When you're a dedicated cat owner, any signs of uncharacteristic behavior can be stressful. Cats can't talk and you can't read their minds, so trying to determine what's wrong can be maddening. If your pet is acting withdrawn -- sitting in corners, for instance -- anxiety may be at fault.
New Pets or Baby
Cats love routine, big time. When a kitty's life routine is disrupted, it can bring upon major chaos. One way to temporarily turn your cat's life inside out is to bring home a new pet -- or a baby! New situations can trigger feelings of panic, neglect, confusion and uncertainty in routine-oriented felines. If your cat is sitting alone in corners, she may be hiding away from everything because she simply doesn't know how to handle the adjustment. She may feel at a loss.
Moving is often stressful, scary and overwhelming for a cat. After all, a cat's home is, for the most part, her entire world. If you have just moved to a new home and notice your cat hiding in corners, it may be that she's feeling disoriented and frightened, and as a result doesn't know what to do with herself. In her old home she had all her favorite nooks and crannies, and now all of that has gone out the window.
Some people believe felines are emotionally cool and detached creatures. In many cases, that couldn't be further from the truth. Cats can develop very strong and close bonds with people and with other animals. When a cat loses a companion, the grieving process is often long and difficult. If your cat's sitting in a corner after the loss of a companion, it could be a symptom of depression and mourning. She simply doesn't feel like herself -- and wants to be left alone.
Household fighting and tension is also often detrimental to a cat. Cats are peaceful creatures, and they can sense conflict. They also know when things just aren't right. Perhaps playtime has gone out the window. No more cuddling on the couch. All of those things register in your cat's brain. Her sudden withdrawn behavior may be indicative of her overall feeling of confusion at the moment. Things are different at the moment, and your intuitive little kitty is 100 percent aware of it.
Emotional anxiety and stress aren't the only factors that could cause a cat to hide away. The behavior could also point to physical pain and discomfort. Perhaps the poor thing is suffering from a serious health ailment, whether it is kidney disease, diabetes or arthritis. The hiding also could be related to a more minor condition -- think stomach upset. Whatever the cause is, immediate veterinary attention is a must. The last thing you want is to keep your beloved sweetie suffering for any longer!
You are not helpless when it comes to your cat's mental health. If she is suffering from a bout of anxiety and stress, then a little attention, caring and love may be just what the doctor ordered. Get your sad kitty back on the path to contentment by giving her plenty of attention -- through a combination of both regular playtime and affection. Even if you're busy and it's just for 10 minutes a day, throw her toy ball around for her to catch. Let her run after the laser pointer. With some time and understanding on your part, your cat's woes may just quickly become a thing of the past.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.