What To Do If My Cat Growls?

Cats are undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and beloved creatures on earth. They can be playful, affectionate, and incredibly entertaining. However, even the sweetest cats have their moments of ferocity, as evidenced by their growling behavior. If you’ve ever had your cat growl at you, it’s easy to feel scared and confused about what to do next.

That’s where we come in. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical strategies that will help you deal with a growling cat effectively. We’ll start by breaking down the reasons why cats growl in the first place and what those warning signs might look like.

Next, we’ll dive into some tried-and-true techniques for diffusing a tense situation with your furry friend. You’ll learn how to read your cat’s body language and understand what triggers their aggressive behavior. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently prevent future episodes of growling and maintain a harmonious relationship with your feline companion.

Whether you’re a seasoned cat owner or new to the game, this post is for you. We know just how important it is to keep our pets happy and healthy – both physically and mentally. By learning how to handle a growling cat, you’ll be able to provide them with the love and care they deserve while keeping yourself safe from harm.

So buckle up – we’re about to embark on an exciting journey into the mysterious world of feline behavior. Get ready to uncover all the secrets of “What To Do If My Cat Growls.”

Reasons Why Cats Growl

As a cat owner, have you ever heard your feline friend growling and wondered why they were making that sound? Growling is a low rumble that cats use to express their discomfort or aggression. In this blog post, we will dive into the different reasons why cats growl and how to address their behavior.


When cats feel threatened or scared, they may growl as a warning sign to let you know that they need some distance to feel safe. This can be triggered by new people or animals in their environment, loud noises, or sudden movements. If your cat is growling out of fear, it’s essential to give them some space and avoid actions that may trigger their behavior.

Territorial Aggression

Cats are naturally territorial creatures, and they may growl to establish their dominance over a particular space or object. This can be seen when cats growl while guarding their food bowl or favorite toy. In this case, it’s important to observe your cat’s body language and avoid any actions that may trigger their aggressive behavior.

Pain or Discomfort

If your cat is experiencing physical discomfort or pain, they may use growling as a way to communicate their discomfort. This can be caused by an injury, illness, or even internal pain. If your cat is growling due to pain or discomfort, take them to the vet for a check-up to identify any underlying health issues.

Redirected Aggression

Cats may also growl due to redirected aggression. This occurs when a cat becomes agitated by one stimulus but cannot physically interact with it, so they redirect their aggression onto something else nearby. For example, if your cat sees another cat outside but cannot get to it, they may growl at you or another pet in the house.


Sometimes cats may growl to communicate with their owners. They may want food, attention, or simply want to play. In this case, it’s essential to observe your cat’s body language and determine what they need. If your cat is growling for communication purposes, try to identify what they are trying to tell you and respond accordingly.

Understanding the reason behind your cat’s growling is the first step in addressing their behavior. If your cat is growling out of fear or aggression, it’s important to give them some space and avoid triggering their behavior. If your cat is experiencing pain or discomfort, take them to the vet for a check-up. In any case, always observe your cat’s body language to ensure their safety and well-being. Remember, cats are unique creatures with fascinating behaviors, and understanding them can lead to a happy and healthy relationship between you and your feline friend.

In conclusion, cats use growling as a way to communicate their emotions and needs with their owners.

When Your Cat is Feeling Threatened or Scared

The first step is to determine the source of your cat’s fear. Is it a specific noise, smell, or sight? Once identified, try to remove or minimize the trigger. For example, if your kitty is spooked by loud noises, consider creating a quiet space for them during thunderstorms or fireworks.

Additionally, providing your cat with a safe haven to retreat to when they’re feeling scared is crucial. This can be a cozy bed, a cardboard box with a hole cut in it, or even a designated room where they can hide away. Ensure that the space is easily accessible and free from potential dangers.

It’s vital not to punish your cat for growling or other expressions of fear as this can further exacerbate their anxiety. Instead, reassure them with gentle words and actions. Speak softly and offer treats or toys to distract them from their distress.

If your cat’s fear and growling persist or get worse over time, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can provide additional guidance and support tailored to your cat’s specific needs.

When Your Cat is Showing Signs of Aggression

However, it’s crucial to understand that cats can become aggressive for various reasons, including fear, territorial behavior, or feeling threatened. The first step in managing your cat’s aggression is to identify the underlying cause.

One of the telltale signs that your cat is feeling threatened is growling, hissing, or arching their back. When your cat exhibits these behaviors, it’s essential to give them space and avoid approaching them until they have calmed down. Punishing them will only worsen their anxiety, so offering gentle reassurance with treats or toys can help ease their fear.

If your cat frequently displays aggressive tendencies, it’s crucial to schedule a visit with your veterinarian. Underlying medical conditions such as pain or illness could be causing your cat’s behavior. Your vet may recommend behavior modification techniques or medication to help manage your cat’s aggression.

In addition to seeking professional help, there are several things you can do at home to help manage your cat’s aggression. Providing plenty of toys and activities for your cat can help alleviate boredom and reduce stress levels. You can also try using pheromone sprays or diffusers to create a calming environment for your furry friend.

Establishing clear boundaries with your cat is also vital in managing their behavior. Avoid rewarding unwanted behavior like growling when you approach them while they’re eating by giving them food or attention. Instead, wait until they have finished eating before interacting with them.

Other Signs of Discomfort to Look Out For

While growling is a clear indication of their unhappiness or discomfort, there are other non-verbal cues to keep an eye on.

One of the most common signs of discomfort in cats is their body language. If you notice your cat arching their back, flattening their ears against their head, or puffing up their tail, it’s a sign that they feel threatened or scared. These behaviors are all non-verbal cues that can help you identify when your cat is feeling uneasy.

Another sign of discomfort to look out for is excessive grooming. While cats are known for being clean animals, too much licking or grooming can be a sign of anxiety or stress. If you notice your cat licking themselves more than usual, it’s time to investigate what’s causing their distress.

Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns can also be indicators of your cat’s discomfort. If your usually voracious eater suddenly stops eating or your typically active cat starts sleeping more than usual, it could be a sign that something isn’t right.

Lastly, if your cat starts avoiding certain areas of the house or hiding away from people, it’s a clear indication that they’re feeling uncomfortable. Cats are creatures of habit, so if they suddenly start acting out of character, take note and try to identify the source of their stress.

What to Do if You Notice Persistent Growling

This behavior can indicate a wide range of emotions such as aggression, pain, discomfort, or fear. As a cat owner, it’s essential to understand why your cat might growl and what you can do about it. Here are five steps you can take to address persistent growling in your cat.

Step 1: Identify the Trigger

The first step in addressing your cat’s persistent growling is to identify the trigger. Is your cat growling at a specific person, object, or situation? Understanding the trigger can help you address the underlying cause. For example, if your cat is growling at a particular person, it could be due to a negative experience with that individual. Once you identify the trigger, you can take steps to avoid it or desensitize your cat to it gradually.

Step 2: Give Your Cat Space

If your cat is growling because it feels threatened or anxious, it’s essential to give them space. Avoid approaching or trying to pick up your cat, as this can escalate their behavior and make them feel more threatened. Instead, let them come to you on their own terms. You can also create a safe space for your cat by providing them with a cozy hiding spot or a high shelf where they can observe their surroundings.

Step 3: Consider Environmental Factors

Changes in routine or new additions to the household can also trigger persistent growling in cats. Consider any recent changes and try to provide a calm and stable environment for your cat. For example, if you’ve introduced a new pet to the household, consider keeping them separated until your cat gets used to the new addition. You can also try using pheromone sprays or diffusers to help your cat feel more relaxed.

Step 4: Consult with a Veterinarian

If your cat’s persistent growling is accompanied by other behavioral changes or physical symptoms, it may be time to consult with a veterinarian. They can help rule out any underlying medical conditions and provide guidance on how to address the behavior. For example, if your cat is growling due to pain, your vet may prescribe medication or recommend physical therapy.

Step 5: Use Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Punishing your cat for growling is not an effective solution. Instead, use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage desirable behavior. Reward your cat when they display good behavior and avoid rewarding negative behavior. For example, if your cat is growling because they want attention, wait until they stop growling before giving them attention or treats.


In conclusion, understanding the root cause of your cat’s growling is key to addressing their behavior. Whether it’s fear, territorial aggression, pain or discomfort, redirected aggression, or communication, there are ways to help your feline friend feel more at ease.

If your cat is feeling threatened or scared, providing them with a safe haven to retreat to can make all the difference. Punishing them for growling will only exacerbate their anxiety and worsen the situation.

Identifying the underlying cause of your cat’s aggression is crucial. Offering plenty of toys and activities can help relieve boredom and reduce stress levels. It’s also important to set clear boundaries and avoid rewarding unwanted behavior.

Pay attention to non-verbal cues such as excessive grooming, changes in appetite or sleeping patterns, avoiding certain areas of the house or hiding away from people. These are all signs that something may be wrong with your cat. If you notice persistent growling in your furry friend, identify the trigger, give them space if needed, consider environmental factors that may be causing stress and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.

By following these practical strategies for dealing with a growling cat effectively, you can maintain a harmonious relationship with your feline companion while keeping yourself safe from harm.