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Fear-induced or territorial aggression in a cat or dog can be redirected toward people during peak moments of arousal. Aggression may be redirected to you, particularly if you act to distract the aggressor.

Do not touch an aggressive pet, even if your intention is to comfort or reassure it. When emotional energy is high, it must have an outlet. It may dissipate slowly over time or it may erupt spontaneously.

Avoid directly challenging an aggressive pet, regardless of the cause of agitation. You are more likely to trigger an attack if you pursue the animal to its place of refuge or crowd it into a corner.

Do not threaten the animal further with direct eye contact or speak in a loud or angry tone.

Do not take your pet's aggressiveness as an opportunity to punish it and 'teach it a lesson'

Take any warning from your pet very seriously and remain at a safe distance. If your pet is frightened, give it room to escape.

Do not reach toward it with your hand or place any part of your body within striking distance.

Call your veterinarian and ask for advice. A referral to a veterinary behaviour consultant may be wise to prevent an escalation of the problem and deterioration of the bond between you and your pet.

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