Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why Does My Cat Run Away From Me? 6 Possible Reasons

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

red cat on the street

It can be discouraging for your cat to constantly run away from you when you want to interact with them. It is natural for cat owners to want to socialize with their felines and develop a bond. However, it can be difficult if your cat doesn’t feel the same way.

Although some cats do not mind interacting with their owners, others will run away immediately as you approach them. This can leave you feeling disheartened and even frustrated if you don’t know why they do it. This article will explore six possible reasons your cat keeps running away from you.

hepper-cat-paw-divider

The 6 Reasons That Your Cat Runs Away From You

1. Fear

If your cat is feeling fearful of you or humans in general, they are probably going to run away when you approach them. This isn’t necessarily because you did something wrong as they could simply be uncertain about people or had negative experiences with us in the past.

If your cat was adopted or came from an unknown background, they might have experiences that make them fearful of humans. Cats that are unfamiliar with humans, such as feral ones, might naturally be more fearful of us and run away.

It takes time to form a bond with a cat and get them to trust you, so they become less fearful. However, that doesn’t mean that a cat will not occasionally run away from you when they aren’t in the mood to be approached.

scared British blue-point cat hiding under the bed
Image Credit: Zossia, Shutterstock

2. Not Interested in Being Social

Cats can experience different moods that could influence their willingness to socialize, similar to humans. If your cat doesn’t feel like socializing with you at the moment, they will probably run away. This is perfectly normal behavior for even the most affectionate felines.

When your cat feels more sociable, they will be more accepting of you approaching them and not run away. This can explain why cats might randomly run away from us even if they were okay being beside us an hour ago.

Perhaps your cat is feeling more playful and eager to explore, so they do not want to be approached just yet. Otherwise, something might have spooked your cat, and they need a few moments before they feel like being social again. Cats need their own space sometimes and this can play a role in how sociable they feel.


3. They Aren’t Feeling Well

A cat that is feeling under the weather isn’t going to want to be approached. Many cats prefer to be alone when they are sick or injured as they feel vulnerable. It could be instinctive, as sick cats need to hide from predators if they want to stay safe. They might run to a quiet area of the home where they aren’t easily spotted. You should look into this possibility if your cat is suddenly running away from you but hasn’t shown this behavior before.

If you suspect that your cat is sick or injured, don’t hesitate to contact a veterinarian. Cats are masters at hiding how severe their pain can be to avoid seeming vulnerable.

a sick or bored looking cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: Kginger, Shutterstock

4. Lack of Trust

As much as we might trust our cats, they do not always trust us the same in return. Some cats are more trusting than others, as it can vary between individual cats. If you have only recently gotten your cat, they probably haven’t had enough time to learn to trust you yet. This is also true for cats that were not treated well by humans in the past and need to regain our trust.

It’s not always because cats feel you are a danger to them and therefore can’t trust you, but also if they are not familiar with humans yet.


5. Feeling Playful

Sometimes our cats can get into a playful mood where they want to run around and play. Although it might seem like they are running away from you, it could be because they want to lead you to a toy or their usual play area.

You will easily be able to tell if this is the reason by cautiously following behind your cat as they run away. If they direct you to a toy that you often used to play with them, then it’s a strong possibility. You could then spend time playing and socializing with your cat, as they are probably looking for your attention.

Our Favorite Cat Toys

Here are a few of our favorite cat toys, each caters to various types of play your cat might like the best. 

Hepper’s Catnip Stick Toy
Hepper Catnip Stick
Hepper_Plush Whale
Hepper Whale Plush
Hepper_Furballs
Hepper Furball Set
Contains Catnip
Contains Catnip :
Contains Catnip :
Contains Catnip :
Safe for KIttens
Safe for KIttens:
Safe for KIttens:
Safe for KIttens:
Self-play
Self-play:
Self-play:
Self-play:
All-Natural
All-Natural :
All-Natural :
All-Natural :
Washable
Washable :
Washable :
Washable :


6. Previous Negative Experiences

Cats can remember both positive and negative experiences in their life that could influence their behaviors. This could be a possibility if your cat came from an unknown background or has a history of being abused. It intertwines with the first possibility on our list, which is fear.

If your cat has had negative experiences with humans before, it’s understandable that they might run away from you. The experience could be mild, such as a time your cat felt uncomfortable being picked on, or a more severe experience like abuse.

Regardless, some cats are inclined to run away from us because their experiences with humans haven’t always been positive. If this could be the case, it’s important to be patient when earning their trust back. Some cats might never fully trust humans again and therefore not want to be approached. You should always respect a cat’s boundaries and avoid stressing them further by going against them.

hepper-cat-paw-divider

Conclusion

Your cat could be running away from you for several reasons. Although it can be disheartening, it’s usually nothing personal. Some cats are naturally more fearful of humans than others because of previous negative experiences. Furthermore, cats may run away from us if they do not feel like socializing or do not fully trust us yet.

This type of behavior can be normal, but sometimes concerning if it is caused by an underlying health problem or traumatic situation that needs to be managed with the help of a veterinarian.


Featured Image Credit: Astrid Gast, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database