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How to Safely Approach A Cat


Use these safety guidelines to approaching unfamiliar cats...

Most cats may appear timid and placid, however if approached in the wrong manner they may turn aggressive.

It is hard to predict the behaviours of a cat, which is why it is important to keep these tips in mind when approaching someone else’s pet.


  • Crouch down to your hands and knees – cats may be intimidated by your size
  • Gently call out to it in a calming voice - this will give a cue to the cat that you are not of threat
  • Make sure the cat is not a feral or stray cat - take note of the cats fur and if it's wearing a collar
  • Let the cat approach you first – the cat has to feel comfortable enough to allow you to touch it
  • Move slowly around the cat – fast movements may intimidate the cat
  • Extend your hand and allow the cat to pick up your scent - this forms a relationship of trust


  • Approach the cat is it is hissing or it’s tail is fluffed up – this means it is agitated and likely to attack
  • Continue to approach the cat if it does not seem interested in you - a cat will be quite obvious if it doesn't want to be bothered
  • Corner the cat – they may feel trapped and attack in defence
  • Pick the cat up – although it may trust you to pat it, some cats do not like being picked up and can be quick to scratch or bite
  • Look directly into the cat’s eyes – the cat may find this as offensive and intimidating
  • Touch the cat’s belly – dogs may love this but some cats find it vulnerable
  • Approach a cat if it’s pupils are dilated – this means it is in the mode to attack

By keeping these tips in mind, you are respecting not only the cat and its owner, but also putting your safety first.

For more don’t forget to catch Bondi Vet Saturday’s at 6:30pm on TEN.