How to deal with an irritated cat; expert suggests 5 tips

By, New Delhi
Jun 07, 2023 01:14 PM IST

A range of factors can trigger your cat's aggression and it's challenging for pet parents to calm their kitties when they are angry.

Unlike dogs, it isn't very easy to understand your feline friends as they choose to hide their discomfort and pain from their owners. There are many reasons a cat may feel irritated and these include fear, pain, frustration, deprivation or a fight with another cat. Whatever may be the trigger of your cat's aggression, it can be a challenge for pet parents to calm them and provide them comfort. It is important to pay attention to their body language and if your furry friend is hissing, growling or ready to attack, it's time to create a calm environment for them where they get time and space to cool down. While interacting with an irritated cat, make them feel safe and use a gentle approach. (Also read: National Hug Your Cat Day: Does your cat like to be hugged? Know signs from expert)

While interacting with an irritated cat, make them feel safe and use a gentle approach.(Pixabay)
While interacting with an irritated cat, make them feel safe and use a gentle approach.(Pixabay)

"Dealing with an irritated cat can be challenging for pet owners. Understanding how to handle and soothe your feline friend during moments of irritation is crucial for maintaining a harmonious relationship," says Dr Sanjiv Rajadhyaksha, Medical Director at Wiggles MyVet.


Here are 5 expert tips to help you navigate and diffuse your cat's irritability effectively:

1. Recognise the signs of irritation

Cats express their irritation in various ways, such as hissing, growling, swatting, or attempting to scratch. It's essential to observe your cat's body language and identify the signs of irritation early on. Puffed-up fur, dilated pupils, flattened ears, and a flicking tail are common indicators. By recognising these signs, you can respond appropriately and prevent the situation from escalating.

2. Create a calm environment

Cats are highly sensitive to their surroundings, and a chaotic environment can exacerbate their irritability. Create a peaceful space for your cat by providing a quiet area where they can retreat. Minimise loud noises, sudden movements, and other potential stressors. Additionally, consider using Feliway diffusers or calming sprays that emit synthetic feline pheromones, which can help create a calming atmosphere.

3. Use gentle handling techniques

Approach your cat with gentleness and respect. Avoid forcing physical contact or cornering your cat when they are already irritated. Instead, let them approach you on their terms. Offer slow and deliberate movements to avoid startling them further. Speak softly and use soothing tones to communicate your intentions. Patience and understanding will go a long way in diffusing your cat's irritation.

4. Provide enrichment and distractions

Boredom and pent-up energy can contribute to a cat's irritability. Engage your cat in interactive play sessions using toys that encourage natural hunting instincts. Provide scratching posts, climbing structures, and puzzle toys to keep them mentally stimulated. Regular exercise and playtime will help channel their energy and reduce irritability. Additionally, consider introducing new and stimulating environments to prevent monotony.

5. Consult with a veterinarian

If your cat's irritability persists or escalates, it's advisable to consult with a veterinarian. Underlying medical conditions, such as pain or discomfort, can manifest as irritability in cats. A thorough examination by a veterinary professional can help identify any potential health issues and determine the appropriate course of action. Following their guidance will ensure the well-being of your furry companion.

"Dealing with an irritated cat requires patience, understanding, and a proactive approach. By recognising the signs of irritation, creating a calm environment, using gentle handling techniques, providing enrichment, and consulting with a veterinarian, when necessary, you can effectively manage your cat's irritability and foster a happier and healthier bond with your feline friend," concludes Dr Rajadhyaksha.

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