Do Cats Run Away if They Are Mad at You?

Cats typically flee out of fear.
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Cats, as lovable and delightful as they are, can often be confusing creatures. One minute they're euphoric, the next they're miffed. It's enough to drive a cat owner crazy! Whether your dear is cranky over a veterinarian appointment or because she despises the grooming brush, learn the key signs.


Although in some cases cats running away is associated with anger, more often than not it is related to pure fear. Perhaps the cat just doesn't trust you enough yet. When cats are scared, they often freeze up as an automatic reaction -- causing them to bolt the scene immediately. If you adopt a feral or formerly stray cat, this is an especially common scenario. It takes a lot of time, love and patience to develop a strong bond of trust with animals who have either never been properly socialized, or who have had negative experiences with humans before.


When it comes to actual anger, hissing and growling are usually better bets than running away. Cats who are annoyed tend to express it by making growling or hissing sounds. These sounds, essentially, serve as warning signals to you. "Please back off before I attack" -- yikes. In some cases, however, hissing and growling also point to fear and anxiety.

Other Signs of Anger

If you want to determine whether the cat's running away was indeed a sign of anger, think about how she may have looked in the seconds or minutes before fleeing the scene. Go over in your head other classic indications that a feline is annoyed and mad, such as tense lips, narrow pupils, howling and spiky fur. Combine all of those signs with a cat running away and you may have your answer.

Other Signs of Fear

Knowing how to tell if a cat is afraid also helps. Body language and vocalization are all you have when it comes to deciphering kitty's mood. A scared cat may keep her tail low and her ears flat. Her tail also may be "hiding" between her hind legs. If her coat appears normal and flat, she's likely fearful rather than angry. Put all of the pieces of the puzzle together to decide whether or not your cat was afraid or furious.

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.

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