Cat Acting Suddenly Paranoid

Question - Cat Acting Suddenly Paranoid

Two days ago, it was a perfectly normal day...nothing different about it. We fed our cats and our older cat (4 years old) came out of the kitchen to start cleaning himself...which is very typical behavior.

Then suddenly he got a twitch and jumped. He began to run from room to room twitching his tail and back leg. I didn't think much of it; I figured something bit him so I checked him for fleas and I also checked the floor. Both cats have always been indoor so I wasn't surprised that I didn't find any fleas. 

Since then, he has been acting very paranoid. If he wants to get somewhere he runs instead of walks. He's constantly looking around, twitches and then cleans his tail and back legs frantically.

He seems physically fine because when we pet him he chirps and rolls like normal but when he he wants to go somewhere he runs. His behavior started to go back to normal about 36 hours later but then last night the behavior started all over again. His back twitches (which he does when he's nervous or scared). He runs and hides under desks and/or beds. 

Our other cat is perfectly fine. Nothing seems to be bothering her but she certainly has noticed my older cats odd behavior. I got him to eat a little bit but he's too jumpy to eat. 

I'm worried about him. This came on so suddenly but there has been nothing that could have caused it. No storms, or loud bangs or anything. Please give me some insight. Right now I'm concerned that he might have a brain tumor or something.

Thank you for your help!

Well it does sound very similar to something my previous cat suffered from. Although she was flea free they still managed to get on the cat now and again even if indoor all the time (the little blighter's get in somehow).

It turned out that although she did not have fleas, if a stray one got on her and bit her she would suffer an allergic reaction which would trigger this itching and running around behavior. It was very distressing to see and for the cat too. We used to have to take her to the vet for an injection which would calm the reaction down.

It may be something similar in your cats case.

If it continues for more than a few days then it may be an idea to have him checked by the vet.

I have a page about cat allergies which you may find of further interest here.


Petal by: Matt 

Hi. We have a rescue cat she's about a year old here in Dubai, we live in a villa and have a small garden. Our cat Petal is a Scottish short hair American short hair cross, basically she's a silver tabby.

She was ok very loud very vocal loving then suddenly after being in the garden she started twitching running looking to the ceiling wide eyed, grooming harshly etc. I'm v worried about her. Could be fleas although we dotted her neck with stuff, she's still very twichty...I guess the vet now..

Cat acts paranoid by: Anonymous 

I do not know what happened to my cat either. She is 100% indoor, always loving and kissing, never bites, loves to eat and cuddles with us every night. Then suddenly yesterday, she got scared about something I could not see (no loud sound or anything unusual happened), crouched down on her 4 legs, started crawling backwards along the wall (This really looked spooky).

Did so along all 3 walls in the kitchen until she finally ended up under the table where she laid for a minute, Then started to run up the stairs, made it to the half and started backing out again.

Since then she has been mostly in hiding. When she lays somewhere I see her tail between her legs. At times she would come out but at some point takes off and runs again, sometimes it looks like she loses coordination. She spent the whole night under our bed and has not come out this morning as of yet.

I am very worried as it is not usual for her at all. Once again she does not go outside at all and is vaccinated against rabies.The only thing that was different yesterday is that we bought a scented candle, but could that affect her like that? 


Couldn't say what the cause is but I would advise a trip to your vets. I don't like the sound of the uncoordinated movements and the suddenness of it beginning. 

Something is wrong and it is important to rule out any medical causes first. 

best wishes kate


Our cat was acting in a similar way, as if he'd been bitten around his hind quarters. He'd suddenly look round then run and hide somewhere. Couldn't find a cause. Took him to the vet this morning immediately diagnosed a blocked anal gland. Quite rare in cats apparently. He cleared the blockage in seconds, and gave an antibiotic injection. Hopefully cat is ok now. 

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