Dogs are well-known for their devotion to their owners, but can cats have the same level of loyalty? Find out whether your cat feels the need to guard you and how they can let you know.
Are Cats Protective?
While guarding their humans, cats may be equally as fiercely protective as their canine counterparts, despite common misconceptions. In other words, cats are devoted to their families, and their families are devoted to them. According to NBC News, cat-human interactions are remarkably equal to human-only ones, according to a landmark study released in 2011.
You may be surprised to learn how much your cat pays attention to your every move. Some of Petful’s featured cats saved the lives of children and adults alike by alerting their owners to life-threatening medical conditions such as dog bites and carbon monoxide poisoning. Kittens protect their owners from harm with their keen senses of hearing and scent.
Cats are becoming more aggressive in defending their owners from persons they perceive hazardous. Although cats are ferocious predators, humans might seem significant and intimidating to some. A cat’s natural impulse is to protect its home and yours.
Despite this, your kitten probably doesn’t think like you when rescuing people in need. Well-known animal behaviourist Dr John Bradshaw warns readers in National Geographic against the common mistake of “imagining that [cats] have ideas and purposes similar to our own.” There is a good chance they are merely following their instincts if your cat tries to defend you from anything (or someone).
Signs of an Overprotective Cat
Cats can’t talk, but they can communicate, says Dawn Kavanaugh, cat behaviourist and CEO of All About Animals Rescue. They want you to know whether they’re pleased, upset, in pain, or just plain annoyed.
Some cats may purposely knock something over or urinate on your new bedding. Play detective instead of reacting, advises Kavanaugh. Anxiety, sadness, or anything else may cause unusual cat behaviour.
Your cat wants you to observe and listen. You have to figure out what the kitty is saying—maybe it’s angry or upset. Body language may also reveal a cat’s mood.
If your cat is furious, it is either fearful, territorial, or painful in a fight with another cat or dog.
We asked cat behaviourists to explain the subtle signals of an angry cat. Remember that you must always react with love and tolerance no matter how your cat feels. Below are some of the signs that your cat is overprotective.
It Keeps a Wary Eye on You From Afar
It’s hard to determine whether your cat is avoiding you because she’s angry or a cat, and cats are weirdos. It might indicate anger, fear, or anxiety if your cat avoids you when she’s generally playful. Angry cats will stay away from you if you make a loud noise, move quickly, or even smell strange on your clothing. The answer? Let it rest; she’ll return when she’s ready.
It Glares at You and Growls
If you think that growling is exclusive to dogs, think again. And if this is the case, you’ve never seen a furious cat or a catfight. Rueb believes that a throaty growl is one of the many ways that angry cats express their discontent.
For best friends expressing their thoughts via vocalisation, Rueb recommends starting by giving them space and gradually doing activities that will build a good connection with them, such as feeding or playing with toys, grooming or gently conversing. Growls will be replaced with purrs when you know the truth about your pet’s quirks.
You Get “The Look” From It
Asking a cat isn’t necessary—cats are experts at expressing emotions through their eyes. When their routine is disrupted, cats become upset. The remedy is simple: keep a regular, predictable routine for your cats.
It Stays Away From Its Favorite Mouse Toy
Angry cats hate toys, explains Young. It’s crucial to switch up their toys or add catnip to keep them interested. Cats are natural hunters that like the chase and catch the game.
It Hides Behind the Sofa and Won’t Come Out
Solving Behavioral Issues in Your Multi-Cat Household by Amy Shojai is one of the first signals your cat is uncomfortable or scared of you or the surroundings. Refrain from dragging your furious cat out of hiding—it’s protective instinct, and forcing him to interact too soon may make him violent.
It Becomes Fluffy All of a Sudden
Shojai believes the stereotypical “angry cat” has an arched back, fluffed hair, and a bushy tail. This makes the animal look more extensive and frightening, frequently annoying adoring owners. Don’t attempt to pet her, no matter how sweet or amusing you think this pose is. Give her room, or she’ll swat or bite you.
His Ears Seem to Be Ready for Launch
An agitated cat has ears that are flattened on the skull and slightly outward, according to Shojai. Don’t panic, but maintain your distance. An all-out assault on humans is rare and maybe misdirected aggression. Instead of addressing the root of their anxiety (that dang squirrel in their yard! ), they nail a human hand that attempts to pat them while agitated.
It Defecates on Your Bed
Almost every cat owner has found a “gift” in an unexpected area. Cats with separation anxiety will often eliminate on their owners’ beds, explains Shojai. She may look enraged, but she is coping with her fear by utilising her fragrance. It smells the most like their beloved—you. This isn’t enough of a reason.
When You Pet Him, He Snarls and Bites Your Hand
What a way to gnaw on one’s hand. Have you ever touched your cat and had it bite or scratch your hand? According to Shojai, this is termed “pet aggression” and is perfectly natural. Her explanation: “He wants to control the contact, and too much stroking overstimulates him, so he bites to tell you to leave me alone.” You do something your cat secretly despises.
Pisses on Your Freshly Laundered Clothes
It’s been years since your cat had an accident, and suddenly it’s peeing all over the house. It’s an indication he’s stressed, says Linda Campbell, a Humane Society of Missouri trained veterinary technician. She adds an enraged cat will pee on soft surfaces like clothes, couches, or even your bed. Talk to your vet if you need assistance preventing the incorrect eliminations. Cat owners often punish cats for this form of urinating.
It Turns Down Her Go-to Food
Campbell explains that when a cat is angry, she may eat less or refuse to eat. According to her, this is often a response to something new or unusual, such as a shift in routine or a significant life event at home, such as the birth of a new baby. If this persists, it may be an indication of something more serious. You should take her to the clinic if she refuses to eat for more than a few days since this is one of the 11 warning symptoms of cat cancer.
“Not always!” If you’re purring a lot, you can be anxious, afraid, or angry. You should not pet a purring cat displaying other annoying symptoms.
Your Furnishings Will Be Scratched by It.
You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever had the misfortune of having an angry cat swat at your new leather sofa. According to Karen Miura, this is more likely the result of your cat establishing her territory than violence or fury, an animal communicator at Whispers from Animal. She emphasises that cats have a strong sense of self-preservation. “Claw markings on furniture and urine spray on walls are new border lines for cats, who see the home and yard as their realm.” You may quiet things down and preserve your couch by spraying your cat with cat pheromones.
How to Handle an Overprotective Cat
Fear may lead to violence in a cat that is too protective. A “Beware of attack cat” sign on your front entrance is one option, but first, try to calm your aggressive cat down by showing them what behaviours are undesirable.
Don’t praise your cat for its aggression, but don’t use harsh punishments. “It is extremely crucial not to console an aggressive cat since this may be seen as support of aggressiveness,” Cornell Feline Health Center says. To avoid reinforcing the cat’s unwanted behaviour, it’s crucial not to withdraw or exhibit fear. What’s the best course of action in this situation? Get out of the situation, and urge your family members to do the same.
Cats are protective of their owners, and scent will elicit an immediate response from your pet. When scared, it’s in their nature to defend themselves. Knowing that your cat is there for you is comforting.