A cat is full of mystery.
It can be sweet and charming one minute, then cold and aloof the next.
Yes, sometimes your favorite feline can make you feel as if you are her world. Other times, it is her feline friends or the world outside which seems to solely matter to her existence, and you are no more important than lint under the rug.
Another thing that is perplexing about cats is when they appear to be broiling in a corner. She appears like her emotions are about to explode, but she practices extreme self-restraint. Yet, you can feel the electricity in the air from such a small animal — well, such a small animal with sharp claws.
Should you offer her food? Pet her? Pull her out of the sofa where she suddenly ran to hide? Coax her with her favorite toy? Or maybe you should just leave her alone until her stormy emotions pass?
What if your cat is really angry with you? Now that’s even more perplexing. Could you really do something to make your cat furious with you? But you’ve been treating her like family!
Don’t get so surprised. Yes, even if it is not your intention to hurt your cat’s feelings, she can feel offended or upset by some of the things you do, like changes you make at home or “strangers” you welcome into your life, such as a new baby.
Just like a child, your cat needs to be listened to. And like a growing child who is adjusting to the vast, complex world, your cat may also occasionally need some space to be able to cope with the unfamiliar.
So what are the tell-tale signs that your beloved, unpredictable cat is upset, even angry, with you?
- Your cat avoids you. Now, this behavior is easy to observe. Your cat keeps its distance from you, simply watching you from afar. Yes, it can be a sign of being angry with you. But it also can be a sign of fear or anxiety, according to cat behavior specialist Michael Rueb. Cats are not as confident as they appear to be. Sudden movements and loud noises can upset them, including unfamiliar odors. Yes, even your new perfume can trigger a negative reaction from your cat, who thrives on familiarity and routine. What’s the best thing to do? Give her space; with time she will come around.
- Your cat is growling at you. Now, this behavior is annoying since you are not another cat with whom your pet must pick a fight. If it wants a fight, shouldn’t your cat look for an enemy somewhere else, like those stray cats that keep on trespassing on your property? Indeed, this behavior can be upsetting, because you have been showering your cat with love, and this attitude is what you’re being given in return. Well, take a hold of your own emotions. Remember, your cat is still an animal to whom irrational behavior is inherent, like leaving scratch marks all over the house to establish territory. What to do when your cat starts growling at you? Again, according to Rueb, give her space. She will get over whatever is infuriating her in her own time. And once she is herself again, shower your cat with affection to reassure her of your loyal love.
- Your cat looks at you with fury in her eyes. True, a cat may also express her anger by simply looking like it wants to scratch you. No growling or any noises. It may just look at you as if you were the most despicable person in the world. Puzzling and upsetting. Well, don’t get affected by it. The reasons for your cat’s anger may be changes in your everyday routine, said Kac Young, Ph.D., author of The One Minute Cat Manager. Be sure to follow a regular schedule when feeding her, playing with her, and getting her to bed.
- Your cat no longer wants its favorite toys. This is another mysterious behavior you may encounter at times. You keep giving your cat its favorite toys, but she walks away from them looking disinterested. Have you done something wrong? The most probable reason for this, according to Young, is your cat’s already bored with them. Remember, your cat is a hunter, and it needs regular stimuli. Don’t give her all her toys simultaneously; instead let her have a different toy every day and choose toys that she can chase or roll around to satisfy her curiosity and expend her energy.
- Your cat’s fur stands on end and she stands with her back arched. You must have seen this type of position already, when your cat has an enemy in sight — a dog, a cat, or another animal she does not like. Even if you do not notice any enemies around, do not try to calm your cat by petting her, or else you might get swiped or bitten. Leave your cat alone. Its anger will pass away, and it will eventually seek your affection.
- Your cat’s ears are flattened and she appears to want to get away. According to Amy Shojai, an animal behavior consultant and author of ComPETability: Solving Behaviour Problems in Your Multi-Cat, this means your cat is very upset about something — and that something is not always associated with her owner. The cause of frustration may be the sight of a trespassing cat whom she could not chase. As usual, leave her on her own and don’t worry too much, as long as she has space and safety. This is a natural reaction for a feline like her, and her angst will likewise naturally fade away.
- Your cat bites your hand while you are petting her. But not a real bite. What this behavior means, explained Shojai, is that your cat is tired of being petted, and she wants you stop. When she does this, simply walk away and do something else that needs your attention.
- Your cat pees everywhere, including on your clean laundry. This is a sign of anger and distress, or even a medical condition, according to Linda Campbell, a veterinary technician specialist. If your cat starts doing this, consult your veterinarian for ways to stop this habit as soon as possible.
- Your cat scratches your furnishings and every area that suits her. “Cats are very territorial,” explained Karen Miura, an animal communicator at Whispers from Animals. “Cats perceive the house and yard as their kingdom, so things like claw marks on furniture and urine spray on walls are simply fresh boundary lines.” You can use a cat pheromone spray to help calm your cat’s territorial instinct, said Miura.
Lastly, don’t be so quick to think that your cat is happy when it purrs. Purring may also be a sign of distress, fear, or anger. Observe your cat well. Look at her eyes, because they are the windows to a cat’s soul just like in humans. If something is troubling your cat to the point of anger or aggression, give her time to calm down on her own. When she needs you and your affection, your cat will come to you naturally and sweetly.
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