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Cats/Kitten Agression on Feather Toys


QUESTION: I rescued this kitten who has a fused jaw from an abusive home, and have had it over 2 months, I am going to get it operated on which needs the left joint removed and is quite costly.

I have some concerns however about its behavior, the kitten is loving, very active, starches from time to time but this is expected. However when i bring a feather toy around her, she hisses and pants, growls etc, which i am wondering will this pass in time. I do not want to have these issues down the road after spending 3-5 thousand on her to have her corrected so she can bite me. I do not know why she hisses and growls at just the feather toys, when i try to take them from her.

Every time she hisses, i say no, clap my hands or tap her on the head lightly,.. i do understand this might cause more fear, so i also hiss and try my best to enforce that the behavior is incorrect. She was taken early from her mother, and had a  pitbill attack her, so i can understand that this could be due to the trauma associated, but she has had a loving home and people around for a few months now.

Also when anyone walks into a room, she puffs up and becomes skittish. My question is .. will these traits subside as time goes on and the cat become more trust and docile..?

I was away for 2 months where my brother was taking care of her, and now that i have returned i used the feather and found the traits are still present which is disappointing. She is a sweetheart and all, but the growling and hissing concerns me.

Thank you

The problem here is that she obviously associated the feather toys with something in her past which frightened her. hissing etc is usually caused by fear and not aggression.

If it is only feather times which cause this reaction then the simplest course of action is to remove them from the home and so help the cat relax and calm down.

If her behavior is generally docile and friendly then I would not worry too much. the poor little thing has a lot to cope with, loss of her mother at a early age, dog attack and her jaw etc must all be rather stressing for her.

I think with time, a loving and gentle family around her with lots of things to keep her stimulated, climbing posts etc she should grow up into a loving cat.

As for her puffing up reaction when other people come into the room this is again down to fear and the more people she meets and has experience of the less this should happen. She is young and is still able to learn that not everyone is out to get her.

i have a web site all about cats, kitten care, behavioral issues eyc which you may find of further interest. here

best wishes KAte

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: couldn't i just keep the feather toy near me and sit with her while she plays, then perhaps she wouldn't associate it with fear. Its not the toy shes scared of, its the possessiveness of it, when i try to take it away, hisses and spits..

Its just a feather on a stick, which i have propped up so she cant run away with it, ..

Ya i do understand she has delt with alot, and will endure a little bit more from the surgery. I rather keep the cat and give it a loving home than put her down due to the costs associated, which will work out over the years i suppose.

Its great to hear that you want to give this cat a loving home. i hear the opposite far too often i'm afraid.

Absolutely try the feather near you option, it could indeed help her to get over her obsession with it and whatever she associates it with.

i think that with all your love, time and care this cat will grow into a wonderful pet happy in its new home.

best wishes Kate


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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