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 Want to Be Alone All of a Sudden? 8 Possible Reasons

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

cat sitting alone in the couch

Some cats are sweet and somewhat clingy, while others can be aloof and naughty. Fabulous felines come in all kinds of sizes, colors, and personalities, but what if your normally cuddly cat is suddenly more interested in avoiding you in favor of having alone time?

There are many reasons that cats suddenly seem to prefer their own company over yours, and here, we go through each one. Many of the reasons are nothing to worry about, but a few might require a visit to the vet.

The 8 Reasons Your Cat Wants to Be Alone All of a Sudden

1. They Just Want to Be Alone

Sometimes, like humans, cats need alone time. They might sleep in the back of your closet or another out-of-the-way location just as a means to get a bit of shuteye.

There will always be times when they’re not in the mood for pets or your attention. Don’t take it personally and give them their space. When your cat is ready, they’ll come out for those cuddles soon enough.

2. There’s Been a Change in Routine / They’re Stressed

Stress can definitely have an impact on cats disappearing for a while. One of the most stressful events for most cats is a change in routine; this could be you moving, having visitors, redecorating the home, or spending more time out of the house.

Some cats experience more stress and anxiety than others, and these cats are more likely to find a quiet and safe hiding spot.

Try to maintain a regular routine as best as you can. Otherwise, speak to your vet for solutions, which might include calming treats or seeing an animal behaviorist.

scottish cat hiding in fright under the checkered blanket
Image Credit: Koldunov Alexey, Shutterstock

3. Cats Can Be Moody

Cats are sensitive animals, and some will take serious affront to any kind of perceived insult. If you pet another cat on the way home or accidentally startle them with a sudden loud noise, your cat might show their displeasure by ignoring you.

You might have encountered this when you’ve been away for a period of time. Just give your cat their space and know that they will forgive you soon enough.

4. They Might Be Feeling Unwell

When you’re not feeling well, you sometimes just want to be left alone. Your cat may feel the same, though if your cat isn’t well, there will be other signs beyond hiding, which you should be on the lookout for.

Loss of appetite, drinking more than usual, changes in litter box habits, and any other changes in behavior will merit a visit to your vet.

a cat that feels sick and seems to vomit
Image Credit: chie hidaka, Shutterstock

5. Senior Cats Might Seek Alone Time

As your cat ages, their behavior will undergo changes. Kittens tend to want to be close to you most of the time, but when they hit adulthood, they start to assert their independence and spend more time on their own.

When they become seniors, they seek peace and quiet because they require more rest.

6. Their Senses Are Deteriorating

This can be true of seniors or any cat that starts losing their eyesight or hearing. Losing one or both of their senses can make a cat retreat and hide. If your cat doesn’t respond to you calling to them, it could indicate that they are experiencing hearing loss.

Of course, there’s a big difference between a cat ignoring you and one that can’t hear you. When they are just ignoring you, your cat’s ears will twitch at your voice, and you might see action going on with the tail. But see your vet if you suspect that something else is going on.

Orange tubby cat with collar
Image Credit: Florence DAVID, Pixabay

7. They Are About to Give Birth

This only applies to pregnant cats, of course. When a mother cat is about to give birth, she’ll find a quiet spot that makes her feel safe and secure.

You can make her a birthing box in advance and check in with your vet so you know the best ways to help her throughout her pregnancy and while she’s in labor.

8. There Are Neighborhood Cats Around

This also falls under the stress category to a certain degree. Cats are quite territorial, some more than others. It is likely to upset them when neighborhood cats start encroaching into their territory, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor cats.

If cats in the neighborhood are coming around and spraying or staring at your cat through the windows, your cat may get upset and hide.

You can take steps such as blocking your cat’s view with curtains or something else. You can also deter these cats from hanging out around your house in the first place.

close up image of cat hisses at another cat
Image Credit: Vera Aksionava, Shutterstock

What If Your Cat Is Hiding From You?

Sometimes our actions can make our cats run and hide. Your cat doesn’t understand that you stepped on their paw or tail by accident or that when you raised your voice in anger, it wasn’t directly because of them. They just know that you were scary at that moment.

It’s perfectly normal for your cat to go into hiding after an event like this. But if your cat still seems skittish around you afterward, you can take a few steps to earn back your cat’s trust.

  • Keep yourself relaxed and calm when your cat is around.
  • Give your cat space, and allow them to come to you when they are ready.
  • Use your cat’s favorite treats and feed them by hand. This can help reform a stronger bond between you.
  • Sit near your cat, and allow them to come close to you. Try gentle pets and keep your motions smooth and slow.
  • Don’t grab your cat or use sudden, fast movements.
  • Try playing a few games, such as using a feather wand.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons that cats will seem to suddenly be looking for a bit of alone time. Most are just normal cat behavior, but if there are other signs and symptoms that indicate that this might be a problem, you should definitely speak to your vet.

There are steps that you can take to address any issues, whether it’s taking a visit to the vet or keeping your routine in order as much as possible. But you know your cat better than anyone. This means you should instinctively know if there’s a problem or if your cat just wants to be alone.

Featured Image Credit: Erik Jan Leusink, Unsplash

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database