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Geloi Highness

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Feline play aggression can be a very annoying and unsettling problem for any cat owner. Play aggression can be loosely defined as aggressive interactions, between the problem cat and another cat or between the cat and one or more people. The cat shows the aggression by giving signs (body postures) of fighting, exploring, predatory behavior or investigating toward the victim involved (more commonly directed to a person than another cat therefore this paper will merely discuss this aggression in terms of a human victim).
Play aggression is most common in cats two years old or younger, although it has been noted in some older cats. The aggression is usually initiated by the movement of the victim and is perhaps time of day and location specific (examples: when owner returns from work or wakes in the morning). The victim may be only one specific person or may be any person that passes through a selected area. This aggression may involve stalking, ambushing, or closely following a person and then quickly, silently rushing at the person and attacking them. The feet and legs tend to be the common target areas of cats engaging in play aggression. During the attack the cat may wrap itself around the victims limb, swat, claw, bite and kick. The cat may frequently run away from the victim after the attack is over.
Play aggression tends to develop when a kitten has no other young cats to interact with. This commonly occurs if the kitten is weaned from its mother and litter mates too early and is placed in an environment with no other cats or the only cats the kitten has contact with are too old to play.
Early weaning deprives a kitten of proper social interaction. Social interaction between kittens is important and allows them to engage in play which includes behaviors used in fighting, stalking and killing prey, exploring and investigation techniques. Playing kittens may seem like they are being aggressive to one another, but they are continually giving each other signals to indicate that the interaction is meant as play and not as aggression. If one kitten gets carried away at play (bites or scratches too hard), the other kittens will usually correct the offender. The correction may be in the form of a growl, a serious bite or the play will simply stop. A kitten's mother also plays a role in socializing the kitten to interact properly with other cats and even with people. If a kitten bites the mother too hard while it is nursing the mother will correct the kitten with a swat or a low growl. This will teach the kitten to inhibit its bite so that it learns how to bite others without actually hurting them. The socializing that occurs between kitten and siblings, and kitten and mother allows the kitten to learn how aggressive the kitten can be before it hurts its playmate. If a kitten successfully learns social behavior, the kitten is less likely to hurt a playmate. Unsuccessful socializing is not the only component leading to play aggression. It can also be caused by an active cat being confined and not allowed to release its energy often enough. This is evident when play aggression occurs after periods when the cat has had little interaction with the owner (after owner returns from work or when the owner wakes in the morning) and the cat has had little opportunity to play
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