What Causes Your Cat to Act Strange?

The ever enigmatic canine-feline relationship: perhaps strange, but not concerning.
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Cats are strange creatures, but when does strange become a little too strange? Probably when you're cleaning up pee off the floor, or your kitty decides she's never coming out of your room because you painted the living room walls. Finding the cause of her behavior is key.

Anything New

Some cats shrug off change as if it's no big thing. Others think a new couch is the harbinger of death or that a redecoration of the room means the end of time is surely on the way. Bringing home a new pet is almost certain to get a few reactions out of your cat, as is bringing in a stranger to the house. Anything new can cause your kitty to creep along in a very cautious manner, pee on your floor or the new object you brought into the house, screech, meow incessantly or act aggressively. This is one of the primary differences between dogs and cats. Most dogs think of a new couch as new bed. Your cat takes on look at a new couch and thinks, "That's something that needs peed on immediately."

Pain or Discomfort

A sudden change in your kitty's behavior might stem from an illness, especially if she's walking oddly, appears weak or tired, lashes out aggressively for no reason or has potty problems. She's going to react negatively to anything that causes her pain or discomfort. Touch her hips when she has hip displaysia and she might swat you or bite your hand. Give her five litter boxes to choose from and she still might pee on your floor if she has a bladder infection. If you didn't introduce anything new into the house and you witness a sudden shift in her behavior, that's a big sign that something may be medically wrong with her.

Harmless Quirks

If your kitty's behavior is just strange and not adversely affecting her or you, she might just have a few quirks that make her an individual feline. Some cats love poking their heads into bags, opening cabinet doors and climbing in for a bit of shuteye, drinking running water and sleeping on the faces and heads of their subordinate humans. While maybe strange, none of those behaviors is cause for concern.


If your kitty's strange behavior has been more gradual than sudden, she might just be going through the feline aging process. When they're not sleeping, kittens are on the go, tearing through the house and causing a ruckus. Once they pass into adulthood, they start to calm down a little, relax more and appear less chaotic. Seniors are notorious for their laid-back, lackadaisical lifestyle. A change in activity level is gradual and doesn't happen overnight.

Getting Help

If your kitty ever reacts aggressively, appears extremely withdrawn or is having problems urinating or defecating, have a chat with your vet. It's important to rule out any illnesses before taking further action. If you bring new furniture or material things into the house, take a rag, massage your kitty's face with it and then rub the rag over the new addition. That will leave your cat's scent on whatever new thing you added to the house, which will make her more at ease.

When introducing a new animal, always do so very slowly, and keep the new furball and your cat in separate rooms for three days or so, but rotate the rooms throughout each day. And one of the most important rules: stay away from your cat's litter box, aside from cleaning it. Don't add an air freshener on top of the box or pour in scented litter. Felines are extremely picky about their litter, and one mishap on your part will have your kitty doing her business elsewhere.

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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