Hissing is a common cat behavior and most of us associate this with them being extremely annoyed. However, did you know that there are numerous reasons why cats hiss?
If your cat keeps making these snake-like noises, you may be wondering where this behavior comes from and what can you do about it. We’ve put together this guide to help you discover all the secrets behind cat hissing. When cats feel threatened, they release a burst of air through their mouth, and this causes a hissing sound. Cat hissing is usually paired with other cat body language signs such as bared teeth, flattened ears and arched back.
Hissing is a completely normal behaviour which helps cats express themselves. While humans speak to communicate, cats must rely on their body language to express their feelings. A few of the most common reasons behind cat hissing are the following:
- Warning shot. First and foremost, cat hissing is usually a warning to another person or animal. Cats by nature want to avoid confrontation at all costs, so think of this as a way of telling other cats or humans to back off and also to show off their sharp teeth.
- Your cat is in pain. Sometimes when a cat’s in pain he might hiss if you touch a particularly sensitive patch on his body or he might not even let you go near.
- Changes in the environment. Cats like familiar things which make them feel safe at home. Sometimes your cat hissing may be caused by new objects in the house, such as a new toy or furniture. So it’s always better to slowly introduce new items to help them get used to them.
- Rough play. Sometimes if another cat or kitten or even you play too rough with them, they may hiss as a way of saying “hey, stop that”.
- He wants to be on his own. Cats don’t want to be petted all the time. So if your is hissing while you’re petting him, then you should give him some space. This type of cat hissing is also common if you have kids at home who don’t know when to leave a cat alone.
What Can I Do When My Cat Is Hissing?
- If your cat’s hissing at you, first of all you need to give him some space, as you don’t want to attack you or display signs of aggressive behaviour.
- You should also make sure that you keep a close eye on your cat’s body language. This way you’ll be able to determine if it is a good time for petting.
- Provide lots of hiding spaces in your house to make sure your cat has somewhere safe to go when he’s feeling stressed. Cat trees and hammocks are perfect as they provide a space where he can have some peace and quiet. Why Do Cats Hiss
Photoshoot: Frans Van Heerden