My cat chases and bites my youngest son when he's got a certain tone to his voice (ie: whining).

I appreciate the back-up, but I want them to get along. Any advice to make that happen?

Asked by Zanna

1 Answer

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Zanna, I agree, backup is great when you're a parent but your cat doesn't sound like they're being very helpful at all. This is called “stimulus related aggression”, where a stimulus (your son whining) causes an aggressive response. There are three main ways to manage this.

Firstly, reduce the stimulus – this isn’t easy if the stimulus is the tone of your son’s voice but if your cat is responding to that particular tone, they may settle down as your son grows and he whines less.

Secondly, you can try to reduce the aggressive (by rewarding your cat with a favorite treat when they aren’t aggressive under those circumstances) or by diverting your cat when they look like they’re going to attack your son – call them to you and then reward for coming. Ideally, this should be done under the guidance of a behaviorist.

Unfortunately, changes in children’s voices and behavior modification both take time and in the short term, it may just be safer to choose the third option and that is to keep them apart when your son’s feeling unhappy and using that tone. | 12.17.15 @ 07:47
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 08.17.17 @ 13:46
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