Overstimulation in Cats
Overstimulation in Cats

Let’s talk about ‘overstimulation’ or ‘petting aggression’ in cats!

Cat owners sometimes have difficulty understanding why their cats, who seem to be friendly and content one minute, may suddenly bite and scratch them the next. While overstimulation isn’t aggression, the response may appear aggressive. Cat owners however can find some relief, knowing that this behavior is normal and is both easy to manage and/or prevent.

What is ‘overstimulation’?

It is not uncommon for cats to suddenly bite while being petted. One reason for this reaction can be over petting. However, it can also be due to stress or a built up of frustration. Stress or frustration is created from either the lack of interaction or from over exposure to a stimulus that is unattainable, like a bird at the window.
Signs of ‘overstimulation’
  • Restlessness
  • Tail twitching
  • Ears flicking
  • Cat’s skin rippling when pet
What do I do when I see these signs?

When you observe any of these signals, it is time to stop petting the cat immediately and allow her to just sit quietly on your lap or go her own way, whichever she prefers. If your cat continues to solicit attention, then walk away from your cat.

Source: Dumb Friends League