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Why do cats attack?

People are often wary of dogs, understanding their power and position in the predator-prey hierarchy. However, cats also attack. Although they may not be as dangerous as some dogs due to their small size, injuries can still be significant. It’s important to know why attacks by cats may happen.

One reason could be simply that the cats are too stimulated, often when someone is petting them. Dogs often enjoy this and will let it go on for as long as possible. However, cats can become agitated. This could especially be an issue for kids who may not notice the signs of agitation and may want to keep playing with the cat.

The biggest reason is fear. A cat that is startled or cornered may feel it has to lash out to protect itself. Again, children can often induce this simply by thinking they’re having fun chasing the cat, not realizing that the animal is terrified and can’t get away.

Female cats can also be dangerous when they have a litter of kittens. They will instinctively protect those kittens from anything they believe to be a danger. If a child picks up a kitten, for example, just thinking it is cute, the mother may strike to protect it.

In some cases, aggression is unprovoked, but the vast majority of attacks have a root cause. By avoiding these situations, you can avoid most injuries.

As noted, though, children who don’t understand the danger could face an elevated level of risk, especially when a negligent cat owner does not take logical steps to protect them. Parents of children who are injured by cats should determine whether they have a right to financial compensation when medical care is needed.

Source: Pethelpful, “Why Do Pet Cats Attack Their Owners?,” Melissa A Smith, accessed May 17, 2017

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