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Why Cats Hiss

Many people think that if a cat hisses, it’s showing aggression. But is it really so? At 5-Minute Crafts, we decided to find the answer to this question.

What cat hissing is

This unique sound is different from the other sounds uttered by cats. For example, meowing, growling, and even howling are generated by the vocal cords. A hiss is made by forcing air through a cat’s mouth during exhalation. If you happen to be close enough when a cat hisses, you can even feel this air current.

Just as a person has a unique pitch to their voice, every cat’s hiss is different. In addition, it can vary depending on the situation, from a very quiet and barely perceptible hiss to a loud wheeze.


It’s important to remember that hissing is a feline communication tool just as much as meowing. And there is more than one reason for it. Let’s learn the main ones.

  • A cat wants to warn you. This is one of the main reasons, something like, “Don’t touch me now, go away and give me some space.” This is a sign that if the situation doesn’t change or gets worse, a cat may use its claws or teeth in an attempt to protect its space. But for now, it’s just hissing.
  • A cat is protecting its kittens. Mother cats are very attentive and careful to their babies, and if a cat feels that you have violated their peace, they may hiss to warn you, even if they are the calmest, most affectionate cat in other situations.
  • A cat is in pain. For example, if an animal is injured and you accidentally touch the injured area, the cat may respond with a hiss. It’s like it’s telling you, “It hurts, don’t do it again.” Remember that animals can endure pain very persistently, and if you notice such behavior in your pet for no apparent reason, it’s worth contacting your vet.

  • A cat wants to avoid conflict. These animals protect their territory, and by hissing, they can make it clear to other cats that this is their zone of dominance.
  • A cat wants to be left alone. Some cats are not very affectionate and sociable by nature and prefer to be by themselves, so they may hiss at those who try to pet or cuddle them against their will. This often happens in families with little children.

What to do

The best thing you can do is to move away from the hissing cat so as not to provoke it. Here are some more tips.

  • Give your pet space and let them hide to feel secure. Don’t touch the cat or look at it, and don’t try to comfort or hug it.
  • Make sure that the cat has a place to hide and that it’s available. Check if it has the opportunity to climb higher (if it likes to do this in more peaceful situations).
  • Give your cat time. Sometimes it may take several hours for it to completely calm down.
  • When your cat calms down, give it a treat. Its favorite food or catnip can help it overcome stress faster.

Preview photo credit Pixabay.com, Unsplash.com, Pixabay.com
5-Minute Crafts/Animals/Why Cats Hiss
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