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How do I deal with an aggressive kitten?

What are common household hazards for kittens?

Cats naturally respond to threats by acting aggressively. You might notice this behaviour in your kitten even when there’s no reason to feel threatened. If this happens, you needn’t worry – there are plenty of things you can do to calm her down.

 

Patience is a virtue

You kitten is very little and is still trying to make sense of the world around her. She might be aggressive because she is scared of something she doesn’t understand or you haven’t yet taught her things you find acceptable. 

 

Petting and biting syndrome

She may start switching her behaviour unexpectedly as she grows. She might roll on her back and happily allow you to play, and then suddenly grab your hand with her claws and teeth. This petting and biting syndrome can happen when your kitten starts to behave in a more adult way: she's out and about mixing with other cats, yet still feels like an infant when she’s on her own at home. The switch happens when she snaps suddenly from “kitten mode” to “adult mode”, turning her normal playful behaviour into a more defensive response.

 

Getting her used to being petted

It's a good idea to start picking your kitten up from an early age. Spend lots of time reassuring and bonding with her. 

 

Toys and playtime

Playing is a great way for your kitten to soak up some aggression. Buy toys  she'll love to chase, paw, pounce on and stalk. Click here to know more about what games you can play with your kitten.

 

If the aggression persists

Despite all your efforts your kitten might still continue to be aggressive. If so – and especially if children are her target – it’s best to speak to your vet.

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