Does your cat hiss at every animal or person to walk by? Hissing is often thought of as a sign of aggression, though just as often it is actually a sign of a fearful cat. Hissing is one of a cat's natural instincts in dangerous or scary situations, but it can be quite annoying for a pet owner. Here's how to get a cat to stop hissing:
- Understand the causes. What are your cat's triggers? Do they only hiss at dogs, or do they seem to hiss at everything that moves? If your cat only has a few triggers for hissing, try to avoid these occasions to get your cat to stop hissing. If your cat hisses for many reasons, however, you'll need to try other strategies.
- Control confrontations. Cats will often hiss when they are introduced to new pets in too quick of a manner. Instead, let them meet each other on their own terms, rather than shoving them in the same room together.
- Provide a safe place. Your cat may be hissing because they are fearful and seem to have no better options. Make sure that your cat has a safe place in your home, such as a quiet room, where they can go to hide. They won't feel the need to stick around and hiss if they know they can run away and hide.
- Help visitors understand your cat. If your cat hisses at new visitors, they may not want to hang around your home. Before your visitors get the chance to meet your cat, warn them about his hissing. Tell visitors not to make eye contact or try to approach or touch your cat the first time they meet him. Instead, let your cat warm up to them when he is ready.
- Hiss back. If your cat is hissing out of aggression rather than out of fear, hiss back at him. Curl back your lips and blow air out through your teeth. Do not do this to cats who are hissing because they are frightened; this will just frighten them more.
- Ignore the hissing. Do not acknowledge your cat's hissing by yelling at them, squirting water at them, or any other method you usually use to get your cat to stop doing something. This will only make the hissing worse. Instead, don't let it get a reaction out of you.
- Distract your cat. Want your cat to stop hissing? Toss them a toy. Your cat may forget about the situation and stop hissing if you distract them through entertaining toys or other positive attention.
Although cats will naturally hiss from time to time, there's no reason your cat has to hiss at every moving object. To get a cat to stop hissing, figure out why they hiss, control the situation, and don't let their hissing get any reaction out of you, or you'll be teaching them that hissing works.