My cat is 3 years old (domestic short hair). We adopted her in the beginning of January. She is overweight, was previously an outdoor/indoor cat (not only indoor), and very food motivated.

She was never really a cuddly cat. She does not like being held. The moment you pick her up form the ground and hold her, she'll meow, hiss and bite. She will sometimes sleep at the foot of the bed but now she mostly sleeps on the floor. She is quite aggressive at times. She's bitten people several times (drawing blood only a few times). She will also attack the legs. I play with her very often. Everyday, twice a day we play. I try my best to get her energy out, so that she'll be less aggressive.

There have been many times when I'll be on my bed and she'll jump on, look at me like I'm a complete stranger and start batting her claws at me. It felt like she was on full-on attack mode!

I've always wanted a cuddly lap cat, and I know that that is not a realistic goal for my situation...but I'd like to know if there's any hope for my cat. I've heard about cats that get gentler with age and become more affectionate. But on the other hand I've heard of cats that remain the same.

How do you suggest I deal with the aggressive behaviour?

Also, I'd like to know if anyone could suggest the steps I could take to improve her behaviour and make her more affectionate.


1 Answer 1


Yes, there is hope! If you're patient, and persistent with these suggestions, I think you will be able to make a big change in your cat. You'll probably see significant improvement in a few months, and things will continue to improve.

Here is a link to an excellent short series of videos on socialising feral cats. Not that your cat is feral; in fact I think you will see that you've made more progress than you think.


The gist of it is using food and irresistible treats to get the cats to eat in the presence of humans that are far away; then gradually requiring them to be a little closer to the human to get the treat. You will need to move forward in very small stages. In your case, you may need to start with getting her to eat when you are awake but in another room. There will be setbacks!

When you play with her, always use a toy; never use your hands.

Also, you can ask your local humane society or animal shelter for advice. I'm sure they will be happy to help and have good advice to offer; as they have to socialise truly feral cats regularly.

Next, play with her every day. Really wear her out! A tired cat is a well-behaved cat.

I also suggest that you watch the TV series "My Cat from Hell" with Jackson Galaxy, particularly the first season. Some of the series is on YouTube, but it would be worth purchasing the DVD set. You'll learn to see things from a cat's point of view, which will help you solve the problems you're experiencing.

  • Thank you for the thorough answer! My cat does eat from my hands, so what do you suggest the next step be with us in terms of using food? I also play with her using toys twice a day, since she has a lot of energy. I've watched the tv series you mentioned before and love it! Do you have any more suggestions now based on where I'm at in terms of the progression with my cat?
    – user8659
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 18:51

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