Scratching is also a frustrating cat behaviour, although in most cases it is quite normal and has a role in territory marking, claw sharpening and muscle stretching. On saying that, it doesn’t help when the cat invariably decides the new sofa is the best thing to scratch, and there are some ways to minimise or divert the behaviour.

Lastly, aggression and biting can be an issue in some cats, although it is much less common in cats than in dogs. The most common form is play aggression, where an owner is stroking or playing with a cat and all is going well, then suddenly the cat turns around and gives a sharp bite or scratch. Play aggression is much more common in cats that have been raised alone. Experts believe that kittens learn to moderate their behaviour when playing with littermates, and these solo kittens have difficulty determining the line between normal licking and grooming behaviour and excessive aggression.

Inter-cat aggression does also occur at times, and can be fierce, but is thankfully relatively unusual. Cats will invariably hiss and spit at a new cat brought into the house for a week or two. This is important in establishing the pecking order and dominance hierarchy, but after a few small fights the cats will normally learn to get along. Cats establishing dominance may sound quite fierce, but the fights will be over quickly and there should be no lasting wounds or damage. If the cats show more severe aggression, there are bleeding wounds or repeated fights, there may be a more serious case of inter-cat aggression.

The good news is there are a number of ways we can really help cats who scratch and cats who are aggressive. Please read Solving Scratching and Aggression Issues in Cats for further information.