When your cats hiss it can seem scary, but you should understand that this is a sign of fear, not aggression. I used to be under the impression that ‘mean’ cats hiss, but that’s not true. In fact, we don’t believe that there’s such thing as a mean cat anymore. Cats feel love and fear – and hissing is a sign of the later.
PetMD interviewed our friend and favorite behaviorist and said, “”A hiss occurs “when a cat exhales a burst of air through the mouth, causing a noise that sounds similar to a snake hiss,” explains Dr. Marci Koski, a certified feline behavior and training professional with Feline Behavior Solutions in Vancouver, Washington.” They do this when they feel fearful, threatened or upset about something.
Does Hissing Scare You?
Sometimes cats will hiss before a physical confrontation or if they’re caught off guard. Have you ever watched your cats target one another for a pounce? Our panthers do this and the one that’s lower to the ground or on their back usually hisses. This is a sign of fear in order to warn off others.
Stress or physical discomfort are two fearful emotions that can also cause your cat to hiss. When you can understand why your cats hiss you’ll better be able to help the situation when it arises. Addressing a fearful situation compassionately with your kitty will not only help calm them, but it can stop a scary situation from escalating in many cases.
If your cat suddenly starts hissing at everyone in the home, it’s time to have her checked by a veterinarian. Cats are stoic beings, which means they mask their pain. We have to pay attention to their behaviors in order to catch an illness, and random hissing is one to not ignore.
So don’t discount your cat as an a**hole just because he started hissing. Pay attention to why they could be fearful, stressed or in pain and address it compassionately.