Why does my cat hiss?

Hissing cat

Hissing cat

Your cat is hissing because he is trying to communicate a warning. Hissing is a defensive act.  When a cat hisses, it does not indicate that the cat is aggressive or mean.  It usually just means that your cat feels that he is in danger or threatened.

If your cat is hissing, try not to intervene unless your cat is in danger. Hissing is a way for cats to communicate with each other, sort of like negotiating rules. Adult cats will often hiss at kittens to tell them who is boss!

Cats sometimes hiss at humans — not just other cats. If your cat is hissing at you, he may be displaying threatening behavior toward you. Do not try to touch your cat if the kitty is hissing. It can be dangerous to approach a cat that is hissing at you.  In this situation, just walk away from your pet. If the behavior continues, you may want to bring your cat to see a veterinarian. Sometimes cats may hiss if they are ill.

Here is something you can try to get your cat to stop hissing:

  1. Find out why your cat is hissing.
  2. When your cat hisses, back off. Repeat and try to get closer each time.
  3. Speak to your cat in a soft voice.
  4. Don’t let visitors approach your cat when your cat is defensive.
  5. Try hissing back — Never yell or shout at your pet
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