Wendy and her cat Nala are relaxing on the couch, Wendy absently stroking a half-sleeping Nala while she watches TV. This goes on for ten minutes or so, and suddenly Nala whips around toward Wendy’s innocent hand and sinks her teeth into it. Wendy yells, equal parts disbelief and pain, and noisily banishes Nala from her lap, swatting her on the rear as she runs off, her tail and body low to the floor.
This is an examples of overstimulation, or petting-related, aggression. It is one of the most common sources of feline-human miscommunication, and often has frustrating, many times bloody, results. Wendy interprets Nala’s sudden turn in human emotional terms, as if Nala was telling Wendy with a purr one moment how much she adored her and the next second, “I hate you!”
In order to understand how to solve the problem, we must first understand it from a cat’s-eye view. This involves seeing your cat for what he or she is, a natural predator, as well as prey for bigger predators.
NB: These common behavioral problems (for us, not our cats <g>) can often be resolved. Learn more about the triggers for these behaviors, maximize mental stimulation, and balance the internal equilibrium with homeopathy. These excellent articles will help.–Dr. Jeff