Recently I've realized that my cat gets very nervous, and even aggressive, if she hears me snorting loudly several times, even when she's a long way away from me.

If I start doing so, she immediately becomes more alert, moving fast from one place to another and, if I keep it doing for a while, she comes running towards me and tries to sit on me sniffing over my face and even putting her paw on my mouth.

She's never been in a conflict with another cat and of course we've never beaten her nor used any physical punishment over her. What might be the reason for this behavior?

---- EDIT 1 ----

Additional things about that I'm sure of: The position of her ears are straight, but when this happens she adopt a tense body posture.

---- EDIT 2 ----

Last night my girlfriend and I did some tests and, definitely, she finally gets very angry. When I started snorting she started being very active, running from one place to other, and even something she had never done before: rolling while face up on the floor. When I continued doing so, she started jumping from one chair to another and after awhile came over to me and I got a good chunk taken out. So, definitely, yes she gets aggressive and now I really doubt it's concern is what she feels.

Now that I have done this experiment, I determined some more physical details: the ears, as I said, were straight all the time except when she came to bite me, then she put her ears backwards. Her tail was in a "normal" position all the time she was jumping around, but when she attacked me, she raised her hackles.

I didn't want to stress her more so I didn't made any further try but definitely she doesn't like hearing me snorting.

  • 3
    Is it possible she thinks you're hurt/injured?
    – jmort253
    Mar 1, 2014 at 23:08
  • 2
    I don't know whether she thinks I'm injured, since I think it's morelike an offensive attitude, but I'm not completely sure so I'll observe it. Regarding to her body posture, yes, she is tense but I can't tell about her tail right now, so I'll test tonight and see all these details. What I can confirm is that her ears are straight.
    – NKN
    Mar 1, 2014 at 23:14
  • My cat does this too! At first I was just trying to get her attention (she is a very stubborn cat, v affectionate but only when she wants). I tried a high whistle/ hissy kind of noise, which imitated a bird chirp. I soon found one that attracted her attention immediately she turned towards me, alert, and stalked towards me quickly and nipped my arm!! She obviously didn't like the noise. I've done it few times since and she ecery time she came straight over to me and batted me or nipped me. I realised she also reacts like this when I sniff lots. I think it's the high frequency sound that she do
    – user3693
    Feb 26, 2015 at 13:45
  • A video of the cat in this behavior would be extremely helpful and informative.
    – IQAndreas
    May 23, 2016 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


So, cats can be fairly vocal animals and many of their vocalizations have some meaning with respect to how they may respond. The ones that indicate a level of aggression include:

  • Growl, which is usually low-pitched, harsher, and short in duration and mouth is open. Is usually an antagonistic sound.
  • Hiss, which is usually open-mouthed and has visible teeth.
  • Snarl, which is very similar to a growl, but higher pitched.

If your snorts (or the aftermath of them) sound like the above to her, it could be taken as aggression by her and so she could react accordingly. If you're conscious of this and see her reacting, then some steps to try are:

  1. Stop the activity.
  2. Try to vocalize a murmur (kind of like a purr) sound with your mouth closed.
  3. Provide some visual clues that you're not antagonistic such as slow blinking which is sign of relaxation in a cat.
  4. Reward her with a treat if she calms down.

Basically, this is calming the situation and teaching her that when this happens, you're not being aggressive.

Do not:

  1. Make sudden moves or try to grab her.
  2. Open your eyes fully.
  3. Keep your mouth open.

The above are seen as aggressive and will exacerbate the situation.

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