You have always wanted a Russian Blue cat, but you are not sure whether it will be friendly toward your household pets and family members.
So, are Russian Blue cats aggressive?
These beautiful felines are known for their fierce loyalty and strong bond with their favorite people. And, fortunately, Russian Blues are not an aggressive breed of cats.
However, like any cat, they can become a bit mean under certain circumstances. Most often, this negative behavior has something to do with change, hidden pain, maternal instinct, their predatory nature, territorial behavior, or redirected aggression. But this does not make them any less friendly in general.
Let us talk a bit more about a Russian Blue’s temperament and the possible reasons they can be mean.
What is the temperament of a Russian Blue cat?
Russian Blues have a lot of positive traits that most cat lovers find endearing. This includes their friendliness, affectionate nature, loyalty, and strong attachment to their human companions. These stunning cats are also known for their active yet gentle disposition. As such, the breed makes a great addition to families of all sizes and ages.
However, many people might also find Russian Blues quiet, shy, and a little aloof. Even so, the speculation that the breed is mean and aggressive can be unfair. Remember that even if a cat does not do well with strangers and other pets, that does not necessarily mean it is aggressive. Sometimes, socializing the cat and giving it lots of love and understanding might be just what they need to show their friendly side.
Are Russian Blue cats aggressive?
Contrary to what some might think, Russian Blues are not an aggressive cat breed. In fact, these kitties enjoy the company of their human caretakers, young children, and other household pets. However, they do need a proper introduction to strangers and other unfamiliar animals. Otherwise, they will retreat and run away in fear.
And, just like their human friends, Russian Blues can have bad days, too. At some point, we might make our feline friends uncomfortable without us even knowing. Unfortunately, cats do not have a way of clearly expressing frustration or fear, so as their human guardians, we need to be understanding of them.
Try to study their body language and how they react to certain things. Crouching, hissing, tails held out stiff – these are sure signs of a cat’s impending meltdown. Hence, you need to back off (or tell another family member to leave the cat alone) and give your furry friend time to calm down. You should only interact again once your cat approaches you of their own will.
Why is my Russian Blue so mean?
Russian Blue cats may have a valid reason to be mean. Unfortunately, we often misunderstand these behaviors as cats do not use the same language to express when they are feeling sick, depressed, or in pain.
Sudden aggression in Russian Blues can be triggered by one of the following:
Any animal can experience fear – even a playful and easy-going Russian Blue. Whether the source of fear is unfamiliar house guests, sudden loud noises, or the presence of other animals, it is normal for most cats to react by retreating or displaying aggression to defend themselves. Sometimes, even young children who are rough and not taught how to properly interact with cats can trigger aggression in Russian Blues (or any cat breed, for that matter).
If your friendly feline suddenly resorts to aggression, then consider investigating the causes. Cats cannot convey their frustration or fear in the same language that we, humans, can understand. So our best step should be to understand their triggers and come up with solutions to correct their aggressive behavior.
2. Changes in the environment
Cats hate the slightest change in their environment. Whether it is a new scent, a new pet, or a new home, we all probably know how our furry friends react to such changes.
But changes are part of life, and at some point, we all have to deal with them. Unfortunately, for creatures whose survival depends on predictability, a slight deviation of their routines could lead to extreme behavioral issues such as depression, frequent hiding, owner avoidance, or aggression. The latter is often the most troublesome, as you or another family member could end up being scratched, bitten, or hissed at.
Gradual acclimatization helps most cats to respond well to changes in their environment. So, before bringing home a new pet, changing your furniture, or moving to a new house, make sure to factor your feline friend into the plan. Create a step-by-step solution to ensure that your Russian Blue can adjust well to the upcoming changes.
3. Play aggression
Some cats love to play rough – and you can hardly blame them for displaying such aggression. Play sessions are a great way for cats to exercise and express their predatory instincts. Here, they can practice chasing and attacking their would-be prey, finally beating them to the ground.
But not everybody wants their domesticated kitty to retain this wild hunting instinct. A kitten nibbling your finger might be adorable, but an adult cat ambushing you from behind, with sharpened claws and strong jaws, can be very frightening.
Therefore, it is very important to train your Russian Blue not to bite or claw human skin. Consider using toys like feather wands every time you play with your cat. Having another cat at home will also help teach your Russian Blue the boundaries and when biting or clawing becomes hurtful.
Remember that cats have no intention of hurting their humans – they are only showing their natural behavior. Hence, to avoid play-related aggression, you must make the effort to teach your cat not to play with the human hand (or any part of the body).
4. Maternal instinct
Wondering why your sweet Russian Blue suddenly swats and hisses after giving birth? This behavior is called maternal aggression. Female cats tend to display this behavior after giving birth to protect their kittens from any perceived threats – even their human owners.
While witnessing and petting those cute little kittens can be a great experience, make sure to give your Russian Blue enough privacy to feel safe with her little angels. As much as possible, keep momma cat and her litter away from other pets and new people. Let your pet show you her babies on her own terms. This way, she will feel more secure and become more trusting of the people around her.
5. Pain due to injury or disease
Cats are masters at hiding their pain. For this reason, it can be challenging to diagnose a cat with injuries or potential diseases, unless the damage has become severe and the symptoms more apparent.
Just like humans, a cat in pain can feel irritable towards other pets or their human family. Any signs of aggression should not be taken lightly. If you think your Russian Blue has suddenly changed its behavior, consider a visit to your vet as soon as possible.
6. Redirected aggression
Have you ever heard a cat chatter? Most cat owners are familiar with this weird sound produced by their pets as they gaze at potential prey outside the window. While this might seem cute and funny, cat chattering is often a sign of a frustrated cat.
Not being able to catch a bird or squirrel in their line of sight can be very annoying for a cat. And, unfortunately, this unfulfilled desire can turn into redirected aggression. Sometimes, a cat might randomly attack another pet or a family member to let go of this frustration. As such, this unpredictable behavior can be dangerous as cats can use their claws and teeth to inflict serious injuries on you or another pet.
Providing alternative entertainment or distracting the cat the moment it chatters are both effective ways to prevent redirected aggression. So, make sure to have a toy or a spray bottle always to hand!
7. Territorial behavior
Cats are territorial by nature. This is how they survive in the wild and, as such, you cannot really blame them for being rude to other household pets. What you can do, instead, is provide your pets with their own separate toys, food bowls, and beds, so that they do not have to fight over any of these. Unless your Russian Blue is trained, they are unlikely to want to share their stuff.
8. Feline cognitive dysfunction
Feline cognitive dysfunction, or FCD, is a serious brain disorder that is prevalent among senior cats. Symptoms can include bad memory, less awareness, disorientation, sleep disturbances, and reduced activity. Cats with this condition can also display increased irritability that might lead to aggressive behavior.
Having regular veterinary check-ups and providing your cat with all the necessities for comfort and health are the best things you can do to keep your aging Russian Blue comfortable. Give your senior feline privacy, a low-stress life, and lots of love, as this is all they will need to survive their remaining years.
How to make your Russian Blue more friendly
There are many ways you can train your Russian Blue to be more friendly and accepting of other pets and unfamiliar people. Employing the positive reinforcement technique is often the best way to teach your cat to respond appropriately in uncomfortable situations. It is important to reward your cat for showing desirable behavior, and this can be in the form of interactive play, tasty treats, or the attention that your pet enjoys.
Here are some other tips to make your Russian Blue more friendly:
- Gradually socialize your cat with other people and pets.
- If your cat runs away and hides from unfamiliar guests, do not force them to come out from their hiding spot. Let them feel safe by allowing them to come out on their own terms.
- Provide your cat with tasty treats or toys every time they meet new people or pets.
Russian Blue cats are generally friendly, affectionate, and lovable, and any sudden aggression is not normal for this beautiful breed. If your cat is showing unreasonable signs of aggression, it might be time to take them to the vet to rule out any serious health issues.
Image: istockphoto.com / disqis