Why Do Cats Hiss?
Cats hiss because they are annoyed, angry, threatened, and defensive. It can be one of these emotions or all of them.
They may feel the need to defend their space from another cat, to protect their kittens, their food, or even their owner. Sometimes a cat may hiss because it is hurt where you cannot see, such as a bruise on their back which is covered by fur.
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- Approaching from a ‘blind side’ can cause a cat to hiss. Surprising a cat can also lead to hissing.
- Cats should be treated with caution when they hiss at you or at another cat.
- Understand that a fearful hissing cat can be dangerous so move calmly but intently away from him, respecting their space and power.
- Move calmly and speak gently to your cat. Don’t panic or show fear, rather control the air by giving your cat room, then after your cat has relaxed and is quietly sitting, tail relaxed, gently and naturally approach.
- Don’t kneel or get too close to a cat’s “arm swing” level when they are hissing. Instead stay upright and tall if a cat is hissing at you, this way should they attack you will be able to protect your eyes and face.
- Don’t yell or stare down your cat.
- Allow your cat time to recognize and get comfortable with an unfamiliar cat, object, or room. Sniffing is normal, and a laying or low seated posture after recognition may mean your cat has made an acquaintance, or has acknowledged a neighborhood threat peacefully for the time being.
MORE: Why Do Cats Hiss