Keep Your Cat from Climbing the Feline Ladder of Aggression

A stressed cat will go from one step to the next all too quickly.


There are 12 steps on the Feline Ladder of Aggression, a graphic devised by veterinarian and behavior consultant Sally J. Foote, DVM. But a cat who is feeling particularly threatened can scale the entire ladder in little more than a second, Dr. Foote points out. And some cats will skip steps as they escalate and suppress their body language as they go, taking someone who is handling a stressed, frightened cat even more by surprise.

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