6 Reasons Why Your Cat Keeps Hissing


Do you notice your cat hissing often? Have you gotten concerned about how often she hisses at you, other animals, or almost any intrusion into her space? If you are a cat owner, you may worry about hissing as an uncommon behavior in your feline friend.

In this article, we will explain six of the most common reasons why you might notice your cat hissing more often than she usually does. Read through these possibilities to see if you can narrow down the options, and don’t be afraid to take your pet to the vet if she needs medical attention.

cat hissing

Your Cat May Be in Pain

One of the most concerning reasons why cats may hiss often is because of pain. Hissing may be a warning to tell you to stay away from them because they hurt and they do not want you to touch them. They may also hiss because they do not understand the reason why they are in pain. In all of these situations, you need to take your cat to the veterinarian to figure out what is causing her to be in so much pain, especially because it could be a real emergency.

Your Cat Could Be Sick

Cats may hiss if they are sick, especially with chronic illnesses, too. If your cat’s body is not working the way it should due to organ failure or severe disease, she may hiss often. Once again, if you think this could potentially be the cause, you should take your cat to the vet immediately. If you catch these types of problems ahead of time, you may be able to treat your cat’s health condition or at least manage it moving forward.

Feeling Anxious or Scared

Another common cause of hissing in cats is anxiety or fear.

If your cat is afraid of something, she may start hissing often. For example, if you have a dog in your home that your cat is afraid of, even if she doesn’t really have a reason to be afraid, she may hunker down and hiss. Cats who are hissing out of fear may press their ears flat back against their heads, puff up their tails, and keep their eyes extra-wide. These are all good ways to tell that fear is causing your cat’s hissing.

Anxiety is similar. If your cat is suddenly put into a new situation that makes her uncomfortable or anxious, she may start hissing and showing similar body language.

Redirected or Petting Aggression

Both redirected aggression and petting aggression are common behavior issues seen in cats. These issues can be mild and self limiting due to anxiety and/or a change in routine or environment. They can also become a more chronic and severe issue that can affect the human animal bond. If your cat is experiencing this, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Warning Humans and Other Pets

Your cat hisses to communicate that they do not want to be bothered. Some cats may simply hiss because they want you or another human member of the family to leave them alone and let them have their space, and they may also hiss at other pets in a similar way.

If your cat is not very friendly toward humans or other animals, she may hiss often to tell intruders to leave her alone. This is just a warning to let these people or pets know they may be scratched if they don’t heed it. Continuing to bother her anyway may result in a swat or two!

Your Cat Could Be Looking for a Mate

Finally, non-neutered male cats may hiss while they are looking for a mate. They often do this to show other male cats that they have sharp teeth and the ability to fight. This may also be a sign that your cat is about to get into a bad fight with another cat, so if you notice the behavior and can safely move your cat to another location, this is a good idea.

Female cats are less likely to hiss due to mating than male cats, but it isn’t impossible to note this behavior in female cats who have not been spayed.

Talk with a Vet if Your Cat’s Hissing

These are not the only reasons why your cat may be hissing often, but they represent some of the most common problems related to frequent cat hissing. As with any abnormal pet behavior that you can’t explain, you should take your cat to the vet if you truly cannot solve the problem. Since health problems and pain may be contributing factors, it is important to rule out these possibilities as you work to figure out what is going on with your cat.

For more information about why your cat may be hissing, or if you’d like to make an appointment, contact any of our locations today. Our team at OrlandoVets will help you get to the bottom of your cat’s hissing and will be able to provide help and advice for what to do going forward.

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