A cat attacks when it perceives a threat and body language or other attempts at communication have failed to remove the threat. Cats use posturing such as tail lashing, skin or ear twitching and meowing or hissing to communicate that they feel threatened.
Veterinarians and certified behavioral specialists can help cat owners to understand causes of cat aggression and how to deal with it. Cat aggression has many potential causes, such as a hostile relationship with another cat or over-stimulation when being pet by its owner. Cat owners can be forewarned of aggressive behavior by paying attention to their cat's body language.