Why Is My Cat Scared All Of a Sudden? Here Are The Reasons

If your cat is scared suddenly, I am confident there must be a reason you aren’t aware of it.

In general, cats are a scary creature of god. As much as they are cute and adorable, at the same time, they fear a lot. 

If you are wondering Why Is Your Cat Scared All Of a Sudden, this article will help you to figure out.

I will go over the reasons I have personally experienced & explain it to you to better take care of them.

Let’s get started:

A sudden change in the cat’s behavior can be a concerning issue. Behavioral change may vary from shying away and hiding somewhere to lashing out and being aggressive.

No matter how they release fear when your brave and independent furball suddenly gets racked up with anxiety, it is undoubtedly troubling.

Most probably, your cat’s sudden nervousness and jitters are caused by a routine that has changed in some way. Your feline’s sense of arrangement and sanctuary gets put in havoc with the introduction of new people, new pets, or changes in the environment. It may also be a sign of sickness or pain.

In shrot, your cat scared all of a sudden may be because of some routine changed, or some insecurity that constantly bothering them.

A cat always afraid is different from a cat that suddenly becomes jittery and nervous.

Constant fear may be due to their environment.

The anxiety that causes your cat to be jumpy suddenly may be more likely due to new circumstances.

As you read on, we’ll tackle what makes them feel this way and how to make them feel more comfortable and relaxed.

How Can You Tell If Your Cat is Scared? (Common Scared Cat Behaviors)

An afraid fur ball could respond and react in unusual ways. The Human Society of America lists the most common behaviors of scared cats are;

  • Running, hiding, and freezing in one spot
  • Taking a go outside of litter box, which may usually be accidental since they can’t control their bladder due to fear
  • Scenting and sniffing from the anal glands
  • Aggressive put-ons like hissing, raising haunches, fluffing the tail, scratching, and biting

If you notice your cat demonstrating these behaviors, somebody or something is potentially frightening them.

At this point, it would be best to leave them alone. Usually, they will calm down on their own and find ways to remove themselves from the situation.

However, if enough time has been given and they are still not their usual selves, you may resort to trying some methods applied to soothe a terrified cat.

What makes my Cat suddenly afraid?

For sure, you’ve heard from playgrounds, parks, and almost everywhere, kids are present the taunts of “scaredy-cat.” This term came about because it relates to being easily frightened, presumably because nervous behaviors are known to felines.

The usually self-assured cats may suddenly show signs of fear. They may suddenly become afraid of their own shadow. If they show signs like these, it is crucial to understand why.

Three possible explanations are;

  • Altered cat’s routine. This change leaves even the bravest and boldest cat feeling confused, disconcerted, and rattled.
  • Catswent through trauma. Cats, just like dogs forge emotional connections to people and events. These memories last a while for them. When such memory came from intense fear or pain, they will remember it. And, for as long as they have it in mind, it will leave them feeling distrustful and jumpy, worried they could get hurt again.
  • The cat is sick. Cats feel vulnerable when they are sick. There is no happy place for a sick cat. Even their cat-hole may seem foreign for them. Cats are fiercely independent, and they don’t like needing help. Your suddenly skittish cat could be fearing their weakness.

Or, it could also be that your cat is just nervous by nature. However, if your cat is suddenly acting weird, there is almost certainly an explanation. Various cat nerves arise when possible triggers occur and there are adjustments that can be done to pacify them.

1. Acclimating to A New Home

Nothing intimidates a cat more than moving into new homes. They need where the food or water is, as well as the safe spot to hide. And, if they are clueless about this, it stirs up anxiety for them.

Another reason that can make a cat very anxious about a new home is If they have been adopted from a shelter. Most cats in the shelter have been rehomed more than once.

To help your feline adjust to a new home, restrict them to one location at first. It could be a room that no one uses.

Fill it up with cat litter tray, toys, and everything else they could need. This will make it less overwhelming for them since they can get what they need.

The moment they have adapted to that room, try to give them the run of the house. If they have genuinely acclimatized to the room, the whole location will now be less intimidating.

2. Adjusting to a New Companion

If you have a cat and you bring in another one, whether they be old or just a small kitten, the established home feels threatening for the original pet. The reason is that the older cat could fear that the new cat will assume their status.

It takes time to introduce a new pet to an established cat. For the first few days, keep them apart, in separate rooms. After 2 to 3 days, you may start acquainting them from the opposite ends of the hall.

This allows them to gain an idea of how each other smells from a safe distance. Giving each cat a treat works too as it creates a harmonious link with each other in both their minds.

Eventually, you will need to let both of them interact and see (and hope) that they co-exist. You may notice the old cat being timid at first, shying out and staying out of the way. Let them be. Just make sure that they know they are not forgotten. Later on, they will become a bonded pair.

3. Adjusting to a new member of the family

Cats don’t find babies cute as much as we do. The baby’s new scent will be strange and their cries will be too loud for them.

Keep them apart, but allow your cat to explore the room where the baby stays when it is empty. This will allow them to accept and get used to the baby’s scent.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has a list of steps you can try to prepare your cat for the baby’s arrival. This includes recording and playing the sound of a crying baby ahead of time.

The most challenging part of this situation is maintaining the cat’s schedule when the new baby arrives. Cats expect to be fed, played with, and cared for at certain times. The change in routine will leave your pet anxious and feel like they can’t trust you.

How to Soothe a Frightened Cat

Cat work themselves into something frenzy when they become afraid. In most cases, it is recommended to give your cat some space. Otherwise, you may end up getting caught in the firing line. But, as with most things, there are steps you can try to lessen your furball’s anxiety.

Such steps include:

  • Chill out and stay calm. Cats, as with most pets can detect stress in humans. Your facial expression is an open book for them to read. If they see you are stressed, they will be stressed. Stay calm, offer enough soothing, and speak of soft reassurance.
  • Keep your cat away from triggers. The cat doesn’t get jittery for anything; someone or something could have frightened it. Find out what it is and keep them away from your cat. There may come a time you need to reintroduce them, but at the moment’s high, keep the focus on the cat’s fear.
  • Offer foods or treats. Cats are food-focused. Once they see a snack offered, they swiftly forget whatever frightened them.
  • Play and cuddle with your cat. Playing distracts your cat and improves their temperament.
  • Play some classical music. Classical music soothes not just humans but our beloved furballs too. When cats are stressed, you wouldn’t want to play anything too loid. In these instances, stick with mid-tempo compositions abundant with high pitches. Why? Because they sound similar to those used by cats to communicate.
  • Use scented candles. Scents like calendula, lavender, geranium, neroli, and rose are all said to comfort cats. But, be safe when lighting up as it comes with an element of fire risk, so keep it away from feline reach.

When cats are anxious, they become aggressive. But, one thing to remember is never to treat aggression with aggression. The anxious cat should be confined until they cool off. Only time alone can do wonders in such instances.

What Scares Cats?

Some feline phobias are well known, but others are vaguer. But, taking a better understanding of what scares them gives you leverage on how to keep them away from getting scared.

Common things they get scared of are;

  • Loud and booming noises. Cat’s acute hearing makes anything loud deafening for them.
  • Foreign humans. Adopted cats are not as socialized making them dubious of strangers.
  • New pets. Cats are not fans of sharing and having a new pet makes them apprehensive.
  • Open spaces. While they like to wander, their predatory instincts give them the idea that open spaces offer no place for them to hide or take cover.
  • Water. Cats don’t like being cold, so taking a bath takes them a long time to dry and they hate it.
  • Sudden movement and appearances. Those videos where cats get frightened by cucumbers do not mean they’re afraid of them. The viral videos show these cucumbers placed silently behind the cat and when they see it, it startles them. It is the sudden appearance that scares them, not the item itself.
  • Neglect and harm. Mistreatment that includes physical chastisement and scolding results in the cat losing trust in you. This feeling turns into fear and stress.


In situations where cats are suddenly jittery, the best way is to let the cat control the situation. Ignoring her, not picking her up, not petting her, not reaching out makes her come around faster.

Any type of approach towards them regardless of how well-intended they are could still be interpreted as aggressiveness. Slow and steady always wins the case.

4 thoughts on “Why Is My Cat Scared All Of a Sudden? Here Are The Reasons”

  1. Thank you soo much, this really helped me as I was extremely worried about my cats.
    Hopefully I can use the advice you’ve given and see results soon.

  2. Thank you so much for the information! We rescued a kitten and he was doing really well and then one day was super skittish. I realized it was because we left him go upstairs where he hadn’t been much. I grew up with dogs and didn’t realize how completely different they are. Leon and I thank you 🙂

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