Why does my cat run away from me?

If there is one thing that cat owners desperately want is their cat’s love and attention. We want to scoop the furry creatures and just cuddle with them. Our cats, on the other hand, have other ideas and our major struggle is getting our hands on them. The second they sense any hint of affection off of us they run away after the speed of light and our aching hearts are left wondering why? Do they not love us? Are we not good enough for them? Will we always be destined to love them from a distance?

Cats are complex beings and we can never fully understand why they do what they do.  After a lot of careful observation, we have come to a few conclusions about some of their behavior. So to answer the question “why does my cat run away from me” we need to look at their attitude as a whole.

It might be a game for your cat

How to deal with runaway cats

If your cat sneaks up on you and out of nowhere touches, taps, or even whacks you with their paw and runs off before you can react, they’re probably enticing you to a game of catching me if you can. They’ll expect you to follow them around the house and they run around trying to get away from you.  Since it’s a game for them they’ll also attempt to hide (even though they’ll be obvious in their hiding places) and will watch you intently to figure out your next move. And to get away from you, they’ll slide and skid around until they eventually get tired or bored of the game. Sometimes if they’re really tired, they’ll be more open to a pet or rub. But they can also just swish their tale and walk off.

However, it’s a whole different case if your cat runs away from you every time you try to approach them. You’ll notice that even if you make your way in their general direction and they’ll scurry off which might be upsetting for you and understandably so.

But don’t worry. This isn’t a result of you being a bad cat parent or of your cat-hating you. It can easily be drawn down to their training. Yes, cats can also be trained and it isn’t as hard as it sounds!

Your cat just doesn’t like it

Why Do Cats Run Away from Me? Does My Cat Hate Me? (Advice for ...

Cats also have likes and dislikes. And sometimes your cat simply doesn’t like to be petted or picked up. To be very honest, sometimes we know our cats don’t like it but we can’t resist and we end up picking them up and coddling them or just force them to endure a petting session. So your cat ends up on alert every time they feel you might be making your way towards them (even if you’re walking by).

Natural hunter instinct kicking in

By way of genetic heritage, cats are natural-born hunters. Even if they’re domesticated and indoor cats, the instinct to hunt remains. And so your cat’s instinct is one to hunt and two to protect themselves. So even if you aren’t a threat to them and even if they have nothing against you, it’s just their knee-jerk reaction.

A territorial matter

Why Does My Cat Always Run Away From Me | Traveling With Your Cat

If there is one thing cat owners know all too well is that cats are territorial. They have different ways of showing it, the most annoying being urinating in different parts of the house. So if your cat has claimed a spot in your house that it likes and you enter into their territory they might as though you’re invading their personal space and may run away as a result.

Lifestyle changes

Sometimes a change in a cat owner’s lifestyle may also affect the way their cats react to them. Let’s put things in perspective, you have a new baby come into your home. Between a lot of guests coming and going, your cat might not feel safe amongst so many people and thus might run away irrespective of its owner approaching them because they might get confused or overwhelmed.  Similarly, with all the attention on the baby, your cat might start to feel neglected. Cats love attention and if they feel they aren’t getting enough it might cause them to act out.

Poor socialization

Why Does My Cat Keep Running Away From Me?

Sometimes cats run away from their owners as a result of poor socialization when they were first bought in. If the owner didn’t introduce themselves when the feline first came home it means they never got comfortable with the humans and thus aren’t used to or familiar with them causing them to run away.

Trust issues

Cats remember the last time you may have unintentionally caused them harm. From accidentally stepping on them or a traumatic trip to the vet, they don’t forget. As a result, they might find it hard to trust you and so they run away every time you approach. This is especially heartbreaking for the owner because we never mean to cause them harm. But the good news is that this can be worked on and you can regain their trust.

Can I stop my cat from running away from me?

The good news is yes. You can train your cat to start trusting you and not running away every time you come near and this is how you can do it.

Teach it to be okay with you being near it:

This is the first step. You need to condition your cat to be okay with your presence and you have to do so without touching it to prove to it that you won’t annoy them when you’re around.  You’ll have to manage this task when they’re distracted. For example, when you give them their dinner, and once they start eating just stand near or sit near them doing nothing.

Anxious Cats | International Cat Care

Repeat this process every time you feed them. You can also entice them with snacks. Keep their favorite snack in handy and when they’re around, keep the snack near you and don’t touch them. Similarly, when they’re napping go and sit near them but don’t bother them. They’ll probably open their eyes and look at you, but so long as you’re staying still and not bothering them they’ll go back to sleep. Continue to do this until your cat starts letting you close without running away. And once you’ve gotten their trust, the next step is to slowly make your way towards them when they aren’t distracted. Walk up to them when they’re simply lounging around, stand near them for a bit and walk off. Soon your cat will be more open to your presence and won’t run away.

Other ways to gain their trust come after you manage the first step. These include:

  • Going up to your cat and offering your hand to sniff and gauging their reaction
  • Stroking your cat gently after you offer them food
  • Offer them treats and encourage them to eat the treats from your hand

Follow these steps and you‘ll find that your cat will start accepting your love! Just be sure not to overdo it!

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