Thursday, May 16, 2024

Why Do Cats Hiss?

Why do cats hiss? Well, cats are territorial creatures and tend to have unpredictable behavior to some extent.

Hissing is a familiar sound many cat owners are used to since it is an unexpected behavior when a cat is showing some warnings about something.

The behavior might be due to a response to a strange cat, dog, or people. Sometimes, the cat may hiss without any probable reason.

In this article, you will learn more about the meaning of cat hissing, the reasons, and how to stop a cat from producing a comical sound.

What is Cat Hissing?

Cat hissing is a sound produced by the feline friend when forcing a burst of air via the mouth over an arched tongue.

The cat usually pulls the lips back and lays the ears against the head. The scary part is when the hairs get erected on the back.

Research shows that the cat learned the hissing sound by mimicking the noise made by the snake.

The hissing sound is a distinctive warning the cat gives to mean business. It is a survival technique to conquer a territory.

Reasons Why Do Cats Hiss?

There are plenty of reasons behind the hissing sounds of cats. Many of these reasons are dependent on the cat.

Here are some of the common reasons behind cat hissing:


Cats typically get afraid when they meet fearful people, and they hiss as a sign of warning. However, the hissing is not a sign of aggression.

If the person continues to provoke the feline friend, then he will not have the option rather than attack. Never approach your cat in a way that can threaten him.

Confrontation from Dogs

Cats hate strange dogs in the backyard. As a cat owner, do not be surprised when you notice your feline friend hissing.

Try to recognize the hissing sound as either offensive or defensive. If the little ball is hissing at the dog, then try to separate them immediately since it can result in a fight.

Protecting the Kittens

Mother cats are known to be protective of their kittens whether an animal or a person coming close to their babies will provoke them to hiss.

Give mother cats that have recently given birth time before attempting to carry their babies or else you might experience aggression despite the mother being sociable.


Cats do not cope with stress in any way. The stressors can make them acquire fight mode easily. The cats will react defensively by producing hissing sounds.

The feline animals love to feel safe, thus avoiding exposing them to stressors like sporadic movements.

Physical Pain

Sometimes cats may hiss when people try to carry or touch them not due to fear but as a result of physical pain.

However, this is among the less common factors behind the hissing cat. Research shows that cats are suffering from arthritis, and hiss a lot when jumping from a chair.

Monitor your little ball anytime it hiss to spot the cause. Consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.


Excessive petting, playing, and squeezing your cat can provoke them to hiss as a sign of anger or annoyance.

Felines normally hiss at children since they are commonly known for petting or playing with them excessively.


Aggression behavior comes as a result of violence, and this usually triggers the felines to hiss. Therefore, never try to cross the line either by shouting or whipping your little ball since they will hiss from time to time.

Territorial Conflicts

Cats are territorial creatures, and the introduction of a new cat or dog in the family will result in conflict.

Therefore, do not be surprised when you notice your cat hissing at the new pet—device tricks on how to train your feline friend to socialize with others.

Why Do Cats Hiss at Dogs?

Figuring out why cats hiss at dogs is quite easy. Cats are territorial creatures, and they will fight for it.

On the other hand, dogs fight for sociable positions and they would want to be number one in this area.

The newcomer between the two will have a hard time settling into the family since both of them will confront each other.

You can try to devise tricks on how to make sure your cat feels secure as far as territory dominance is concerned and dog social dominance.

Supervise the interaction of these two naughty pets until they can tolerate each other. This will foster cooperation in the long run.

How to Handle a Hissing Cat

The hissing sound is a warning sign. Thus you should handle your little ball with care, or else it will scratch or bite.

So, here are ways on how to handle a hissing cat:

  • Give her adequate time to calm down
  • Provide an avenue for the cat to escape
  • Give her time to get used to your body scent
  • Do not provoke the cat to hiss
  • Device tricks to comfort the cat when hissing.

Final Verdict

As the cat owner, it is advisable to know the cause behind the cat’s hissing. These factors will help you devise ways to calm and comfort them appropriately.

Minimize any form of stress the cat is exposed to and try to make them happy as well as comfortable.

Ensure to create a good rapport between your cat and the rest of the family members as well as other pets in the house.

Sources and References

  1. Editor. “Cat Aggression toward People.” The Cat Site.
  2. Editor. “Understanding Feline Language” Humane Society.
Serina Russow
Serina Russow
Hey there, I'm Serina, your friendly feline fanatic! As the proud founder of "Smart cat lovers," I'm on a mission to share my passion for all things cat-related. With years of experience in cat behavior and health, I'm here to provide expert advice on nurturing happy, healthy kitties. When I'm not tapping away on my keyboard, you'll find me curled up with my four adorable furballs: Whiskers, Luna, Billy, and Charlie.

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