Cat Hissing For No Reason

Cats can become really moody. Sometimes, we have no idea what is going on in their tiny, little, heads. One moment, they are very affectionate and sweet; the next, your cat growling and hissing for no reason – and you have absolutely no idea as to why they are doing so! There are even experiences shared by some cat parents that even the friendliest cat breeds do have some bouts like this.

Listed below are some of the plausible explanations why our cats would randomly hiss or growl at us.


Random hissing and growling explained

There could be a lot of explanation as to why your cat will out of the blue growl or hiss. In order to explain this sudden behavior in our feline friends, we have classified the factors into four.

Territorial Aggression

Cats are highly territorial like most animals are. If there is a new pet, a dog, or a cat; or perhaps even a new person in the house – a cat may feel threatened that the newcomer is trying to invade its territory. Do not worry, most probably it does not necessarily mean that the newcomer is inherently bad, it’s just that cats are simply being cats.

The hissing and the growling would usually be directed at the newcomer – be it an animal or human – but it is mostly directed at other cats.

Status Aggression

As part of their territorial tendencies, cats also tend to think that they are the masters of the house. You are not the boss of them – they are the boss of you. The growling and the hissing occurs in order to assert their assumed position in the house. 

It may happen when you try to do something that they do not like, for example moving their food bowl, their bed, their litter or anything synonymous to these situations.

Redirected Aggression

Just as what the subtitle suggests, redirected aggression is about the redirection of the aggression the cat may be feeling from outside stimuli. It usually stems out from the aforementioned reasons. Despite being triggered by external stimuli, they may re-channel the aggression towards you. That's the reason why there are times that they are seemingly growling and hissing for no reason at all.

Aggression amongst them

The growling and hissing, in this case, would usually come from male cats who weren't neutered yet. Very much still related to the previous category, male cats may assume their alpha status in the household or on other pets; bringing about a bully, and hostile behavior at times.

Predatory Aggression

Sometimes cats would have a lapse of judgement or let their predatory instincts get the better of them. If there are other pets in the house, especially smaller ones in size, cats could be growling and hissing at them, perhaps trying to intimidate them, thinking that these smaller creatures are part of their dinner.

Asocial Aggression

Some cats who weren’t raised to socialize with other cats during their kittenhood may become aloof with people and other pets. Do not worry! There are ways that you can do in order to raise your cat to become friendlier.


Cats can only handle a certain amount of petting each day. Excessive petting will result to over-stimulation, and anything in this level will no longer be welcome. If you’ve been petting your cat all day, understand that one way or another, your cat will feel agitated by the act. However it can be relaxing, too much of a good thing will make your cat growl and hiss at you. It is an indication for you to already stop.


While the hissing and the growling could be a sign of assertion and intimidation, sometimes it could also mean that they are threatened. A cat may be feeling trapped and is unable to do anything about its situation, thus opting to hiss and growl.

Possible medical conditions

Watch carefully for signs that indicate that your cat is in pain. It is also possible that your cat is feeling sick. Injury, a wound, arthritis, dental problems, trauma, and infections, are only some of the wide array of medical condition your cat may have.

Round Up 

It is important for us to have a better understanding of our cats’ attitudes and behaviors so that we would know how to properly react. Our cat growling and hissing for no reason could be difficult to handle but with proper knowledge, we could address the concern accordingly.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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