your cat being possessive over their food, favorite sleeping spots, their toys, and sometimes even with you! Cats guard toys and people, but you’ll get used to it. Your cat can’t help it – they’re just being a cat, so sit back and enjoy the show!

Why do cats run and growl?

Normally when you see your cat running and growling, they are being aggressive. Growling is a way to warn animals and people that ‘this cat is not to be messed with’. Take in the context and you’ll often see a bigger picture.

A cat might be running and growling to chase off another pet from their favorite spot or toy or to scare off a visitor of yours that they don’t yet know (or simply do not like).

Sometimes growling can be from health issues, however, so you should watch carefully to see if it looks to be more associated with movement, rather than as a reaction to external stimuli.

If your cat only growls when they are moving, it might mean that they are in pain, so a quick checkup to your vet can help to quickly rule this out and start care immediately if a health concern is identified.

What does cat growling sound like?

You’ll know it when you hear it. A cat’s growl starts with a low rumbling and often ‘clicks’ like an old door being opened in a scary movie. Often, this rumbling will be accentuated by half-meows, growing in pitch, especially when the cat is about to strike the target of all that ire.

If your cat growls at you, you can try to diffuse it with a treat, but it’s really best to walk into another room and simply give your cat a little space. If the growling is a new thing of late, consider what you would normally do when the cat isn’t growling.

For instance, if you normally pick them up for petting, and now they are averse to it, then this could indicate that your cat is in pain and it’s time for a vet visit. Some cats even do this whenever they play, so it’s important to factor in the context when you are trying to determine why they are growling, and also note the pitch.

If a growl sounds different, then the odds are that it’s for a new reason, and your cat might not be ‘playing around’. If so, give them space, and check with the vet if it becomes a regular thing – something might be wrong with your kitty’s health.

Why does my cat growl when I pet her?

When your cat is growling for any reason, it’s good to take it seriously. Cats may growl if they don’t like being petted so much, for instance, and this is something that you should respect if you want to get along with your cat. Not all kitties are super-social and yours might simply prefer not being touched so much.

Growling can also be a sign that your cat is in pain and needs to visit the vet. If they tense up, when they would normally be receptive to being petted, and throw in a growl or two then your cat might be in pain!

Finally, overstimulation can cause a cat to growl, as they tend to ‘play hard’ and sometimes forget that they are playing. When you notice this, stop playing for a bit, and consider giving your cat a treat. Give them a few minutes to calm down before starting back with the playtime and repeat this as necessary.

Cats can get overexcited, just like people do, and once you know the signs then it’s always a good idea to diffuse it before any real trouble begins.

Lindsey Browlingdon