Why is Your Cat Hissing?
Cat Hissing, What’s it all About?
Firstly, cat hissing is a normal part of feline behaviour and most domestic cats will hiss it the situation merits such a response. The anatomy of cat hissing is a straight forward matter of a blast of air from the animals lungs being forced pasted its curved tongue. The hissing signal can be interpreted in several ways and it is usually accompanied with certain other body language signals. The bottom line is that physical confrontation between cats and with other predators is a serious business. Those claws and teeth are designed to slice and dice fresh warm meat so in a dispute neither combatant will be eager to be on the receiving end. Therefore most cats will use a series of marking methods, body signals and finally vocal warnings before resorting to physical force to settle their disputes. Cat hissing is probably the equivalent of a yellow card in soccer. Once a player is issued with one of those he knows any escalation will result in a sending off!
Cat Hissing, your final warning!
If a cat hisses the chances are that the animal is reacting out of fear. It is a cats most common response to threat and also serves as a warning to “back off” or desist from whatever behaviour is making it feel threatened. Even if your kitty is normally placid and mild mannered the chances are that a trip to the vets of forced incarceration in a cat carrier are likely to evoke a hissing fit. The animal will feel threatened or afraid and that’s when instinct takes over. Under such circumstances anyone who is foolish enough to get too close stands a chance of receiving a nasty scratch. If you ever find yourself in a situation where a cat is feeling threatened or afraid always make sure the animal has a clear escape route. There is nothing more dangerous that a cornered animal. Its at such times that the cats natural instinct of fight or flight kick in he will go over or through you if necessary.
Not all Cat Hissing is a Threat
There are some breeds of cats that hiss for totally different reasons however. Serval and Savannah cats hiss quite a lot as part of there chatty vocabulary. This is a harp back to their wild ancestry when their main predatory threat was from snakes. Many animals have evolved successfully thanks to their ability to mimic the sounds of other species. This hissing especially in Savannah’s is thought to be such a response and they are known to make this snake like sound quite a lot. Of course it pays to know when its the real thing because the Savannah is one big cat. The good news is that as with most cats a hiss that is issued as a threat will be accompanied by some other body language signals. The arching of the fur along the cats back and ears flattened against the head are dead giveaways that the brown smelly stuff is about to hit the rotating thingy majig so back off! There are many more interesting cat behavioural facts on this website here.