Do Black Cats Attack? 4 Actionable Things to Consider

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do black cats attack

When answering the question ‘do black cats attack?’, I think we have to establish that all domestic cats have the potential to attack people.

Black cats as well as all other domestic cats can suddenly attack their owners and other people for a number of reasons.

You may have a domestic cat that never attacks but it’s important to understand that aggression is part of a cat’s natural instincts.

When a Cat Attacks

When domestic cats attack it can be scary, painful and a stressful situation for those involved.

Although cat attacks don’t have the same level of lethality as attacks from some other animals, it is definitely not to be taken lightly.

For the vast majority of cat owners, attacks are infrequent and manageable but for some people, it can be a real problem.

Our American Shorthair called Coco occasionally has moments where out of nowhere, he begins an attack on my Fiancee Yurena.

He often inflicts painful scratches and cuts on Yurena using his teeth and claws.

He is very loving towards Yurena for 99% of the time but sometimes he completely flips.

He has never done this to me in the almost 4 years that he has lived with us.

We have put it down to a dominance issue which I will get to further into this blog post.

We have simple solutions to Coco’s attacks and they involve me hissing at him and he usually backs off.

Yurena also has a small bottle of water by her desk and if she needs to, she will squirt a mist of water in his direction, which he hates and he retreats.

It has got to the stage now where we simply have to show the bottle to him and he backs off, he hates it!

Don’t get me wrong, Coco is an amazing pet and a deeply loved member of our household. His infrequent attacks aren’t a major issue.

It is something that we accept as we are living with a cat and cats have the instinct to attack.

Let’s talk a little bit about what can cause an attack…


As I am sure you know, kittens and cats love and need to play to stay mentally and physically stimulated.

Cats are known to attack when they don’t know the boundaries between playful moments with their owners and going into battle.

Just like with us humans, there can often be a fine line…

Cats need to know how far they can take things with you before its no longer acceptable.

Boredom can set in pretty quickly with domestic cats and I have frequently read that you should play with your cat for at least 10 minutes a day to prevent boredom.

Boredom may be a reason for what may seem like a random attack from your cat.


From a young age, cats wrestle with each other and play and a lot of it is cats being cats but they can also be establishing a hierarchy.

In many walks of life hierarchy exists and this may not be any different in your home, especially when it comes to your pets.

In a house with more than one cat, naturally, a hierarchy will be formed but what if a hierarchy was formed in the cat’s mind adding humans to the equation too?

Does Coco see me as above or below him in the hierarchy and therefore doesn’t attack and is he in a power struggle with Yurena to claim his place in the hierarchy.

It’s very interesting stuff and I will be researching this further, I’ll add more info to the blog on this as I find it…


Do black cats attack out of fear?

Just like most creatures on earth, the flight or flight reaction comes into play when in a situation of fear and or stress.

Cats may have the instinct to lash out and attack when they feel afraid or stressed as a defense mechanism.

Cats also have the option to run away which is something that we see very often.

It’s important to have places for your cat to run away to if they feel threatened and this may help towards minimizing attacks.

If a cat can run away to hide on top of or underneath something, this will be very comforting to the cat. Also, a room that they feel safe in, may be a destination that they choose to run to.


Cats hunt by nature and all of the playing that you have done with your cat is training for the real thing… the hunt!

If your cat spends all of its time indoors and doesn’t get the opportunity to hunt insects or rodents, you may discover that your legs end up getting bitten and scratched.

Playing with your cat every day may help towards suppressing your cat’s desire to hunt and you being the target…

do black cats attack
Do black cats attack? He’s too cute to attack! (not)

Medical Issues

If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior it’s always advised to contact your veterinarian.

A domestic cat could go from being very relaxed and passive to aggressive and this may indicate illness of some sort.

The potential illnesses vary greatly so please consult with a professional.

Do Black Cats Bite?

Black cats can bite as well as scratch. This isn’t exclusive to black cats as all domestic cats can potentially attack as aggression is in their nature.

There is playful biting and aggressive biting. Playful biting can be harmless and can be a way of bonding with your pet.

Aggressive biting, however, is not wanted and can be stressful for all involved as well as painful.

Our American Shorthair nips playfully but he also nips when he to let you know that he doesn’t like something.

For example, if you try picking him up and he’s not in the mood, he lets us know with a bite as if to say “get off”.

My Thoughts

I have to be honest, when Coco attacks Yurena, it is very stressful and I hate to hear and see it.

Coco is so loving and we absolutely adore him but when he attacks, it’s a reminder that we have domesticated a wild animal.

He has natural instincts and tendencies and often these instincts can be almost impossible for us to get our heads around.

Over time we have learned how to deal with the situation and minimize the stress for us all.

Thankfully, Yurena doesn’t end up with too many scratches and cuts these days.

Playing with Coco and allowing him to explore more of our house seems to have helped.

I think people wrongfully associate cats with complete independence. Mental stimulation is huge for our highly intelligent furry friends.

Do black cats attack? – Summary

Do black cats attack? Yes they can and that is the case for all domestic cats.

Our boy Coco is known to attack my Fiancee on the odd occasion but it is something that we have learned to deal with.

Playing with cats may reduce boredom and then possibly reduce the likelihood of attacks.

Dominance may be an issue when it comes to aggression and your cat may attack due to hierarchy in the home.

Fear may cause domestic cats to attack as a defence mechanism.

As domestic cats are natural hunters, without the ability to hunt, you may find yourself on the wrong side of your cat.

Playing with your cat regularly may be a great way to reduce attacks on you or other people.

Cats can bite both playfully and aggressively and we have known our black cat to use it as a form of communication.


Rehome by Why Do Cats Suddenly Attack Their Owners?

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Lee Harris

I'm a Brit living in the sunny Canary Islands with my beautiful wife and my wonderful black cat called Coco. I love to blog, build businesses, look after my body, and enjoy nature...

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