Friendly Cat Suddenly Skittish

by Wendy (New York ) - Friendly Cat Suddenly Skittish

Our cat is 1 and 1/2 years old, a very friendly Maine Coon Mix. He is outgoing (out of control fun most of the time) and playful. A couple of months ago I noticed he had become scared of even small movements on my part. He might be several feet away, but if I backed up the chair to leave the dining table, he would jump. This seems to have gotten worse. Even if I am at the sink washing dishes and turn to open the cabinet, he jumps as if he fears for his life.

My husband an I are the only ones who care for him, and I know he has not been abused. We did board him for a few days earlier this year, but in a very progressive "kennel"--he had his own room--and with the folks we adopted him from who are nearly as invested in him as we are. This started some time afterwards as well. 

He is acting as if something traumatic has happened to him, but I am fairly certain that's not the case. Any suggestions? He is due for shots, so we are taking him in next week, but I am worried...


Let me start by saying what a gorgeous looking cat, very handsome.

Skittish behaviour can be very difficult to diagnose its cause. Sometimes there may be a medical reason i.e. something is making them feel unwell or strange and so they act in this skittish manner.

But this is normally something like fleas, an allergy making them itch or a strange condition known as feline hyperesthesia.

But in your care it does appear to be more of a nervous behaviour, triggered by sudden noise or movement.

Sometimes things can upset our cats which we may not be aware of. It could be a loud bang, a strange smell, anew cat moved into the area etc. which could make a cat jumpy. Recently my two cats were like this, they would jump in the air for the slightest movement we made. It turned out that they were battling with a bully cat in the area and so they were on constant guard. Since the other cat has gone they are fine again.

It is worth mentioning it to your vet when you visit so that he can check through any possible medical reasons for your cats behaviour. But if it turns out to be just behavioral then you could try using one of those cat calming sprays or medications for awhile to help your cat relax again and to settle down.

See my page here for more on this 

I hope your cat is back to their old selves soon
Best wishes kate

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