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What To Do When My Cat Runs Away From Me: Explanations And Solutions.

Occasionally, when you try to approach your beloved cat, it might avoid you and move further away from you. Owning a cat means you have at least once come across this situation. You might wonder what you have done wrong to make your cat become afraid of you like that. I have also encountered the same problem: my cat runs away from me even though I’m only trying to display affection to him. What gives?

This is no doubt a known behavior in the cat world. Not only do they have the tendency to run away from owners, but they also run away from home if you‘re not careful. So what are some reasonable explanations to this cold attitude toward us?

Cat running away from owner/human

If you ever bump into a stray cat on the street, they’re usually very hard to approach. The cat would try to run away as soon as they see you coming toward them. It’s because they do not trust you, and perceive that you might hurt them. That’s because strays tend to have negative experiences with humans.
cat runs away
Feral cats tend to run away because they don't trust humans
If it’s your own cat who keeps running away from you, it means that you don’t have their full trust. “But my cat loves me.”, you may argue. Well, even if a cat knows and loves you, they might still run when they are uncertain about what kind of action you might give them.
This might happen when a cat gets tired of your affection. For instance, they don’t like being picked up, being carried everywhere, or being forced into kisses. You think you’re telling your cat you love them to death, but they might not speak the same language. They will see the pattern, get annoyed and learn to avoid those situations by running away.
Sometimes cats are just tired of your affection
Think of it this way: you love your family and they love you back as well. But if, for example, they want to kiss you all the time and you don’t like it, then you’ll learn to avoid them.
Therefore, when you try to pressure your love onto cats by annoying them, they don’t trust you with that kind of affection anymore.

Cat running away from home

There are countless cases of people reporting that their cat has run away from home and gone missing. This is terrifyingly common, making cat owners worry constantly that one day their fur baby would leave home and never return. Cats keep running outside whenever you’re not paying attention to them and left the door open by accident.
cat runs away from me
Cats have a tendency of suddenly running away
There are many explanations to why a cat may suddenly have the urge to run away from home:

Cat Run Away Because Of Territorial Drive

Felines are notorious for being territorial – no wonder people call lions and tigers the kings of the safari/jungle. Domestic cats are no different – they have a very high sense of territory and ownership.

cat runs away to fight for territory
Cats might run away from home to fight for territorial posession
Once they discover that their territory has been intruded by strangers, they will either run away from fear or scare off the trespasser themselves. This can explain why feral cat runs away from me when I try to get close to them. On the other hand, your cat can detect other cats invading their turf, and will run out from the house to fight for territory.
In addition, if you and your cat just move to a new place, this behavior can arise as well. The cat will take a while to become familiar with the new environment. But during the first week or two, they will automatically assume that they must go back and find the old home.

Cat Run Away Because Of Nature Calls

If your cat is not neutered, there is a high chance that it will run away from home in order to find a reproductive mate. They can easily notice if there are other cats around who are in heat as well.
cat running away
Cat might be running away from home because of their natural instincts
The hunting instinct can also be a factor that drives your cat outside from home. Cats are natural hunters, and they will try every way to pursue a targeted prey, even if it means leaving home for a few days. They are also very curious by nature, and love to explore the world outside of their comfort zone.

Cat Run Away Because Of Mistreatment Or Neglect

Sometimes you might not know if you accidentally hurt or don’t give enough care for your cat. Maybe the way you play with him might have cause him pain. Mistreatment can come from other members without you knowing.

Neglect can come from having a new family member – a baby or even a new cat in the house. Having been the center of attention for a long time can cause your cat to feel that they aren’t receiving enough affection. They might even find someone else who gives them more love – like your neighbor perhaps – and will want to run to them.

How to stop your cat from running away from you

Cats are very simple animals. Unlike humans, cats have no interested in changing their feelings toward you that often. Therefore, you don’t need to overcomplicate their behaviors.

By simply building mutual trust, the chances that my cat runs away from me definitely reduces. Figure out to what extent of affection your cat is comfortable with. Change your approach if the way you show love to them causes them anxiety.
cats won;t run away if they trust you
Building mutual trust will keep your cat from running away from you
If they don’t like being picked up every time you come home, try to hold yourself back a bit. Show your cat that you still love them and enjoy your time with them, without having to do anything that annoys them. Gradually, they will come to you on their own and let you hold them again.
Many people misunderstand their pets being cold and distant towards them, but pets are very straightforward. They still love you, and you need to let them express it on their own by not forcing affection on them.

How to stop your cat from running away from home

We often trust that our cat will return home whenever they run off outside, but what if they don’t? What if they are mistreated, starved or run into an accident?

Cats can only survive a very short time without food, so it’s dangerous to leave them out on the streets for too long. There are a few ways for you to keep an eye on your cat and prevent it from running away from home:

  • Spay and neuter: this is to stop cat from roaming out when mating season start. It can help reduce their aggression as well
  • Track your cat: microchip or attach a GPS tracker on your cat’s collar. This will help you find your cat again if it ever runs away
Pay attention to your cat's need so that it doesn't run away from home
  • Close doors/windows properly: you can keep your cat indoor-only. But to be extra careful, you should prevent its curiosity by shutting all entrances and exits properly
  • Let them adjust: whether if it’s a new house or a new family member, it’s important that you show your cat that it is safe and you are still giving it enough care
  • Provide them with all necessities: not just food but also physical activities and affection
After finding out the reasons why my cat runs away from me, I feel such a relief. So I hope this article helps you to understand your cat better, and would love to hear your opinion as well!

Chris Hawkins.

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