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How to Manage a Cranky Cat

September 01, 2015

Do you have a sour puss on your hands? Just like people, kitties all have their own distinct personalities. Some cats are friendly and sociable, while others can be, well, a bit dour. Below, a Cambrian, CA vet discusses cranky cats.

Medical Issues

Just like people, kitties often act grumpy when they don’t feel well. If your cat is acting aggressive, hiding, or doesn’t want to be touched, have your vet examine her to rule out any medical issues. If the vet gives Fluffy the all-clear, well, you’ve officially got a cantankerous furball on your hands.


If Fluffy is acting hostile, try to determine what is behind her aggression. Fear, territorialism, and misplaced angst are some possibilities. The steps you’ll need to take to help your feline buddy will depend on what the root cause of her behavior is. Ask your vet for advice.

Rough Play

Sometimes kitties just need to learn proper ‘petiquette’. When Fluffy plays too rough, just tell her to be nice, then walk away and ignore her.

Providing Outlets

Provide Fluffy with plenty of toys, and play with her daily. This will let her take her aggression out on her playthings instead of on you. Play sessions will also tire your cat out a bit, leaving you with a calmer furball.


Never force attention on a cranky cat. Let Fluffy choose when it’s time to be petted or picked up. Some cats will only tolerate being petted for a very short time, and then they get annoyed by the attention. Other kitties simply don’t enjoy being cuddled. Abide by your furry little diva’s wishes, and let her be. She may be perfectly happy just hanging out with you!

Safe Zones

Make sure your kitty has safe places to retreat to in every room. This can be a box, a kitty tent, or a spot under the bed.

Positive Reinforcement

Never punish or yell at a cranky cat. This may make things worse, as it will cause Fluffy to form a negative association with you. Ignore her when she’s being bad, and offer treats and toys when she’s being nice. Also, talk to your kitty in calm, soothing tones. She may not understand you, but she’ll know you’re paying attention to her.

Please contact us, your Cambrian, CA vet clinic, for all of your cranky kitty’s veterinary care needs.