I see Nora in the distance and as I’m approaching her, she’s moving farther. Why does my cat run away from me? What the hell is happening?
It was one of those gloomy nights in the woods and staying inside the cabin was the best choice. That’s what I’d do if Nora didn’t disappear. I went out to look for her and after some time I saw her. She looked me straight in the eyes and kept running.
I tried to call her, but she didn’t care. Her little paws were taking her into one of those dark parts of the woods. Suddenly, I heard a loud bang. Where is Nora? What happened? Is she safe?
Calling her name didn’t help, so I started running towards the place where I saw her for the last time. I entered a cave that was at the end of the road, and in the distance, I could see a dark shadow holding something above my helpless Nora.
For some time, I couldn’t talk at all and my legs were paralyzed. I didn’t know what to do. Then I heard a very powerful “NO!”. I looked around, but there was nobody, just me. The shadow was looking in my direction, so I guess I was the one who screamed.
That monster took Nora and started walking towards me while waving the strange object in the other hand. I don’t know if I was more worried about Nora’s or my life…
Thank God, I woke up before something else happened. It was difficult to breathe, and I was sweating like crazy, but as soon as Nora jumped on my bed, I calmed down. But, why on Earth did she run away from me?
Why Does My Cat Run Away From Me?
There were a couple of things that I thought of that could explain Nora’s behavior. Of course, I’m going to share them with you in case the same question is bothering you. So, why does my cat run away from me? Are you ready to find out all the possible reasons why she’s behaving that way?
I know that kitties sometimes be mischievous and that they do random things. But, the explanation is far more complex than that. That little devil may do a lot of things out of curiosity, but this one is not really on the list. Exploring will definitely take her far, but there are other reasons why she’ll run away.
1. She’s stressed
The first thing on the list had to be stress. A lot of things can influence your furbaby’s behavior and mental state. It can be something as minor as moving her food bowl or bringing home a new plant. I don’t have to talk about new pets or family members…
If your fluff is stressed, she’ll definitely want to be left alone and that’s the reason why she may be running away from you. Try to remove any stressors from her surroundings, because that may help her to relax and trust you more.
2. She’s in heat
Is that time of the year again? No, not Christmas, but the mating cat season. It is? Oh well, that may be the reason why your cat is running away from you. Don’t take it personally, she just isn’t in the mood to spend time with you. Mr. Tom down the road is more interesting.
Mature cats, if they’re not neutered or spayed, may run away in search of their potential partner. If you took care of this before they reached puberty, some male cats may show signs of aggression, but those are extremely rare occasions.
3. She’s being playful
One of the main pastimes for your fluff, besides sleeping, is her playtime. Think about this as childish behavior – when you want to play with a kid, he or she starts running away, so you can chase them. Kitties are the same.
If you’re wondering “Why does my cat run away from me?”, maybe she wants to play with you and this is her way of inviting you. You better find some toys and get in the mood for a long playtime. I’m sure both of you’ll enjoy it.
4. She’s afraid
It can easily happen that you scared her somehow. Perhaps your clumsy self dropped a glass in the kitchen or some cutlery, and you know how loud noise affects her, right? Because of that, she may think that you’ll do it again, and she doesn’t want to be present.
Just give her some time to calm down, and try to provide her with some treats. She’ll relax faster and maybe even approach you sooner than expected. If you think that your guests may scare her because they are foreigners, rather keep her in the other room while they’re visiting.
5. She’s practicing her hunting skills
Well, well, well, isn’t that your little hunter over there? Even though you’re serving her already prepared meals, and she doesn’t have to chase it all around your living room, she still has to practice her hunting skills.
Her ancestors conquered the wilderness and even though she can’t fully follow their lead and live the life they did, nobody can tell her that she can’t try.
6. She’s afraid of the dominant cat
It’s really important that you introduce cats the right way if you’re planning on adopting a new fluff. The dominant cat (the resident cat most of the time) can sometimes be terrifying to a newcomer. Therefore, the new feline will run away from you if your “old” cat is close to you.
She’s not avoiding you, but she simply doesn’t want to get in trouble. So, the question “Why does my cat run away from me?”, has a bit of a different answer in a multi-cat household. It’s not you, it’s your resident cat.
7. She’s sick or injured
This is possibly the most concerning reason why your cat is running away from you. Felines usually want to be left alone when they’re sick or injured. When she’s hurting, she’ll try to help herself. Our felines are highly independent creatures, no matter how much we want to be their parents.
If you suspect that your fluff may have some problems, monitor her behavior and try to figure out whether she goes away from you when you touch a specific spot, or if she’s agitated and her appetite changed drastically.
As soon as you notice something suspicious, contact your vet and ask for advice. He or she will help you the best way they can and at least soothe your worries.
8. She’s “charged”
This is something fascinating. Some cats get “charged”, meaning they experience those small electrical shocks whenever you touch them. Long-haired felines, like Maine Coon, Balinese, Norwegian Forest cats, or Persian, have more problems with static electricity.
For that reason, longer petting may make them feel uncomfortable, and it may hurt her immensely. Your cat will definitely run away from you. I mean, you wouldn’t like to get those shocks from everything you touch either, right?
It’s possible that she tried to warn you, but you didn’t read the signs properly, so the only solution she has right now is to avoid you. It’s not the best one, but it’s surely the first one she thought of.
9. She’s about to give birth
When our little fluffs grow up and do the adult things, it’s normal that after some time we’re expecting kittens. In the last period, before she actually gives birth, your fluff will do something called nesting. Yes, cats do that too, it’s not the term reserved only for birds.
She’s going to collect her cozy things, pick up some pillows and hide all of it in one corner of your house where she feels the safest (most probably her hiding spot). Then, when the time comes, your feline will run away from you.
When they are going through this painful, but beautiful process, they’ll want to be left alone. Therefore, don’t be too worried if your pregnant cat starts running away from you.
10. She wants to be alone
It’s a basic human need to have some me time, right? Well, your feline sometimes needs it too! Perhaps you were petting her too much, or you’ve spent a lot of time playing, so she needs some time alone to get back in the mood.
If you were picking her up or cuddling with her when she clearly showed signs that she doesn’t want that, she may think you’ll do it all over again. That’s why your cat will run away from you. Chill out, human, not all felines are extroverts.
11. She has been mistreated or neglected before
Unfortunately, animals also go through abuse. If your cat is running away from you, maybe you did nothing wrong. These fluffs are extremely sensitive creatures, and some people can be cruel while they’re trying to “train” their felines.
Perhaps your cat’s previous owner was trying to control her by raising his or her voice, or spraying her with water, so she wouldn’t destroy the new sofa after the old one has been replaced.
Your fluff needs time to understand that you’re just cleaning your windows and that you won’t spray that liquid in her face, or that you curse loudly when you hit your pinky toe. She may also show signs of aggression if you try to approach her.
Don’t blame her, rather think of her state as PTSD in humans, and be gentle with her. Try to calm her down and only pet her, or get closer to her if she allows that.
12. She doesn’t trust you enough
It even hurts me to write this on the list, but the truth needs to be told, no matter how painful. If you just adopted her, it takes time for both of you to build trust and strengthen your bond. Take it easy and don’t force her to do things she doesn’t want to.
With time, you’ll get used to each other. In the beginning, it would be best if you tried to approach her carefully. Your cat may run away from you a couple of times before she finally lets you pet her. Once she does, try to strengthen your relationship and be patient.
13. She doesn’t like to be touched
Believe it or not, there are some cat breeds that are not so much into cuddling. We’re talking about Korat, Cymric, American Wirehair, and Singapura which are known as the least affectionate breeds. This doesn’t mean that they don’t like petting, but there’s a little catch.
These cat breeds are going to run away if you’ve produced a loud noise, pick them up too often, or if you introduce them to strangers. Some are not as good with children either, because kids can be touchy sometimes, and they don’t understand the cat saying “No.”
The most important thing for kittens is to spend some time with their mom after they are born. Also, being in a household with an adult cat can greatly help your fluff. But, if she didn’t socialize enough when she was little, she may run away from you occasionally.
Honestly, it doesn’t have to be poor socialization only with cats. If she didn’t spend some time with people, your cat may run away from you because she’s scared. How can she be sure you’re not the evil predator she heard so many stories about?
15. She thinks you’re taking her to the vet
Some felines are afraid of vets and regular checkups, but that’s not news, right? Your cat may be running away from you because she thinks you’re taking her to the vet. Some of these trips apparently weren’t as pleasant, so she’s not particularly happy to pay him a visit.
16. She found a second home
This is one of those truths that hurt – if your cat is running away from you, she may have found another home. Perhaps your neighbor is a bit friendlier or serves her favorite treats daily. It’s also possible that she met Mr. Tom, and she wants to spend time with him.
So the next time before you act confused and ask yourself “Why does my cat run away from me?”, think about the possible reasons she could flee. Step up your game and keep your fluff in your garden.
17. She heard a loud noise
Are your slippers making a squeaky sound when you’re walking? If your cat heard that, especially if she didn’t see it coming, she’ll run away from you. Felines, in general, don’t like loud and sudden noises. Do you like to pop bubble wraps? Forget about it, because your cat absolutely hates that sound.
It could also happen that you were so excited to see her, right after you came back home from a long vacation. You know how we behave in those moments, right? Squealing and rushing toward her to give her a big hug will definitely make your cat run away.
How can I stop my cat from running away from me?
Now that you’ve got all the possible answers to the question, “Why does my cat run away from me?”, it’s time to figure out how you can prevent that. It’s not going to be a piece of cake, you’ll need a bucket-load of patience and love, but I’m sure you can do it.
1. Build trust
You have to be aware that, as well as in relationships with people, trust is essential here, too. Try to gain her trust slowly. Approach her only when you feel like she’s approving it. Don’t force her to do anything, and most of all, don’t force her to spend time with you.
Wait until she’s in the mood to play, then pick out her favorite toy and get closer to her. Learn to read her body language and act accordingly. Avoid touching her when she’s eating, sleeping, or using her litter box – your cat may run away from you!
2. Give her space when she needs it
If your fluff is asking to be left alone, give her space when she needs it – as simple as that. It would be extremely beneficial if your fluff has her own safe space in your home. That way, whenever your cat runs away from you, you’ll know where she is.
3. Give her treats
This is one of the best (and the easiest) things that you can do in order to gain your kitty’s trust and help her feel more confident. When you’re trying to teach her something, always use positive reinforcement and give her treats when she does the tick right.
You can also have a little catnip to lure her to come closer to you, but with time, things should be good between the two of you.
4. Stop petting her when you notice the warning signs
I’ve already mentioned that it would be nice if you could learn your feline’s body language. That way, you’ll be able to prevent overstimulation and your cat won’t rudely run away from you. As soon as you notice that her ears are flattened and pointing backward – something’s wrong.
Your fluff is either scared or annoyed. Watch for other signs like tail twitching, wider eyes, or light scratching. If you continue to pet her even though she clearly tried to tell you that you should stop, she’ll think of you as someone who she can’t trust.
Therefore, before you ask the question “Why does my cat run away from me?” one more time, try to recall if you ignored her body language. Perhaps she was warning you that you’re crossing the border.
5. Modify her environment
Yes, I’m talking about scratching posts, a cat tree like this one, different toys, a couple of littler boxes, and food bowls. When you give her the environment she needs and wants, your cat is definitely not running away from you. She’ll doubtlessly want to stay and try out all that special equipment you’ve got for her.
Make sure she gets the right treatment, and I can guarantee you that after some time, she’ll approach you with a toy in her mouth and ask you to play with her.
6. Properly introduce your felines
I don’t know if you’re familiar with the whole process of introducing new cats in the household, but there is a right way to do it and the wrong way, of course. The latter probably brought you here, but it’s never too late to fix things.
Separate the cats for some time and that will prevent both of them from running away, which is our first goal. As time goes by, slowly (re)introduce them and follow the etiquette of the cat’s first meeting. (I’m not joking, even though it may sound like that.)
If you do the whole process right, your fluffs will enjoy each other’s company, and you’ll be living in the catland of your dreams. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?!
You have to keep one thing in mind when it comes to your feline – she’s the queen and deserves royal treatment. If some of her needs aren’t fulfilled, she won’t hesitate before she leaves, I can promise you that.
Cats can’t talk with us, but they surely can vocalize their needs, and their body language tells us almost everything we need to know. Therefore, it would be really useful to learn what it means when her ears are flat, her tail stiff, or her pupils dilated.
Not only knowing this will save you from excessive scratching marks and biting traces all over your hands and legs, but it will also help you to build a stronger connection with your feline.
So, the next time someone asks you as an experienced pet owner, “Why does my cat run away from me?” I hope you’ll have all the answers ready. Good luck!