Hissing isn’t uncommon to hear among cats.
This type of vocalization can indicate that a cat is fearful or agitated. Also, hissing can be a sign of aggressive behavior.
In most cases, hissing is seen between two cats. Usually, this is their way of claiming their territory and making the other cat go away from their space.
So, I understand your surprise and even concern when you witnessed your feline friend hissing at you.
What’s happening? Why did my cat hissed at me for the first time? Did I do something wrong?
Before you panic, you should know that there are a couple of explanations for this type of behavior in your cat.
Let’s look at the five reasons why your cat might have hissed at you.
There is something that’s making your cat feel annoyed with you.
This, of course, comes as a surprise, since, normally, you are your cat’s favorite human in the world. What could have you done to make it feel annoyed?
One possibility is that you may have been petting it for too long, and it simply wanted a break. Cats can get overstimulated easily, so it’s not a good idea to keep them in one place for too long.
They will show their distress with their behavior, since they can’t use words. One of the signs they are clearly not enjoying their current situation is hissing at you.
Another possibility is that you have, unintentionally, caused pain in your kitty. Maybe you have accidentally stepped at it.
Hissing is an obvious sign your cat wants to be alone. Just give it some time and place, without trying to get it to come to you.
No matter the reason behind this sudden need for peace, you should know that your cat won’t stay mad at you for too long.
It will soon remember all the tasty treats and fun activities you’ve shared. Once it feels relaxed and secure again, it will venture out to seek its loving owner!
2. Sickness Or Injury
Your cat hissing at you for the first time could indicate that it’s sick or injured. Cats aren’t likely to show their owners they are hurting. Quite the opposite, actually.
The Drake Center For Veterinary Care explains how cats have a long history of surviving in the wild before they were domesticated. A cat in pain was used to be seen as weak in the wild, which made it a prime target for predators.
So, to survive, cats have adopted a natural instinct to hide their pain. Although they don’t have to hide their distress today, they still do this because it’s part of their nature.
Therefore, once you try to approach your cat that’s in pain, it’s likely to discourage you from doing this by hissing at you.
There are numerous possibilities for pain and discomfort in your pet. It could have sustained an injury from a car accident or a fall from a significant height.
Your cat could have been in a fight with another feline. It’s also possible that there is an underlying medical condition that’s making it feel unwell.
You shouldn’t try to examine your cat on your own. Not only it won’t let you do this, but it could also show other aggressive signs besides hissing.
The one thing you should do is to contact a veterinarian. Your next step is to describe the symptoms you’ve observed and when they first appeared.
If they find it necessary, the veterinarian will direct you to take your cat to a vet clinic.
Your cat could have hissed at you because it’s stressed or anxious about something in its surroundings.
The International Cat Care describes the following as the main signs of feline stress:
• Fully dilated pupils
• Bent legs
• Rapid breathing
• Tail close to the body
• Ears fully flattened back on the head
• Hissing, growling, drolling
• Aggression if approached
There are many things that can make your cat feel anxious. For instance, a conflict with another cat in the household. Any kind of change, even something as seemingly minor as relocating its water bowl, can also cause distress.
Felines love routine and the arrival of a new family member or a change in the household can also impact them negatively.
Veterinary visits and loud vocalizations are other potential stressors.
The most important thing here is to figure out what exactly is causing stress in your pet. If you’re unable to do this on your own, you should ask a vet or professional pet behavior specialist for advice.
4. Your Cat Resents You For Something
Have you been trying to discipline your cat for something lately? It’s possible that it holds this against you.
Maybe you’ve just tried to teach it not to get on your bed. Or, you have decided to stop it from getting on the counters.
Anything that’s against your cat’s will could result in it resenting you, and, as a result – hissing at you for the first time.
Of course, you would like to be on the best possible terms with your feline friend. But, this doesn’t mean you should let it have things its way all the time.
If you’re sure your cat has anything it needs, then just let it cool off a little bit. Once it realizes the hissing isn’t getting it anywhere, it’s likely to stop.
Before you know it, the two of you will be back to being the best of friends!
5. Redirected Aggression
Hearing your cat hissing at you for the first time could be due to redirected aggression.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, this type of aggression occurs when a cat is aroused by something and is unable to direct aggression towards the stimulus. In most cases, these are other cats passing by, and your cat seeing them through the window.
At this moment, it shows an aggressive body posture and looks ready for an attack. However, it isn’t able to get to the other cat. You’re the only one present in the room and you became the person your cat redirected its aggression towards.
It’s unpleasant hearing your cat hissing at you, especially when you have never encountered this before.
Redirected aggression can also be caused by other reasons, such as loud sounds or unfamiliar surroundings.
The thing you should do here is wait for your cat to calm down. If necessary, spend some time in the other room, away from your furry friend.
You should meet your cat again only when it looks perfectly calm again. You can check this by offering it some treats or toys to see how it reacts.
Wrapping It Up
My cat hissed at me for the first time: What could have caused this?
Cats usually hiss at other cats, and this is something most owners witness in some situations. Hissing is a part of their nature and a form of vocalization. It usually signifies aggression and readiness to attack.
So, hearing your cat hissing at you is definitely not pleasant. But, there are explanations for this, as is the case with all other feline behaviors.
Your cat could be annoyed by you or resents you. It could also be in pain or under stress, without knowing how to express these emotions in the proper manner.
Furthermore, hissing can be a form of redirected aggression in your cat.
Usually, hissing shouldn’t last for too long, especially after you figure out the exact cause of it. I hope our advice will be helpful for calming your cat and for you two to get on the right track again.
In case your cat doesn’t stop hissing, the best would be to contact a veterinarian or a pet behavior specialist.