What is petting-induced aggression?
This is a common problem cat owners encounter. You are enjoying some time petting your cat and all of a sudden he turns around, takes a swipe and then runs off and hides.
I have found that there is a warning before your cat attacks.
He will happily be enjoying some attention and then slowly take on a glazed look, his tail will begin to twitch, he will appear as if he is looking into the distance to make an escape and then he will lash out before running away.
What causes petting-induced aggression?
The cause of this behaviour is unknown although it is theorised that some cats can only accept a certain amount of petting before becoming uncomfortable.
How do I treat petting-induced aggression?
Firstly, it is always advisable to seek veterinary attention in the case of aggression to rule out an underlying medical cause.
Being aware of your cat's body language will help prevent these attacks. We had one cat who would attack if petted too long but he did give off warning signs first. His tail would begin to twitch, his pupils will dilate and he will begin to look around (presumably preparing for his escape), as soon as we noticed these behaviors, we would stop petting him.