No matter how long mankind has been domesticating animals, they are still at their core the wild creatures we took out of their native habitats long ago. All it takes is a perceived threat from any direction to set your cat off. The problem that many cat owners have is that they tend to anthropomorphize (apply human traits to) their cats. No matter what you think or do, your cat is a cat, not a human, and you cannot understand exactly what they are feeling if you try to apply human rationale to it.

A minor problem that plagues some cat owners is pouncing. In general, pouncing is funny when cats do it to each other, other animals, or inanimate objects, but they can cause injury and serious infection when they playfully bite their owner's toe. All you have to recognize is that cats still have that predatory instinct in their genetics and have it in them to attack things. It is a good way for them to expend energy and it's perfectly natural. Just be aware of it and be ready; give your cat plenty of toys and other things to take out their frustrations on besides your toes.

Cats need to be socialized. We've all heard of feral cats and how completely undomesticated they are, and if you don't take measures to properly show your cat the ropes, they can end up in a similar, if less severe, predicament. Your cat needs to be used to being around and being handled by people other than you. If you don't do this, you shouldn't be surprised when they react negatively to this new stimulus. Your cat must also know the rules of play. If they bite you, stop playing with them and walk away. In time, your cat will come to understand your limitations and what they need to do to get the playtime they want.

Some cats simply don't like to be handled for long stretches of time, maybe as an extension of their independent streak. If your cat will only tolerate three to five minutes of petting at a time, let them go. No matter what you do, every cat (and every other animal for that matter) has its limits and they'll come back to you when they feel like it.

At times, your cat may not be feeling well, and since they don't know how to express what they need in words, they will bite or scratch when in pain. If your cat is reacting aggressively to normal petting there may be something wrong. Take them to a vet immediately to rule out any health concerns.

All you need to do as a cat owner is see things from their point of view every once in a while. Don't apply human emotions and motives to your cat; they have a different way of reacting to things than we do. In order to control your cat's aggression, all you need to do is have a pretty good grasp of animal behavior and actively on making your cat the best pet they can be.

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