The Top Ten Reasons Your Cat Hisses

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If you are a cat owner, you might know that cat hissing is natural, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t unpleasant when your cat does so. Well, there can be several reasons for your cat hissing at you. Cats have grown with some coping strategies to exist with humans, but sometimes, these sounds of conversing may seem fearful.

Thus, it is crucial to understand the reason behind their hissing so that you can handle your cat properly. So, here are the top ten reasons why your cat hisses.

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Cat is Hissing

Cats do many mysterious things, and hissing is one of them. There are a lot of reasons behind this activity. Many owners are often puzzled as to why it suddenly happens now and then. Here are the top 10 reasons why your cat may be hissing:

1. Your Cat is Probably in Pain:

Sometimes, when a cat is experiencing pain, it may hiss at you if you touch the sensitive parts of its body. It may be an indication to tell you not to touch them because they are hurt. A cat may also hiss because they don’t know why they are in pain.

In all these circumstances, you must consult a veterinarian to understand what is causing your cat so much discomfort, mainly because it could be a real health problem.

2. Your Cat Could Be Ill:

Cats may hiss if they suffer from chronic sicknesses. If a cat’s body is not functioning as it should due to severe disease or organ failure, it will continuously hiss to let you know. Also, it will show other symptoms related to the disease.

Here are a few cat diseases, along with their symptoms.

Feline LeukemiaPersistent fever, enlarged lymph nodes, poor cat condition, progressive weight loss, and loss of appetite
FIVDiarrhea, poor appetite, weight loss, anemia, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes
Renal FailureWeakness, constipation, a dry coat, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and weight loss
Feline DistemperVomiting, rough coat, high temperature, diarrhea, depression, dehydration, and anemia

If you notice any of these above-stated symptoms in your cat and feel the corresponding disease may be a reason for their illness, you should contact the vet immediately.

3. Feeling Scared or Anxious:

A common reason for cat hissing is the animal’s fear or anxiety related to something. If a cat is scared of something, it is bound to hiss at it. For example, if a dog is at home, even though it is pretty harmless, the cat can get all worked up and start hissing at it out of fear. Usually, while hissing, cats keep their eyes extra big, puff up their tails, and roll their ears flat back.

Putting your cat into an unexpected circumstance can make them anxious or uncomfortable in the long run. You need to spend enough time playing with them and give them suitable toys, so they remain in their comfort zone. You can get the Bread Catnip Toys to keep your cat engaged and away from the anxieties of the mind.

4. Petting and Redirected Aggression:

Both petting aggression and redirected aggression are common attitude problems noticed in cats. These problems can be self-limiting and mild due to stress development and changes in their schedule or environment.

These problems can result in a severe strain on the relationship between the human and the cat. Get an appointment with the vet as soon as possible if your cat is suffering from this.

5. Warning Other Pets and Humans:

Sometimes, cats may hiss to convey a message of not being in a good mood and not wanting to be disturbed. For example, your cat may hiss because they want another human or you to let them have their space and leave them alone for some time. They may also hiss at other cats in the same way for somewhat similar reasons.

If a cat is not very peaceful toward other animals or humans, they may hiss to warn the intruder to let her be alone. It is a constant threat to let strange animals be around these cats since they can get seriously hurt by the cat’s defensiveness. If, despite the warnings, the animal continues to be near the cat, they will surely be victims of their violent ways!

6. Searching for a Partner:

If your male cat is non-neutered, they may hiss while searching for a partner. Male cats often commit this behavior to warn other male cats from approaching their partner.

However, there is a lesser possibility that your female cat will hiss due to mating than a male cat, but it is possible to note this in some of your female cats that have not yet been sterilized.

7. Your Cat May Be Dissatisfied:

Dissatisfaction can be the outcome of many things. The reasons may vary from being positioned in a carrier to having the smell of another dog or cat on your clothes.

Another indication of dissatisfaction in your cat can be when you enter “their” area. Be aware of this fact, mainly if you are an energetic or loud child.

8. Protecting Any Precious Things or Their Kittens:

If your female pet cat has recently delivered cute little kittens, this could be a period of hissing all around. Since cats are so defensive of their territories or things close to them, they will not allow you to touch their kittens just like that. They may deem you safe when you are affectionate enough and trust you completely. So, when any stranger cat or not-so-trusted human approaches their babies, the cat starts hissing at them aggressively to protect their children.

Cats are very territorial and possessive about their belongings. So, by hissing them off, they refrain from sharing their precious things, like toys, sleeping mats, etc., with other cats or humans.

9. The Play Hiss:

Have you ever caught cats hissing at each other while they play? It is a common and prominent trait in them, especially during kittenhood. The tone of a play hiss is quite different from during times of threat. It is usually a quick hiss and does not sound very defensive. Kittens typically do this if their companions or bigger cats give them a tough time during playtime!

You might have also noticed a young cat reacts to any sudden or loud noise by hissing and jumping up a usual sight. It is one of those instances when you can see cats emit play hiss.

10. You’re Just Irritating Them:

Cats are not individual pleasers like dogs. So, if you attempt to make your cat do something as per your order but don’t want to, they will hiss at you. At such times, it is better to leave them alone.

If children are at your house, you must oversee their behavior with the cat. It is imperative that the cat is being treated nicely by the children. Kids are usually slow to understand that hissing is a warning sign that can result in harm and that vexing the cat is a bad thing to do.

Is There Anything You Can Do About Your Cat Hissing?

As you have read in the previous section, if your cat is hissing at you, it can usually be a sign of fear, stress, or discomfort. It is essential to understand why your cat may be hissing; you can also keep your options open about what to do to cater to them in this situation. Here are now 10 things to do when your cat hisses.

1. Assess the Situation:

Cats are likely to hiss if they are experiencing any pain or discomfort, which may reflect an underlying health issue. If your cat is hissing suddenly, along with other unusual behavior, seeking a vet’s attention is essential.

2. Provide a Safe Environment:

Cats are territorial animals and usually need a space to rest when they feel threatened or tired. Ensure your kitty has access to hiding spots or specific areas where they can feel safe and secure.

3. Gradual Socialization:

If a new member, animal, or cat is going to be in the house, introduce them to the cat gradually. Allow the cat to approach new people or animals at their own time. Forcing interactions can lead to stress and defensive behaviors like hissing.

4. Understand Body Language:

Pay attention to your cat’s body language at all times. Other signs of stress, including flattened ears, dilated pupils, or a puffed-up tail, often come before hissing. If you notice them beforehand, you can make them comfortable enough not to hiss.

5. Positive Reinforcement:

Implement positive reinforcement to provoke the desired behavior. Give rewards to your cat with treats, praise, or affection when they exhibit calm and non-aggressive behavior. It helps create positive associations in their minds and also rewire them accordingly.

6. Respect Their Boundaries:

Cats tend to hiss during play if they are overstimulated. Be aware of your cat’s tolerance level during play sessions, and stop them if you notice any discomfort.

7. Create a Stimulating Environment:

Give your cat toys, scratching posts, and other enrichment activity items so they remain mentally stimulated.

8. Consult with a Vet:

If the hissing persists, you should consult a professional vet. These experts provide personalized advice and strategies to address these issues.

9. Be Patient:

Building trust with a cat takes time. Be patient with your cat as it adjusts to changes or new situations. Avoid punishing the cat for hissing since this can be an unethical and ineffective decision that only gives them more stress.

10. Spaying/Neutering:

If your cat is not spayed or neutered, consider getting it done if they have started to hiss a lot. Cats with strong mating instincts are likely to engage in hissing.


Through the course of this article, you were able to understand the top ten reasons why your cat hisses. Apart from that, you also now know what you can do to curb hissing or control it. Cats can convey their dismal mating needs, anger, fear, or discomfort through hissing since it is a primal instinct. Following the proper steps and gaining the right knowledge can help your cat stay peaceful.

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