Why Is My Cat Freaking Out For No Reason

Why Is My Cat Freaking Out For No Reason? [ Behavior Explained! ]

In most cases, your cat is not freaking out for no reason. Let’s try and understand the signs we should take care of, the signs which we know will pass by, and get an overall understanding of our cat anxiety behavior.

Cats display fright when they experience or expect danger from certain situations. It can be also that your kitty could be freaking out because she’s in pain or poor health. Then, she’d display anxiety. For cat owners that are deeply bonded to their pet, separation anxiety is another possible reason your cat is freaking out. Cats with OCD(Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) also freak out whenever they experience anxiety.

Further Reading: “My Cat Peed On Me! What Does It Mean?

Traumatized Cat Symptoms

An anxious kitty will display telling behaviors. We know our pet is scared when it darts away and hides. Some cause a fuss and leave things destroyed in their wake. They would sometimes meow loudly. But your cat doesn’t have to be in danger before all these happen. Anxiety is an anticipatory reaction. So, your kitty expects trouble and reacts to it.

As a new pet owner, you will notice the first signs of anxiety in the first year. Experiences in the first year of life lead to these fears and phobias. They typically manifest around the 5th month to the 1st year of life. What’s worse? They don’t get better with time. It’s not surprising to see some cats develop new phobias between 1-3 years old. This is another reason you should watch out for anxiety. Get it nipped in the bud and you have a kitty that is amazing to be with.

When a cat is mildly traumatized, she may avoid eye contact or shift away from you. You will notice that her tail is close to the body or is flicking slightly. Your pet’s eyes will widen halfway in fright too. The pupil dilation increases with the severity of anxiety. With moderate traumatization comes a visible increase in breathing rate. They may crouch and lean away. Some look fixated on the source of danger while holding their tail tight against their body. A very scared pet will freeze in place or escape. The eyes are at their widest in this case. They can display some aggression and you’ll notice their hairs standing straight.

I summarized the most common signs in the table below:

Mild SignsModerate SignsSevere Signs
Holding the tail close to their bodyYour cat's ears are moving partially to the sideTrying to escape or completely freezed
Shifting the body & the head awayincreased dilation of the pupilsFully dilated pupils
Your cat will avoid eye contact with youIncreased respiratory rateHolding the ears back.
Slight tail flickingcrunching and leaning awayAggressive

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Why Is My Cat Scared For No Reason?

A common cause of anxiety in pets is separation anxiety. They display this when they’re left home alone or when you’re out of sight. Cats that have been passed from owner to owner show the symptoms more often. The same goes for those that have been abandoned before.

Is there a new baby at home? Have you recently changed homes? Do you have new furniture or moved some around? How about a new pet. These are possible reasons why your cat is freaking out. Older cats experiencing joint pain will show anxiety. Their aging brains can lead to dementia and other memory problems, causing anxiety. A previous traumatic experience can trigger anxiety in your pet.

OCD in cats manifests as repetitive and exaggerated behaviors. Experts don’t know why this happens but it’s classified as a mental illness. Stress is one possible reason. Symptoms of anxiety are present in OCD. As a pet owner, be careful not to reinforce these behaviors. Giving them attention in these situations can enable the behavior. Siamese breeds and other Asian breeds show a tendency for these behaviors.

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Is there a new baby at home? Have you recently changed homes? Do you have new furniture or moved some around? How about a new pet. These are possible reasons why your cat is freaking out. Older cats experiencing joint pain will show anxiety. Their aging brains can lead to dementia and other memory problems, causing anxiety. A previous traumatic experience can trigger anxiety in your pet.

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Why Is My Cat Freaking Out For No Reason

Why Does My Cat Attack Me For No Reason?

It’s never exciting when your kitty lunges at you with its claws. Or when they decide to go for your flesh with their fangs. It’s even more distressing when you can’t tell why. Things did appear to be fine one moment and they went south in the blink of an eye. All you know is you have an injury to care for and your pet has disappeared. Your cat didn’t attack you for no reason and it’s your job to learn why. It all boils down to understanding your kitty and what makes it tick.

What if your pet is being playful? Sure, you’re not expecting playtime to be injury time. But then, it so happens that your cat is having a good time hurting you. Experts say that play aggression is the most common kind of aggression cats display. Cats learn to balance this kind of rough play through interaction with other cats. Hence, kittens and young cats that were orphaned or weaned too early can show this behavior. Get your kitty enough toys to play with. Take part in their playtime often too.

Is your cat freaking out? Sometimes they turn this to aggression. There’s probably a new pet around. A visitor came calling. You turned on the vacuum cleaner. Whichever case, learn these situations and isolate them from the situations.

Experts say that play aggression is the most common kind of aggression cats display. Cats learn to balance this kind of rough play through interaction with other cats. Hence, kittens and young cats that were orphaned or weaned too early can show this behavior. Get your kitty enough toys to play with. Take part in their playtime often too.

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Do Cats Know When They Hurt You?

When felines hurt you, do they have any idea? Most likely not. To them, they think it’s playtime as usual. Hence, you have to show them that you’ve been hurt. Don’t hesitate to do this because they’re more intelligent than we think. One way to achieve this is to show them the wound. While it is hurting you, you can let out a loud noise and frown at it. Before long, they’ll learn to associate this action with your displeasure. Don’t be surprised if your cat approaches you, purr, and rub against you after. That’s one way to tell you that it is sorry it caused you pain.

Further Reading: “Are Tabby Cats Good Mousers?

Final Thoughts

Is your cat freaking out? Are you finding it hard to know why? Then, you have some work to do. Your cat is freaking out because it has sensed some trouble and has decided to react to it. With the knowledge of traumatized and anxiety cat symptoms we talked about, you will know when your cat is in trouble so you can help him.

Try to soothe your pet. Carry it and pat its fur while whispering reassuring words. This doesn’t reinforce the frightful behavior in any way. That only happens in OCD. Do not punish your pet for freaking out. This is one way to get your cat freaking out further. Confining them won’t work either. Not all pets calm down when they’re locked up or isolated. Visit a vet for further evaluation and treatment of your pet’s anxiety.

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