Last Updated on: October 8, 2020
It can be upsetting if your cat spends more time running away from you than sitting on your lap. As good cat parents, it’s up to us to work out why our cat is running away from us and if there’s anything we can do about it. We’ve listed common reasons that your cat might run away from you and what to do about it! While not every solution will work for every cat, we’re sure that you’ll find something to help.
1. Your house is noisier than normal
If you suddenly have many unfamiliar visitors, like for a kid’s birthday party or barbecue, then the volume levels in your house can skyrocket. For a sensitive cat unused to so much noise, this can all be too much. Your cat may decide to dash under the couch and hide or even run from the house. While they’ll usually return once the volume returns to normal, there are a few things you can do to ease the process.
Solution: Consider planning ahead. If you know you’ll be having a large gathering, use something like a Feliway Cat Diffuser, which uses feline pheromones to comfort and calm your cat. You can plug this in a few days before the volume is going to increase. On the day itself, dedicate one area of your house as a guest-free zone and allow your cat to stay in there with plenty of toys and food. You can use a calming collar and even calming treats to help your cat feel more relaxed.
2. Your cat wants to play
If your cat comes up to you with a playful look in their eyes and bats you with their paw before turning tail and running away, they’re trying to tell you they want to play! Some cats will want to play with you when you get home and they’ve been alone all day. Others have favorite times of day that they love to race around the house with a case of the zoomies!
3. Your cat wants to go hunt
Cats are born predators and have a strong instinct for hunting. If your cat runs out of the door at dusk and comes home to proudly present you with a dead mouse, you’ll know they’ve been off enjoying a hunting session.
4. Your cat is in heat
A female cat in heat will be compelled to go and find a mate, while an intact male cat will roam far and wide looking for those females!
5. They have territory issues
Cats in the wild have large home ranges where they won’t often run into other cats. For our domestic kitties, this isn’t possible, so in every neighborhood, there will be several cats whose territories overlap. If your cat is trying to claim territory from a more dominant cat or another cat has moved into your area and is trying to take some of your cat’s patch, you might find your cat wandering further away from home than normal.
6. You recently moved to a new house
Moving to a new house is a stressful time for cats, and you may find that it takes a long time for your cat to settle into your new home. They might decide that they want to go back and live in the old house! If your cat lives outdoors, then they will have spent a long time establishing and protecting their territory. This is something that they will naturally want to return to.
7. There are multi-pet issues
If you decided to add another cat or dog to your family, congratulations! However, this situation may cause your current cat to feel threatened and result in them running away from you. Make sure you manage the initial introductions between your new pets so everything goes smoothly.
If your cat came from a shelter or you took them in off the streets as a stray, then they may not be used to spending much time with nice humans. If your cat hasn’t yet learned the joys of toys, scratches, and cuddles, then they’re going to need time to come out of their shell.
9. Your cat got stuck
If your cat hasn’t returned from their usual neighborhood patrol, it might not be that they’ve run away but that they’re stuck somewhere. Cats are extremely curious animals. They can jump into an open courier van, investigate a shed for potential mice, or even wander through someone’s backyard and into their house.
10. You had a baby or other major event
Bringing a new baby home is a wonderful moment, but it can also be a time of stress for our sensitive feline friends. The major disruption to routine can cause your cat to feel unsettled and stressed. They might simply decide to head off and find somewhere more quiet to settle down for a day or two.
11. Your cat found a new home
This can be devastating if it happens to you, but it’s not unheard of. Sometimes a cat will pop into a neighbor’s house for some food and tickle and then come home. Other times, they can decide that they’d actually prefer to live with someone else.
Hopefully, our list of 11 reasons your cat is running away from you includes a familiar scenario. Only by taking the time to work out why your cat is running away can you take steps to stop it from happening. Sometimes those steps can be simple, and at other times, they can involve a few more steps, like deciding to transition your outdoor cat into becoming an indoor cat. Whichever it is, we can all agree that our cats are worth it!
If your cat is habitually running away from home, it might be a good idea to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss causes and solutions in more detail.
Featured Image: Roman Koval, Pexels
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.
- 1. Your house is noisier than normal
- 2. Your cat wants to play
- 3. Your cat wants to go hunt
- 4. Your cat is in heat
- 5. They have territory issues
- 6. You recently moved to a new house
- 7. There are multi-pet issues
- 8. Your cat needs better socialization
- 9. Your cat got stuck
- 10. You had a baby or other major event
- 11. Your cat found a new home