My 7 Month Old Kitten is Aggressive (What now?)
If you have a young kitten of 7 months (or near to that), you may be shocked to see some aggression. No doubt you are wondering
Why is my 7-month-old cat so aggressive?
Your 7-month-old cat is likely to be aggressive because she is either scared or curious. Sometimes this behavior is linked to her missing her mother and lashing out due to her lack of trust in humans because of this experience.
In older cats, this can be linked to quite a few different issues (more on this later).
Now that you know why your cat is acting aggressive, let me go on to explain other reasons for this behavior, if she will grow out of it, why your cat may be acting hyperactive and so much more. Keep reading…
Other Reasons for cat aggression?
Earlier I mentioned the main triggers for your cat’s aggression. But, there are quite a few more triggers that I need to discuss with you.
If your cat is injured or has a sensitive/tender area on their body that they do not want to be touched, they may lash out at you if you overstep the line.
When I say overstep the line, I mean come in contact with this vulnerable area, are you with me? If you fail to keep your distance then she may hiss, scratch or even bite you.
Fear is one of the biggest triggers of aggression. Earlier I mentioned that some cats that have been separated from their mothers too early may have aggressive tendencies, right?
Well, this is the root cause of this reaction. Effectively they have no trust in you, along with other humans, and for that reason, they are likely to lash out.
Hormones Going Crazy
If you have a male cat, especially one that has not been neutered, you may notice aggression. The reason I say a male cat is due to their hormonal makeup.
They are programmed to be hostile to other male cats in a pursuit to win her for mating. This hostile behavior can also affect you as the owner as well.
Feeling stressed out
Like us humans, if cats feel stressed or uncomfortable (especially male cats), they may get aggressive (Click here to see how to stop your kitten hissing at your older cat) or unsociable. This can range from small things, such as new people in your house, a new environment or even the arrival of a new pet.
In more extreme circumstances your cat may feel under attack from a rival cat, which will stress her out. Which, in turn, will lead to aggressive behavior.
Do kittens grow out of aggression?
If you are experiencing this unsociable behavior from your cat, you may be wondering how long it will take for her to grow out of it. Or, will she ever grow out of it.
The answer is yes, you should expect her to grow out of it within approximately 18 months or so (give or take a few months). To be truthful, this is only a guide. Why? Because every cat is different.
Also, as discussed earlier, there are many reasons why your cat may even stop, but then start getting aggressive again. For example, she develops an uncontrollable pain, are you with me?
Why does my kitten bite me when I pet him?
If you have ever stroked or petted your cat and she gave you a random nip, you may be baffled. It is not always obvious why this has happened, right?
Well, there is a known reason for this. In most cases its because your cat has become overstimulated. This may sound weird, how can they get overstimulated?
For example, you may excessively stroke her, do it for too long or even stroke her in the wrong direction, are you with me?
This typically results is a reactional bite or even a hiss (Click here to see why your cat may hiss at your dad). Usually, there is a warning for this, but not always.
Why is my kitten so hyper?
If you have noticed that your cat is acting “weird”. In particular hyperactive. You may be scratching your head thinking, what could have caused this?
In most cases, this could be something quite small/subtle, such as a new person in your home, unknown houseguest (Click here to see what to do if your cat attacks your houseguest) or even a new baby.
The best thing to do is to give her some space at first. If you have been patient and she is still acting up you can try pheromones (Click here for me best pheromones for aggressive cats), catnip or even some soft music in the background.
What does it mean when a cat bites you hard?
Earlier I explained the reason why your cat may give you a quick nip. Now, in some cases, this may escalate to a hard bite. if this happens there is usually a reason for this and some telltale clues as well.
Firstly, don’t freak out, it may not have been a serious attempt to hurt you. Believe it or not, your cat may be playing with you.
The tell-tale signs of a loving bite
If your cat bites you, then runs off and looks back at you in a playful manner, this is a good sign that she wants to play games. I understand that it may hurt, but maybe she doesn’t know her own strength. This behavior is similar to pet dogs’ actions.
A Warning Sign
If this is not the case, then this is likely to be a warning to just back up and leave her alone, are you with me? Basically, you overstepped the mark, overstimulated her, and she needs space, get it? So, do what she wants, move back and give her some space.
Ways to avoid her biting or being overly aggressive
Now that you understand why cats behave reacting to aggression, and what triggers them. I want to give you some ideas on how to prevent/avoid it happening in the future.
01. Avoid using your feet/hands as toys
As much as you are tempted to play with your cat using your hands or feet, don’t do it. It may not result in anything at first, but, you are opening the invitation for her to bite you. Basically, you are asking for trouble doing this.
Instead of this use a soft toy, such as a toy mouse or laser cat toy (Click here to see why I love this one). But, in fact, any toy that you use should be kept well away from your fingers, hands and feet, are you with me?
02. Play with your cat to entertain & wear them out
As well as being cautious with how and what you use to play with them. Just make sure that you do actually play with them on a regular basis.
It may seem like a small thing, but, your cat will build a bond with you during these times. Which will lead to her trusting you. The end product is fewer chances of aggression.
03. Put a bell collar on her
Some cats have weird habits of launching themselves at you from random locations around the house. If this is the case, you need a way to warn you that she is about to jump you.
The easiest way to achieve this is with a bell collar (Click here for availability on Amazon #Ad). This simple device will warn you if has the urge to jump on you when you least expect it.
Things to avoid with an aggressive cat
So far I have spoken to you about what you can do to help matters. However, you may be wondering if there is anything that you need to avoid to keep her relaxed, right?
Avoid punishing her
As frustrated as you may get, avoid the temptation to punish or chastise here, well not physically anyway. It may seem like a good quick fix, but long term it won’t be productive.
I say this because, acting like this is more likely to make her stop trusting you, become more fearful and you will start a vicious cycle of aggression, are you with me?
What you can do instead
Instead of punishing her, you can try and use positive reinforcement. This is a method of treating her for good behavior. This will entice her to do what you want because she wants treats. This can simply be done by using her favorite treat (Click here for my best subscription cat treat boxes) whenever she obeys you.
What does an aggressive cat look like?
An aggressive cat will exhibit a few obvious body language cues such as staring directly at you, its hair standing on end or its ears standing upright. There are many others, but these are the obvious ones.
If you see a cat like this it’s best to give it space and wait for it to calm down. Never try to pet or reason with a cat that is in this state. In its mind it is war ready.
How can you manage rough play with your kitten?
One quick way to manage and avoid rough play with your kitten is to avoid using your hands when playing with your cat. Instead, offer a toy.
If you offer your hand it can make the kitten think that rough play, such as biting or scratching, is acceptable on your hand.
It is common to see these types of aggressive playtime behaviors with kittens that have been separated from their littermates earlier than expected.
This is because they have not had enough time with their mother and littermates to learn the boundaries.
Does human interaction reflect on a kitten’s behavior?
Yes. A human’s interaction with a young kitten makes a big difference on how it may turn out as an adult cat. Their most impressionable stage is when they are from week one to seven.
During this impressionable age they learn their socialization and boundaries around their mother and littermates.
Can flirt poles help your kitten burn off its aggressive energy?
Yes. A flirt pole can help to get rid of your kitten’s pent-up aggressive energy. This pole has a rod, with a string and toy attached to it. Think of it like a fishing rod. You simply dangle it near your kitten and watch it chase it around.
It won’t take too long to get its attention. Once it shows signs of being tired you can call it quits and give it a break. You may only need a few sessions per day for 5-10 mins at a time.
The benefits of this is it helps to keep them active, happy and use their hunting instincts. More importantly, these aggressive actions will be used on a toy, rather than you or your family.
Should I hiss at my cat when he bites?
No. You should not hiss when your cat bites. It may be tempting, but it’s not beneficial. Chances are your cat will be confused and scared off. But, it will not necessarily stop it from biting.
Therefore you may cause it to lose trust in you. And, you would not have eradicated the root cause of the issue.
In this section, I will answer some questions related to cats, aggression, and behavior. If you have some additional questions then drop a comment below.
How do cats show affection?
Cats show affection by using their tail. This multi-functional cat limb is used to rub against you to show she is happy. Often you may be sitting down and she will gently glide her tail on you. This is a positive indication.
Where should my kitten sleep at night?
Your kitten should have her own cat bed (Click here to see my best 5 beds for kittens). Failing that, she can have her own designated area. You should avoid sharing your bed with her if possible because she is small.