If you are looking to add a Sphynx cat to your family, you'll want to make sure it'll be a good fit. Personality means a lot, especially if you have children or other pets. But are these cute, hairless cats as sweet as they look? The answer may not be what you think.
Are Sphynx cats aggressive? This breed is not known for being aggressive for the sake of being mean. Rather, Sphynx cats like to demand their owner’s attention. If they want affection, Sphynx cats will make it known. Otherwise, Sphynx cats are known for being quite friendly.
Want to be an expert in Sphynx cat behavior? Then keep reading below.
Sphynx personality traits
Sphynx cats are known for their striking appearance. However, it is not the only incredible feature of this cat breed. They are known for having amazing personalities. They are friendly and very affectionate.
This breed is active. Sphynx cats need plenty of playtime. Also, they will not be shy when it comes to exploring. They will jump, climb, and crawl into any unexplored territory in your home.
When they need a break from exploring, Sphynx cats will cuddle right into your lap. They are like velcro; some owners can't get their Sphynx cats to leave their laps. They love it because they not only want pets but love to steal body heat.
Additionally, Sphynx cats are one of the smartest breeds around. Some owners teach their Sphynx cats to fetch toys!
While highly intelligent cats are impressive, it also means they need much more mental stimulation than other breeds. Here enters their “aggressive” behavior.
These cats are not content with lying around alone all day. They will demand your attention and make it known. Sphynx cats will follow their owners from room to room and vocalize their need for attention.
Sphynx cats need proper entertainment. If not, they act out or grow bored. If you do not have time to spend with your cat, this is not the breed for you.
Understanding cat aggression
Acting out due to lack of stimulation is about as aggressive as a Sphynx cat will be. These attention seeking behaviors include meowing, pawing, knocking over items, and gently biting. These are normal behaviors.
It's equally important to understand abnormal behaviors as well. But before we get into that, it helps to understand cat aggression.
Cat aggression is offensive behavior towards humans and other household pets. They use this threatening behavior to intimidate others who may threaten their territory. They will defend themselves and lash out at anything considered a threat.
It is a common behavioral problem that unfortunately, often goes unresolved. But not all hope is lost on aggressive cats. There are steps to help eliminate this behavior.
How to spot aggression in cats
Before you can solve the problem, you must identify it. Listed below are the many warning signs of cat aggression.
- A rigid, upright stance
- A fixed stare
- Fluffed up fur on your cat’s tail and legs
- Dilated pupils
- Directly facing its opponent
- Hissing or growling
- Ears flattened to the side of its head
- Swatting or scratching
Types of aggression in cats
If your Sphynx cat displays any combination of the behaviors listed above, it likely has aggression. Spotting the warning signs is the first step to solving aggression issues. Listed below are common types of aggression in cats. Recognizing the cause of this behavior helps to control it.
This type of aggression, often called petting-induced aggression, feels as if it comes out of nowhere. In the middle of a loving moment, your cat will flip a switch and attack.
Experts think this behavior stems from overstimulation. Your sensitive cat becomes overwhelmed, and attacks because they want to control the situation. Also, some cats have body parts they do not like to be touched. Sensitive areas often include your cat's stomach and legs.
Overstimulation aggression is usually accompanied by tail lashing, pupil widening, and whisker flattening.
Redirected aggression can be quite scary since it is unpredictable. It happens when your cat is excited by stimulus it can not attain. For example, your cat sees a bird outside but can not get to it. Some cats get frustrated and lash out at their humans or other pets.
Interestingly, cats with redirected aggression can hold onto these frustrated feelings. They won't always immediately lash out from outside stimulation. Ten minutes after the stimulation has ceased, your cat can still attack.
Cats with redirected aggression won't go out of their way to find a victim. Unfortunately, the victim will be the first passerby within paw's reach. Remember, this is not malicious behavior. It is more like a reflex your cat cannot control.
Play aggression has to do with how your cat socialized as a kitten. As kittens, rough play is part of growing up. When play gets too rough, littermates leave, teaching kittens where to draw the line.
Kittens raised without littermates often never learn when enough is enough. Also, rough play with humans as kittens encourages violent behavior. It is cute when they are small, but can be damaging in adulthood.
Play aggression is made worse by rough play, using your hands and feet as playthings, and too little stimulation.
A frightened cat can quickly turn into an aggressive cat. Fear aggression is typically caused by new people or animals in its territory, loud, unfamiliar noises, or new environments, like a trip to the vet.
Fear-induced cats have a fight or flight response. Often, they can not flee the situation, so they prepare to attack.
Note what triggers induce fear aggression in your cat. If possible, eliminate the trigger. If it is unavoidable, look for methods to reduce your cat's fear.
Cats in pain sometimes act aggressively as a form of defense. If they are uncomfortable, they will not want to be touched, especially in the affected area. Even the most docile cat can act out if it is in pain.
Some causes of pain-related aggression include arthritis, injury, UTI's, and other infections. If you suspect illness or injury is the cause, seek help from your vet.
Pain can affect your cat long after the issue is resolved. Some cats never like to be touched in the problem area again in an attempt to avoid future pain.
Managing an aggressive cat
Once you’ve identified the cause of your cat’s aggression, you can take the necessary steps to treat it. Getting to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible means you’ll have a happy kitty and a better relationship.
Below are some tips on managing feline aggression.
- Pay your vet a visit A wellness visit is the first step in managing cat aggression. This helps to rule out any medical issues that could be the underlying cause of your cat’s distress. It is not always easy to spot a medical issue, especially if it is cognitive. If your cat has a clean bill of health, your vet is still able to help you pinpoint the cause of aggression and offer treatment options.
- Stop aggression in its tracks Sometimes, aggression issues can be solved by simple distractions. Moreover, if your cat is entering aggressive behavior, you can stop it before it escalates. Interrupt aggressive behavior with a gentle noise, like whistling. You can also use a visual distraction like throwing a toy across the room. Never try to stop an aggressive cat with touch. It can further frighten your feline and lead to an attack.
- Keep your cat calm Environment plays a big part in cat aggression. Strange smells, sounds, and new people or pets in your cat’s safe space often lead to aggression. Try to eliminate these major changes if possible. Or introduce new elements to your cat’s environment slowly, so it has time to adjust. Always make sure your cat has a safe space. Additionally, you can purchase calming sprays for cats that mimic familiar pheromones.
- Give your cat exercise Sometimes, aggression is a result of pent up energy. You can subdue this hostile behavior with exercise. Expending energy will help keep your cat from lashing out. Don’t forget to provide your cat with stimulating outlets for when you are not around. This includes toys, scratching posts, and cat perches.
Can Sphynx cats be left alone? Cats are independent and can be left alone for short periods. It is never a good idea to leave them alone for more than a day. Sphynx cats, in particular, require a lot of human attention. They will become lonely without sufficient interaction.
Do Sphynx cats make good pets? This breed is an excellent addition to any family. They get along well with humans, cats, and other animal species. Though, this sweet, lovable breed is high maintenance. Sphynx cats demand lots of attention and need lots of human help with grooming.
Why are Sphynx cats so expensive? Sphynx cats are costly due to their high demand. Additionally, they are purebred, and it takes a lot of work to breed them. They hold a high price tag in the cat breed world, but they are well worth it.