If you have a cat that keeps running away, it can be a scary and frustrating experience, even if they always come back. If you are looking for ways to prevent this, you’ve come to the right place. Here are several reasons that your cat might be running away and what you can do to stop it.
The 12 Reasons Why Your Cat Might Run Away
1. Fear or Anxiety
Cats are sensitive creatures, and certain situations can trigger fear or anxiety. Common triggers include loud noises from fireworks, thunderstorms, noisy vehicles, and music. Unfamiliar visitors can also upset your cat, as can environmental changes, like moving.
2. Territory Disputes
Cats are territorial animals, especially unneutered males, and encountering other cats in their territory can lead to them running away, especially if the other cats are much bigger or have been there longer.
3. Lack of Socialization
Cats that haven’t been properly socialized during their early development stages may feel uncomfortable around people, animals, or new experiences, making them more likely to want to flee, especially if you have a large family and other animals are in the house.
Cats need mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom. If they become bored, they often scratch up the furniture and misbehave, but they might seek adventure by running away.
5. Medical Issues
Cats in pain or discomfort may exhibit changes in behavior. Many cats will hide away when sick, and they might run away if there is nowhere to hide.
Unneutered cats, particularly males, may roam in search of a mate, and it’s one of the most common reasons that cats run away and return later. The strong instinct to reproduce can cause some cats to travel more than a mile to find a suitable partner.
7. Desire for Exploration
Cats are naturally curious animals and may want to explore their surroundings. If they find an open door or window, they may take the opportunity to run away without thinking about how they will get back.
8. Unfamiliar Environments
Moving to a new home or unfamiliar environment can be stressful for cats, leading them to run away in search of something familiar. In fact, if you only move across town, you might even find your cat at your old home.
9. Outdoor Dangers
The outdoors presents numerous dangers for cats, including traffic accidents, predators, and exposure to toxins. If your cat is suddenly startled by a barking dog or braking truck, they might take off running, quickly finding themselves far from home and too frightened to return.
10. Separation Anxiety
Cats can experience separation anxiety when they are alone for extended periods, and it can cause them to run away in search of their owners, or they may fear that you are not coming back and run off.
11. Previous Negative Experiences
If your cat has had negative or traumatic experiences outdoors, they may associate those with running away. Finding the trigger can also be difficult, as it can be a sound or smell that you can’t even detect.
12. Predatory Instincts
One common reason that cats run off is to chase other animals. They are instinctive hunters and will chase after almost any creature that crosses their path. If there is a flock of ducks or large groups of other small animals, your cat might spend considerable time stalking and hunting them.
While your cat may have run away for multiple reasons, if they returned, they were likely out looking for a mate or hunting an animal that caught their attention. Cats that leave due to anxiety, territorial disputes, or medical issues might not come back. The best way to keep your pet from running off is to get them spayed or neutered and to keep them in the house. If your cat likes to spend time outdoors, try screening the porch or using an outdoor cat house that can be closed. They may also enjoy watching birds at a feeder through a window while they relax on a cat perch.
Featured Image Credit: Zossia, Shutterstock
- 1 The 12 Reasons Why Your Cat Might Run Away
- 2 Conclusion