Why do cats run away? 10 crazy reasons
Cats are often misunderstood creatures, but we think it’s time to set the record straight about why cats run away, and what you can do to keep them happy at home instead of making them skittish and afraid to be around you. Find out why cats run away, how you can keep them happy at home, and how you can make sure they never feel the need to run away again!
One of the main reasons cats run away is because they want to chase and catch something. They may run away if they feel like they’re missing a meal or if there’s some exciting activity in the area that they want to be a part of! If you have any kind of hunting equipment near your cat, make sure it isn’t enticing enough for them to try and chase it. One way to do this is to keep your cat’s environment as tranquil and peaceful as possible. This will help them stay homeinstead of running away in search of excitement.
2: Sudden Changes in Daily Routine
Some cats are wary of new environments and people. Moving to a new house or apartment, bringing home a new baby or even rearranging the furniture can cause stress in some cats. A cat may flee and hide if he feels threatened by these changes.
Making the transition to a new home as smooth as possible can help a cat adjust to his surroundings, according to “The Cat Owner’s Manual.”
Bring your cat along on visits to the house before you move in. Give him time to explore each room, smell every nook and cranny and get comfortable with the house. He will be less likely to run away if he’s already familiar with his new surroundings.
If you recently brought home a newborn baby, allow your cat time to get used to the infant before bringing him into the nursery.
Pet him frequently and give him treats so he associates the baby with good things, says veterinarian Karen Becker in her article “Why Cats Run Away: Stress and Fear.”
If your cat is afraid of the baby, keep him out of the nursery until he gets used to the smell of diaper cream, powder and other infant-related products throughout the rest of your house Quick changes in routine may cause stress for your cat as well.
Vacations, parties or even visits from family members will likely disrupt his normal daily habits. Do everything you can to maintain a consistent routine while keeping him comfortable and secure at all times during these transitions.
For example, if someone is visiting and will be spending most of their time in one room like the kitchen or living room, close off that area but leave open spaces where your cat’s litter box and bed are located.
3: Lack of Attention or Overtiredness
You’ve played with your kitty for hours and she’s still not tired.
Either she’s not getting enough attention or she’s just a little too excited from playtime, but if it’s bedtime, she might be a little too energetic. Try wrapping her up in a blanket after giving her lots of cuddles. This lets her know that it’s time for sleep, while also calming down those nerves. Don’t be surprised if she starts purring as soon as you cover her!
Cats often like to find somewhere quiet and dark when they go to sleep. Giving her a quiet space in your home may help her transition into slumber a little bit easier.
Just watch out for other pets if they’re also sharing your house because they may not appreciate it either! Cats like privacy, and even though your kitten might love sleeping on your lap or cuddling up next to you when she’s tired, she won’t really enjoy being crowded by another animal.
4: Carriers or Moving Places
Moving to a new house or apartment is one of the most common reasons cats run away.
Keep in mind that cats are creatures of habit, and any sudden change in their environment can cause undue stress. Try to keep your cat’s routine as consistent as possible during the moving process, including feeding times and play times.
And if you’re taking your cat with you on a plane or car trip, make sure she’s in a carrier and taken frequent breaks to stretch her legs and use her litter box.
If you’re moving into a new space with a cat who was there before you, it’s best not to release him into his territory right away. Instead, keep him in a separate room for the first day or two while he adjusts to the new smells and sounds around the house. Then introduce him slowly to the rest of his old home.
A fear of fireworks or gunshots can cause cats to run away in an attempt to seek safety. If you know there will be loud noises near your home, try keeping your cat inside with plenty of toys until the commotion has passed. If you have an outdoor cat, make sure he has a safe place to hide (such as an open shed or barn) so he can take shelter when necessary.
If your cat tends to run away when you’re trying to get him to come out of a hiding spot, try placing treats in the spot he’s hidden in and wait until he emerges on his own.
5: Changes in the Environment
When they’re kitty is nervous or stressed, they’ll often hide under furniture or in a closet, or try to find a place that feels safe.
Their stress may be directly caused by your changes, but it could also be something unrelated. Either way, reassure her that everything is fine by petting her and letting her know she has nothing to worry about. But don’t force her out of hiding until she shows signs of wanting to come out on her own.
Allow her some time to calm down. Then sit with her, speak softly, give lots of reassurance—and wait for an invitation. Most likely, she just needs a little more time to adapt. Be patient. Don’t pressure her into doing anything she doesn’t want to do.
You might even see small improvements right away; if not, expect her to take longer than normal before going outdoors again. The point is: With all of these adjustments, it helps to stay positive and work patiently through things—not giving up! Positive reinforcement goes a long way with animals who are experiencing anxiety.
6: Unfamiliar People or Animals
It’s common for a cat that’s never met new people or animals (or those it hasn’t seen in a long time) to be scared of them.
Cats are territorial, and they may perceive visitors as invading their home. If possible, have visitors meet your cat while she’s eating her favorite treat; that way she’ll associate positive experiences with these strangers. Make sure all guests respect your kitty by following proper pet-introduction etiquette:
Don’t reach down quickly or forcefully, because that can startle a nervous kitty.
Instead, extend an arm so she can sniff and move toward you at her own pace.
You should also keep pets separated until everyone has settled in—and don’t worry if kitty takes her time getting to know visitors. She’ll warm up eventually!
Vet appointments might feel scary if your cat is new or shy around strangers. One easy way to prepare her for a vet visit is to take her into your veterinarian’s office ahead of time, so she’ll become familiar with its location and smell, and maybe even get used to hanging out in her carrier.
Once she’s relaxed, bring her home and try leaving your carrier open; that way, she’ll have a safe space should she need it during future trips. As an added bonus, when you’re actually at the vet, having your kitty chill in her carrier means everyone will be able to focus on checking her health instead of worrying about whether she’ll come out on her own.
If your cat hisses or growls at visitors (or even at family members), then there may be some stranger danger lurking behind those piercing eyes.
7: Fear of Heights
If your cat is afraid of heights, provide him with an elevated space where he feels safe, such as a tall cat tree or shelf. If that doesn’t work, try placing cat steps along door frames and windowsills so your feline friend can walk up and down safely.
There are also commercial sprays on market that help ease fears of heights. While it’s not guaranteed, some veterinarians say these can be effective in treating an extreme fear of heights. Some even recommend using baby gates to keep your pet from entering areas where he might be spooked by height.
No matter how you remedy his problem, know that being around other confident cats will go a long way towards calming his fears. Never punish your cat for having phobias or anxiety – such reactions just lead to more stress and confusion for your beloved kitty! The goal should always be encouraging their mental well-being through positive reinforcement training and simple patience.
8: Fear of Needles or Doctors
Fear of a needle, no matter how small, is extremely common in cats and most are afraid of veterinarians too. This fear could stem from something as simple as a trip to their local vet for a routine vaccination or some form of treatment.
And because of it, when something does go wrong with your cat (an injury or illness) and they need medical attention, it’s highly likely that your cat will try to escape. The best thing you can do if you want to help minimize or remove any phobias associated with needles, doctors or hospitals is give your cat all necessary vaccinations and treatments early on,
before they have time to develop an aversion against it. Also opt for friendly vets who employ positive reinforcement techniques like giving treats so that whenever your pet needs an injection down the line, there won’t be any stress attached to it.
9 : Fighting With Feline Companions
Cats are incredibly territorial animals and have a tendency to fight other animals that try and invade their space, including our own.
As adorable as they may be, felines are still an animal, and should be treated as such. When cats fight with their human companions, especially over food or resources like space or catnip toys, it’s best not to take it personally. This kind of behavior stems from instincts of self-preservation.
If your pet begins exhibiting aggressive behavior towards you or another pet in your household, it might be time for a vet visit. Spaying or neutering is a good place to start when your kitty isn’t feeling so friendly. Sometimes even bringing in reinforcements (like another one of your pets) will help smooth things out between two warring feline friends.
Some animal experts also recommend curbing rough play with kittens during kittenhood because some kittens develop more submissive personalities than others and don’t always enjoy roughhousing later on. All animals need daily attention and exercise.
Forcing our pets into begging mode does nothing but encourage negative behaviors. Feeding treats, playing games, giving affection; these all encourage positive behavior in your furry friend! And if you really want to go out of your way for extra love– why not get in there for some belly rubs too? Just keep those nails trimmed if he decides to jump up!
10 : New Baby In The House
If your family is expecting a new addition, it’s important to prepare your cat.
Telling her she’s going to have a little human brother or sister will let her know in advance what will be happening, and help her get used to all those new smells that might come with baby.
It also helps to place an item of clothing from mom on dad so kitty gets used to daddy being around more, as well as becoming accustomed to being touched more often by other humans besides mom. It also helps for older children in the house (like nieces and nephews) who may become closer with kitty during all of these changes, because they aren’t seen as strangers – just someone else mom trusts!
Make sure there are lots of high places for kitty to climb, too. She’ll feel safer when she has options to jump up if stressed out during any part of these transitions.
To help with feeling less stressed, turn off all lighting and sound at night. You’ll want all those noises to be turned back on by daybreak, so use a timer if necessary. The new lights and sounds may seem scary or stressful to kitty when they first happen during evening hours.
frequently asked questions
Where do cats go to get away from other cats?
Sometimes cats will go to a secluded place outside of the home, such as a tree or rock. Other times they may just retreat to an area near their food and water dish where no other cats are likely to be found.
How to catch my new cat if it runs away?
If your cat runs away, try to find it as soon as possible and do not force the issue by chasing or trying to catch the cat. If you follow these simple tips, your cat will likely come back on its own. Make sure you have a treat (or some milk) waiting for them when they do!
How do I house train my new cat?
The best way to teach your cat how to use the litter box is by providing clean, fresh water and litter in one area of the home where they can reach it easily. You can also start training them at a young age by rewarding them when they go in the bathroom alone or use appropriate amounts of kitty litter.
Will an indoor/outdoor cat run away if you get a dog?
There is no guarantee that an indoor/outdoor cat will run away if you get a dog, but it is definitely something to consider. If your cat is comfortable with other animals in the home and you have a secure fence around the property, there’s less of a chance that they’ll be scared off by another pet.
How do I get my cat to stop eating dust and anything else off a rug?
Cats are naturally drawn to dirt, so you might need to try different approaches before convincing your cat not to snack on dust and other allergens off of rugs. For example, put down a piece of paper or cardboard instead of the rug when it’s time for snacks, or offer foods that are less messy (like wet food) instead of crunchy things.
You can see it in their eyes; you know in your heart that they want to stay, and you feel their happiness when they do.
But for some reason, not all cats are as happy about staying home alone as dogs are. If your feline does start expressing feelings of uneasiness or even anxiety when left at home alone, there are a number of steps you can take to help keep them calm and feeling secure.
The good news is, cats do get used to being alone with time and patience. The better news is, you’re going to learn how to bring that comfort and security into their lives.
By the way, you can tell us about mentioning more tips in this article to prevent cats running away,in the comments down below?