How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Micki Your Own Question
Micki, Expert in cat behavior and health
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3193
Experience:  Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Micki is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My cat has turned mean!!

Customer Question

I have a cat that I have had for about one year. She was a stray that I picked up. Shortly after I got her, she became pregnant and soon had a litter of kittens. I eventually had her spayed. Recently, she has become very mean. She has always been a sweet cat but now she spits and hisses alot. When you pick her up she goes crazy with hisses and growling. She is particularly mean to the one kitten that I kept who is now about 10 months old. She had been a great mom when the kittens were younger. What the heck is wrong with her? Also, she prefers to eat the dog's food over any cat food that I have tried.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Micki replied 9 years ago.


Cat aggression is the one of the number one behavior problems cat owners deal with. There are many reasons why a cat would behave this way. There is redirected aggression, non-recognition aggression, petting aggression, territorial aggression, and so on.

To help calm her aggression get some feliway from Pet Smart. This is a pheromone that induces happy calm feelings in cats. Is great for aggression, anxiety, urine sprayers. You can get it at petsmart in a form called comfort zone.

If the feliway doesn't do the trick, try some Rescue Remedy.

To help her get along better with the 10 month old cat try a recognition technique where you pet one with a blanket or cloth and then pet the other and vice versa. This will accustom them to each others' scent again. Remind them they are buddies. Do this technique while you are alone with each cat. Not while both cats are present in the same room.

If she has issues with you or other persons petting her, this is called petting aggression. This is a dominance thing. She is showing you she is the dominant (alpha) cat in the house. I am not saying she looks at you as a cat, but she feels that she is the dominant species in the home.

You can retrain her to teach her that you are dominant figure in the house.

When she jumps up for attention, put her down immediately. If you have to stand up then stand up and move so she can't have access to your lap. Do this for a couple of weeks. Then when you allow her in your lap, don't let her decide when pet time is over. You cut her off first. Just pet her for a second put her down and then give her a kitty treat. The treat will teach her to associate the petting with the nice reward. Don't give her kitty treats any other time.

You gradually increase the petting time, but always be the one that decides when enough is enough, not her.

If the claws are an issue during her attacks, you can try getting some soft paws put on her. These are plastic covering that go over the claws. You can get these as well at petsmart.

Sincerely, Micki

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Previous | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:

  • Terri


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • Terri's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Cher's Avatar


    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • Lori's Avatar


    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • Micki's Avatar


    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician