People say cats attack or bite for no reason. But there's always a reason. It's just up to us to figure out what it was so it doesn't happen again.
I know Reilly is very territorial and fearful. She's terrified when strangers are in her apartment. And, I learned today, given the opportunity, she'll attack in an attempt to make the intruder go away.
She and I have known each other for years. But even though I give her food and blink at her and say kind things in a friendly voice, I'm still an intruder to her. She's the perfect example of why we don't "rescue" feral kittens and bring them inside. She's a one-person cat and loves and trusts no one but her "mom." She and her mom adore each other. Her cat sitter would like to adore her, too, but she doesn't make that easy.
Over the years, we've come up with several workarounds, the latest one being putting her dishes and litter box in the foyer so I don't have to upset her by venturing too far into her apartment. But I still need to go into her kitchen, and that's where the attack occurred. It was my fault. I know I have to be constantly vigilant when I'm with her, and I let my guard down.
If you're going to be in the same home as a very fearful, aggressive cat, never let your guard down. Know where the cat is at every moment and be prepared to get out of her way if she heads in your direction. If she does confront you, try to stay still until she loses interest and leaves, or back away very slowly. I've waited out Reilly many times! Don't yell at the cat, spray water on her or do something noisy, like banging pots together. That will just make her even more frightened and even more likely to attack.
I've just written some articles about aggressive cats. But they don't say anything about sneak attacks. I'll have to add that. I will, as soon as my leg stops hurting!