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6 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Hissing

 by michelle on 06 Sep 2014 |
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We've all seen a cat with its back arched, ears flattened, mouth wide open, with their tail flicking behind them. But why?

A cat’s hiss is a way of informing you that it’s agitated and doesn’t want you to come any closer or something worse will happen. Many experts believe that cats hiss to mimic snakes- with the hope that it leads to the animal to back off. Your cat may feel that they, or something they're protective of, is being threatened.

To alleviate the hissing, it’s important to observe your cat's situation next time they are hissing. 
Ask yourself questions like: Does this behavior occur when strangers come over? Do thhe only hiss when you are handling him? 

Common reasons for why your cat may be hissing include:
  • Introducing a new pet such as a cat or dog
  • Redirected aggression
  • Being in pain
  • Over-petting
  • Poorly socialized when young
  • Strangers - both humans and animals alike
Once you identify why your cat is hissing, you can work towards preventing it. If your cat is hissing at a guest in your house it may help if you allow your cat to smell something that that person has handled, so they become used to their smell. If your cat is hissing while you pet him, it's possible they're in pain so schedule an appointment with your vet. Lastly, if the hissing seems to be directed towards a new cat, keep them segregrated and provide them with seperate litter boxes, bowls, and toys. Eventually your resident cat will warm up once they stop feling threatened.

Remember that when your cat starts hissing, the best thing you can do is to let them calm down on their own. Give your cat some winding down time, and try talking to them in a soothing voice which could help reduce the anxiety they feel when hissing.

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