Cat has random periods of fear?

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I have a cat who is usually a pretty loveable and plafull boy. However, sometimes, especially on my bed, he will randomly get scared and freak out over something? Usually it seems to be when a blanket or chord (such as a phone charger) touches him. This usually happens about once a week, and it can take a a couple hours up to even a few days at a time for him to start coming in my room again.

Usually when he is scared, he runs into the living room and is shaking, though he let's me comfort and pet him, and he will rub against me wanting me to let him until he calms down. However, as I said, it still takes him a while to come back to my room.

I'm not sure what would be causing it though? It has never happened with any of his 3 sisters, but I'm worried one day he may claw them when he gets scared. He has clawed me pretty badly before when he lands on me jumping away from the blanket or chord, so I'm worried he may land on one of his sisters one day. There seems to be no build up that I can see. Just before it happened today he was sleeping on the bed, woke up and licked his sister, but got scared when my phone charger touched his tail. A couple of weeks ago he got scared when his sister moved under a blanket he was walking on. Other times he is completely fine with my phone charger or blankets though. Is there a way to find out what causes these seemingly random periods of fear of blankets or chords, or prevent them?
 
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I don't think so, because as I said, last time he got scared was when he was walking across a blanket his sister was under. I don't believe his tail was touched. And he will also let you touch his tail while you pet him.
 

FeebysOwner

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Any chance he has poor vision? That could cause alarm in him when he is not expecting to be touched. It may be different if you touch him when he is not paying attention because he can smell you - probably not so much with a cord or another cat underneath a blanket that would somewhat mask the other cat's scent. Not trying to scare you - as if this were the case, cats do adapt over time to sight loss.
 

ArtNJ

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You said playful, so I assume we aren't talking about a senior cat which makes some of the obvious sensory things less likely. Still, it could be something health related. Just for example, doesn't necessarily have to be a senior cat to have a vision issue as noted above. I don't think you need to rush out to do it, but sooner or later I'd take the cat to the vet.

So good to rule out health stuff. That said, this is most likely . . . just a cat that is a bit more jumpy than average. Its not uncommon or indicative of a problem. I have an affectionate home-born jumpy cat now. You ever seen those cats and cucumber videos? If not, go to youtube, its worth it! Anyway, my point is that cats need to always keep an eye out in the wild, being a bit jumpy is part of the DNA. So you can get a cat that manifests it more without anything being wrong.

But your not wrong that it could eventually cause a problem with one of the other cats. If that happens, separate them for a while, a few hours to a day plus depending on how serious the incident seems.
 
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Any chance he has poor vision? That could cause alarm in him when he is not expecting to be touched. It may be different if you touch him when he is not paying attention because he can smell you - probably not so much with a cord or another cat underneath a blanket that would somewhat mask the other cat's scent. Not trying to scare you - as if this were the case, cats do adapt over time to sight loss.
As far as I know, he has no health issues. His mom had quite a few since she was a stray I found in 2019 (Malnourished, Mammary cancer, digestion issues). All of her kittens were pretty malnourished as well when I found them, but they never seemed to have health issues and none have emerged as they get older aside from his sisters being pretty small compared to most other cats.
I planned on stopping at the vet soon for some flea medicine, so I could ask about having his vision checked while I'm up there. His eyes look fine appearance wise though and he has never had problems catching toys or anything so I don't think that's the issue.

You said playful, so I assume we aren't talking about a senior cat which makes some of the obvious sensory things less likely. Still, it could be something health related. Just for example, doesn't necessarily have to be a senior cat to have a vision issue as noted above. I don't think you need to rush out to do it, but sooner or later I'd take the cat to the vet.

So good to rule out health stuff. That said, this is most likely . . . just a cat that is a bit more jumpy than average. Its not uncommon or indicative of a problem. I have an affectionate home-born jumpy cat now. You ever seen those cats and cucumber videos? If not, go to youtube, its worth it! Anyway, my point is that cats need to always keep an eye out in the wild, being a bit jumpy is part of the DNA. So you can get a cat that manifests it more without anything being wrong.

But your not wrong that it could eventually cause a problem with one of the other cats. If that happens, separate them for a while, a few hours to a day plus depending on how serious the incident seems.
This could be the case, but is it normal for it to be so severe? As I said, when he is scared he gets to the point he is shaking and won't enter my room for a while. In the rare case my other cats do get scared over something, they usually get over it in a couple of minutes.
 

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I'd let the vet check him over thoroughly. Vision is just an example. An ear or skin thing are other possibilities too.

It definitely sounds extreme. Even jumpy cats usually calm down pretty quick when they can't find an actual reason for their concern.
 

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when he was walking across a blanket his sister was under. I don't believe his tail was touched. And he will also let you touch his tail while you pet him.
Oh, that's true, good point.

I agree now that I'm thinking about it, perhaps it's his eyesight or lack of hearing.
 
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