Was it Something I Said? Why Your Cat Runs Away

cat running away

Was that a bird? Or a plane? Or just your cat flying across your living room? Cats have a habit of being stealthy and nimble, but it can feel pretty yucky when your cat runs away every time you approach. 

Is it Fear?

Just like humans, it is only natural that your cat would want to run from something scary or unpleasant.  Cats may dart away if something is frightening or surprising, such as a loud voice or quick, unexpected movements.

When a cat runs away from you consistently, they may also be associating you with something unpleasant. If every time you catch your kitty you are medicating, bathing, picking them up, or doing anything else your cat does not like, it is only natural for them to try to escape.        

Play Behavior

Cats are pretty playful critters, and sometimes running away may be a sign of engaging play. Your cat is most likely to be playing if they:

  • Only run away sometimes
  • Run away then come back to see your reaction
  • Have playful body language such as a crooked tail, sideways stance, and erect, pushed-forward whiskers
  • Are incorporating attack behavior into the retreat

When Your Cat Runs Away All the Time

While there may be some very good reasons your cat runs away from you, most of us would prefer that our feline friends be, well, friendly. Is it possible to teach your cat not to run away from you? While cats are going to be cats to a certain extent, King’s Trail Animal Hospital does have some helpful hints to help teach your pet that they need not run away from you:

  • Think like a cat – Cats don’t typically like anything loud or fast. When your cat is around, take heed to speak softly and move smoothly and deliberately to avoid startling him or her. Doing this will help your cat to become more accustomed to you and build confidence. 
  • Make a positive association – Sometimes we must do things like brush or medicate our cats that they do not like. Be sure that you are creating lots of positive interactions when you approach, though, to remind them that you are not all bad. Offer a snuggle if your cat likes that or a special toy or treat sometimes to balance the unpleasant interactions.
  • Be patient – Don’t push things too quickly. If your cat is very nervous about you approaching, you may have to settle for merely getting within a few feet and stopping. As your cat learns to tolerate your presence more, you will be able to get closer. Don’t try to touch until kitty is consistently okay with you being within petting range.
  • Satisfy the urge to play – It can be hard to fulfill your cat’s need for playtime, but unless you do, your cat is likely to try to engage you in chasing behavior a lot more. Provide structured play time every day, but also be sure to give your kitty plenty of outlets to engage in themselves. Ball and track toys, spring toys, and kicking stands are great tools for cats to play on their own when the urge arises. 

If your cat runs away from you, it is likely that you aren’t doing anything wrong. Rather, you likely just need a better understanding of feline behavior so that you and your cat can better enjoy each other’s company. Most cats can learn that a human approaching them isn’t a bad thing. You may even get a snuggly buddy out of the deal.
If your cat is having sudden behavioral changes and hiding more than normal, it is time to come see us at King’s Trail Animal Hospital to be sure that there are no medical reasons for the new behavior.

All About Cat Hairballs

cat grooming itself

Of the many topics you probably shouldn’t bring up at a dinner party, cat hairballs rank pretty high on the list. Without a doubt, few conversations could bomb worse than discussing cat vomit. 

But that doesn’t mean cat hairballs aren’t interesting. Sure, they can be a bit unappetizing and certainly inconvenient at times, but it’s worth knowing why cats regurgitate “balls” of fur, and what it can mean when hacking them up becomes a regular occurrence. 

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Listen Up… What Are Those Cat Tails Trying to Tell You?

cat on bed

People communicate non-verbally all the time, but it’s rare for us to consciously calculate what all those shrugs, tics, eye movements, and postures mean. Add various levels of verbal communications to the mix and there’s no end to the possible misunderstandings that potentially arise between us. 

What if things could be simplified by a single part of the body? Taking inspiration from fluffy feline tails, for instance, we can learn so much about what’s really going on. Indeed, cat tails tell stories about how felines feel, what they need, and how we can impact their moods. 

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Beyond Homelessness: Why Spaying or Neutering Your Pet is Essential

spay neuter jacksonville

Unless you are eventually planning on or actively breeding your pet, their reproductive organs can get them into trouble. An unplanned pregnancy has its own set of potential health complications/risks, and can contribute to pet overpopulation.

Spaying or neutering your pet obviously affects the population of animals in our communities, but the reasons to pursue this procedure go beyond the numbers.

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Feats of Strength: Tips for Getting Your Cat Into the Carrier

Getting your cat in the carrier is one of the hardest parts of cat health

There are few endeavors more risky or exasperating than convincing a cat that it’s time for their yearly physical examination. Don’t even try to bait them with a routine vaccination or blood draw. They won’t fall for it! How about enticing them with a possible encounter with a dog? Nope! While you could douse your car with water from a hundred tuna fish cans, there are better tactics for getting your cat into the carrier.

It may take some time, endurance, and determination to get your cat into the carrier, and ultimately to the veterinarian, but the payoff is simply gigantic.

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