Why Do Cats Hiss?

cat looking out a window

Cats express emotion in a number of ways from swishing their tails and purring to kneading you with their paws and hissing. Hissing is completely normal, it’s just another form of communication, but why do cats hiss and what exactly is your pet trying to tell you when they do this? In this blog post, we will explore this particular style of body language in detail and discuss how to respond when your cat acts this way.


Why does my cat hiss at me?

Hissing is a key trait displayed by cats but if your cat is hissing at you, it’s likely you want to get to the bottom of this behaviour. Simply put, if your cat hisses, he or she is trying to communicate with you and express an emotion and in this case, it is a negative one. Perhaps your cat is a new mum and is experiencing the maternal instinct to protect her little one? Or maybe there is a new pet in her territory? Or it could simply be that your cat is in a strange place that is unfamiliar and your pet is feeling uneasy as a result.


Is it bad to hiss back at your cat?

So how should you respond when your cat hisses at you? Should you hiss back at your cat? The short answer is no. Doing so could lead to your cat feeling even more agitated than they already do and could result in your cat becoming stressed. The best action is to take no action at all. Back off immediately and give your pet some space.


What does a hiss mean from a cat?

A cat hissing can mean a number of things. In some cases, your cat could be annoyed, afraid or confused. Contrary to belief, when a cat hisses, this is not an act of aggression but a defence mechanism that kicks in when your cat is feeling threatened or under attack. Hissing is also a sign of overstimulation and can occur when your cat or kitten does not want to be approached.

This is your cue to leave your pet well alone. Lastly, if your cat is hissing when you pick him or her up or when you touch a particular body part, this could be a sign of poor health or an injury so it would be advisable to get your pet checked by a vet.


Can cats hiss when they are happy?

Cats have a huge vocabulary and they use this to tell us when they are happy, hungry, afraid or angry. Hissing is usually associated with negative emotions. If your cat is happy they might purr. This is usually a good indicator that your cat is content.

If your cat is hissing at you and you can’t pinpoint a reason for your pet’s behaviour, you may turn to your vet for answers or peace of mind. Here at Asda Money, we have a range of cat insurance cover types available. Find out more about Asda Money Cat Insurance here.  

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