“The Assassin moved quietly from roof to roof until he was well away from the excitement around the Watch House. His movements could be called cat-like, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things.”
The following information was provided by Dr. Ruth German Rex Cat. She specializes in treating neurotic felines also known as crazy cats. She also treats demented dogs with Cognitive analytic therapy.
Play aggression is defined as the stalking, chasing, pouncing, biting, and scratching behaviors, which normally occur when we engage in play. Problems occur when these behaviors are directed against instead of with people in the household.
Another common cause for play aggression towards humans is when our owners leave a young one of us alone for most of the day. Owners who insist on letting he “attack” their hands and feet can also trigger and reinforce play aggression
Owners must learn to recognize the postures exhibited by us engaging in problematic, as opposed to acceptable, play aggression. The typical play aggression we will demonstrate the predatory type of behaviors.
I will stalk the owners and pounce on moving body parts such as hands and feet. Growling and hissing usually do not occur, however, my pupils will be widely dilated. Bites and scratches inflicted during a play aggression attack are usually inhibited and not severe.
All of the above types of aggression are normal for me. There are, however, two circumstances when there may be cause to worry.
If I hiss and growl while attacking, I am not playing. I intend this type of behaviors intended to inflict pain. It is important to find out what may cause my behavior. Reacting with physical punishment will only make me worse. Try talking quietly and calmly to me until I have settled.
Medical causes for my aggression should be pursued only if I exhibit a behavior unusual for me or behavior accompanied by abnormal clinical signs. If I was previously loved to be petted and I suddenly bite when stroked, look for a possible source of pain.
Knowing what is and is not normal for me will help you avoid problems in the long run.