Sudden Feline Behavior Changes

Feline behavior may be often capricious and difficult to deal with at times, but cats may also be affectionate. However, when the cat’s behavior changes suddenly, this may be a sign of a health issue. Determining the cause of sudden behavior changes is essential in offering your pet the care he needs.

Detecting Sudden Feline Behavior

Knowing the normal behavior of your pet is helpful when the behavior patterns change, so that you can identify any abnormalities.

Your pet may be unusually quiet, depressed or very vocal and edgy.

Causes of Sudden Feline Behavior

The main causes of sudden feline behavior may be linked to aging, a health problem or a change in the cat’s environment that causes stress.

Pain or a health problem can lead to sudden behavior changes. Pain can make the cat very irritable and vocal or can also cause depression and hiding behavior. If you notice this, you will have to get a veterinary checkup and find if you your pet is healthy. The problem may be anything starting from a simple splinter stuck in the paw to serious infections or cancers.

Other causes of sudden behavior changes may include:

  • Emotional problems such as the loss of a family member, a change in owners or even moving house
  • Post neutering behavior changes are normal as the cat will have less hormonal activity and won’t be on the lookout for other cats
  • Mating season can be a cause of sudden behavior changes, as the cat can become vocal to signal the other cats that he is ready to mate. The cat may also spend less time indoors and may become aggressive when not left alone
  • A pregnant cat may change, become less active and much calmer. The cat will also be friendlier than usual. Look for additional signs such as enlarged abdomen, increased appetite or hiding behavior.
  • When the cat feels he is threatened, he may unexpectedly change his behavior and be extremely aggressive, even towards people he is familiar with. Teach your children that cats can be defensive with their personal space or kittens to avoid accidents and injuries.

Aging can also contribute to a change in the cat’s behavior, as the cat can be less active, sleep more hours and spend more time with the owners. These changes are normal, as the cat has less energy. However, the behavior changes are gradual.

Treatment for Behavior Changes

The behavior changes that last for several days should be a cause for worry. The cat should be taken to the vet and examined. If the vet doesn’t find any physical problems, the possible diagnosis will be anxiety.

The treatment will depend on the causes leading to the sudden behavior changes.

The vet may prescribe medications, therapy or alternative remedies. In some cases, the cat only needs a few weeks to rest and get back to his normal lifestyle.