I saw Peppers, my pet tom-cat sitting like a true aristocrat on the sofa. I could not help my self and went over to pat and cuddle my fur of joy. But, instead of some warm purrs, I was welcomed with a hiss. I was surprised at the way Peppers behaved and left him alone.
Hissing and Growling
A cat that is angry or scared will crouch and open his mouth half. Then he will draw his lips back and bare his teeth. The back will take the shape of an arch and with eyes slanting and ears laid back. Their tail will be lashing in a slow, deliberate movement. This terrifying expression is accompanied along with a hiss. The hiss is the most important part of the entire angry cat expression. The cat is trying to mimic one of the most intimidating creatures on the planet, the snake. The snake hiss is what makes the enemies think it is venomous and its bite will cause death. Hissing in cats also serves the same purpose, to warn, scare or deter anyone from threatening it. So, hissing and growling is a defensive strategy adopted by our feline friends. Different sounds have different meanings.
You feel the same emotions for your cat, just as you would feel for a little baby. The cat is totally dependent on you for food, water, shelter and protection. But, the most unnerving part is a cat hissing at its owner. One may experience such a bad cat behavior when you try to pet her or pick her up. This may be because, the cat must have become startled by your approach and got frightened. Or may be she has not forgotten that you had scolded her for some misdemeanor she did days ago. You may have forgotten all about it, but the cat remembers it. Cats relate an incident with the human instead of their wrongdoings. The cat may think of the scolding as an attack and when you approach her, she suddenly remembers the incident and tries to hiss at you and warns you to stay away.
At Other Cats
Cats hissing at other cats before they begin a fight, during a fight or after a fight. It may be good to see a cat hiss at other cat as this may help avoid a fight sometimes. Hissing may cause a cat to back off before the fight commences. Most of the time it is the un-neutered male cats that hiss at other cats. They have a natural urge to be aggressive and fight to enforce dominance. So you can get him neutered to reduce his urge to fight and help protect him from injuries and viral cat infections.
For No Reason
In such a case try to distract her. Call out her name or dangle a favorite toy. If you find her still hissing, then you should try to extend your hand in a non-threatening manner. Speak to her softly and lovingly. Try to find if she is hurt, anxious, frightened or in pain. Sometimes a cat may feel threatened for no apparent reason and needs reassurance from the owner.
You may find your cat at the doorstep hissing at certain people or strangers visiting your house. Well, it may be because the cat may be scared of the new human approaching her territory or it may be because she simply does not like them. Cats should be given a treat when they encounter strangers to help them remember it as a positive incident. This will help them approach new faces with confidence without hissing.
You need to approach the cat slowly, till you see it hiss. Back off the minute you realize that your cat has started hissing. You should try to get closer each time before the cat begins to hiss. You will soon reach a point when the cat receives you without hissing. Or you can try hissing back at the cat. Yes, you need to curl back your lips and expose your teeth. Then blow air out through your teeth. This hissing will help stop the cat, as it is used to human behavior from you and this will come as a good surprise to the little kitty.
Do not get afraid. Just muster up some courage and grasp the cat behind at the back of her neck. This will help the cat disengage her claws and relax. You need to give the cat some space and ignore her completely for at least 20 minutes. Then come back to her and try to pat her gently. You need to show some gentle cat care as hissing is a sign of a frightened animal. Be patient and loving towards your cat and you will soon overcome the problems you are facing.