Why Is Your Cat Growling?
Deciphering Cat Growling
Cat growling can be a pretty unnerving sound especially if your pussy is usually cute and cuddly. Despite it’s aggressive sound however cat growling is more often than not a response to fear. Cats are not naturally aggressive creatures and prefer to settle their differences using various body language signals and then if that doesn’t get the message over something a bit more vocal. This is all very well for cat to cat communication but us humans are not so hot at deciphering many of the signals our moggies send out. Needless to say that a lot of cat behaviour can appear rather bewildering to us at times. There are even different levels of cat growling used to emphasize the perceived severity of any given situation or threat. Cats, along with most other members of the animal kingdom operate on instinct rather than rational and instinct is one very strong motivator.
Should You Discourage Cat Growling
Cat growling is the animals most common response (along with hissing) to a state of fear or threat. This may be anything from another cat encroaching on your kitties territory to maybe the sight or even scent of a dog. It is a natural instinctive response and so unless your cat is becoming cranky and growling at everything or anything its probably best to just leave him or her to it. Cat growling is also often used by an angry or threatened cat as a warning. A low steady growl is the one to watch out for because this one usually means that there will be no further warnings. The next phase for a frightened, threatened or very pissed off cat is physical response as in fight or flight and even if your its loving affectionate owner its best not to get in the way at this point. A frightened cat in full flight will go over, under or straight through so be warned not to stand in the breach so to speak.
A Quick Example Of Cat Growling
Quite coincidentally I had the dubious pleasure of taking my own house cats Lucky and Ken to the vet today for their yearly vaccinations and check ups. This occasion is always fraught with stress and there was in fact the usual measure of cat growling thrown into the mix. Whilst Ken is very timid and cries all the way to the surgery and back Lucky is a different kettle of fish altogether. He goes into the cat carrier no problem and just crouches down at the back never making a sound. That is until he spots the Veterinary surgeon and then he goes nuts! This is a stark example of his response to fear. You see Lucky is also profoundly deaf which may have something to do with this response. The first part of this is a low steady cat growling which escalates into snake like hissing as the vet attempts to open the cat carrier. Any movement in this area is met with lightning fast claws straight through the bars accompanied by a fit of spitting as Lucky throws himself into the metal grill. Even back at the house the warning cat growling continues until he settles back down. During which time it is wise to give him a very wide berth indeed. If you want to know more about cat behaviour there is a great article here.