Cat suddenly intermittently afraid of me

Ljay

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I have a large male cat that Ive known since he was a kitten. He has been in my house for a year now and is about 4-5 years old. Just in the past 4 days his behaviour has changed.

Example. He came over to me about 30 minutes ago and woke me up purring. He hangs around and gets some head rubs but the purpose is get him some food. I got up to feed him and he jumped off the bed purring as he was heading to his plate.

When we were a few feet from his bowl, he glanced behind, saw me and ran under the bed afraid. Came out a few minutes later but stayed away and acted as if he doesnt know me. This has been the pattern. He is the same with another human male in the house.

This cat gets exceptional care from everybody, has always had a tremendous disposition, nobody comes in our house, and nothing has changed.

I have no idea why he is doing this. Even when I turn the lights on and he can see me, he acts as if he doesnt know me. A few hours later he will come back and jump up to get pet.

Any thoughts on this?
 

cmsandford

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I have a male cat about the same age who has been hyper-sensitive to noise and movement from the get-go. He has improved over time. He is passive and sweet as can be, but I still have yet to hold him in my lap for any length of time. I have 4 other cats he is bonded with and sleeps with fortunately, but he's the only cat I've ever had that I can't get really physically close to. As for your situation, I'm wondering if you might have a "spirit" in the house he is aware of that is making him behave this way. The spirit might be hovering near you and he is picking up upon that. If so, no worries...I've had spirits in my previous homes...just ask them to go away and sometimes they do. And no, I'm not a crazy cat lady....:)
 

Mamanyt1953

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HUH. Well, I certainly won't rule out spirits, but it seems to happen when he sees you and the other male. Have either of you changed laundry soaps, shampoos, etc. recently? The oddest things can set cats off. We may never get to the bottom of it, but regardless of the cause, move slowly, speak gently, and have a lot of patience. When he spooks, try sitting on the floor near him and talking softly to reassure him. Don't move towards him, just be there in a very non-threatening position.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Is it only happening in the area near his food dish? Is it possible you have a mouse or some other small creature that is hiding somewhere in that area? If not that, are you sort of 'scolding' him for bugging you and he is reacting to that? The other possibility could be a new cleaner or some other odor in the area that is bothering him and he blames you and the male in your house for the change in smell? Perhaps, you had to change light bulbs in that area and it is causing shadows to be cast that weren't there with the old bulbs. New coffee/coffee pot, noises coming from the refrigerator or other appliance that might be new and you haven't yet noticed it, etc?

I know you said there have been no changes, but some very subtle things that we humans take for granted can make a much bigger impression on a cat. If you can't think of/find anything, you might consider moving his food dish a bit and see if he still reacts the same way.
 
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Ljay

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I have a male cat about the same age who has been hyper-sensitive to noise and movement from the get-go. He has improved over time. He is passive and sweet as can be, but I still have yet to hold him in my lap for any length of time. I have 4 other cats he is bonded with and sleeps with fortunately, but he's the only cat I've ever had that I can't get really physically close to. As for your situation, I'm wondering if you might have a "spirit" in the house he is aware of that is making him behave this way. The spirit might be hovering near you and he is picking up upon that. If so, no worries...I've had spirits in my previous homes...just ask them to go away and sometimes they do. And no, I'm not a crazy cat lady....:)
We've lived here for almost 3 years with up to 3 other cats so I feel comfortable ruling out spirits.

HUH. Well, I certainly won't rule out spirits, but it seems to happen when he sees you and the other male. Have either of you changed laundry soaps, shampoos, etc. recently? The oddest things can set cats off. We may never get to the bottom of it, but regardless of the cause, move slowly, speak gently, and have a lot of patience. When he spooks, try sitting on the floor near him and talking softly to reassure him. Don't move towards him, just be there in a very non-threatening position.
We both checked off a laundry list of items we use and decided that to our knowledge we haven't changed anything as far as soaps, etc.

Taking the other advice and thanks for the reply.


Hi. Is it only happening in the area near his food dish? Is it possible you have a mouse or some other small creature that is hiding somewhere in that area? If not that, are you sort of 'scolding' him for bugging you and he is reacting to that? The other possibility could be a new cleaner or some other odor in the area that is bothering him and he blames you and the male in your house for the change in smell? Perhaps, you had to change light bulbs in that area and it is causing shadows to be cast that weren't there with the old bulbs. New coffee/coffee pot, noises coming from the refrigerator or other appliance that might be new and you haven't yet noticed it, etc?

I know you said there have been no changes, but some very subtle things that we humans take for granted can make a much bigger impression on a cat. If you can't think of/find anything, you might consider moving his food dish a bit and see if he still reacts the same way.
No to the food dish area only. Here's another example. Son was sitting down and scratching his head while JJ (the cat) was relaxing and digging the scratch. Son got up and walked to the doorway where he stood for a minute. JJ looked up, saw him, and ran under the bed. Then did the same thing next time he came to the room. But he also hangs out in sons room on a cat tree all day and gets pet with no issues either there or on that floor when approached.

My original guess was he just saw my son in a bad light but the way he has reacted to me since then has thrown that theory out the window.

JJ doesn't get scolded or fussed at. He has a very gentle nature and doesn't create any issues or drama at any time.

Really appreciate all the feedback. We are going to be patient for a week or two and try moving his feeding area and his food. He doesn't exhibit any signs of illness so if it doesn't clear up a bit on it's own will take him in and get him checked.
 

fionasmom

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Have you put any flea preparations on him? Any medications used? Jamie has had a similar reaction to my husband who held him twice for me to put Revolution on him.
 
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Ljay

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Have you put any flea preparations on him? Any medications used? Jamie has had a similar reaction to my husband who held him twice for me to put Revolution on him.
We have not. He's an indoor only boy.
 

klunick

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We have not. He's an indoor only boy.
[/QUOTE

Cats can still get fleas even if indoor only. Ours did. Guess one of the humans picked some up along the way and brought them into the house. I use Revolution Plus as it not only prevents fleas/ticks but also ear mites which any cat can get at any time. Have used it for the last few months and I swear I had no idea a cat's ear could be so clean!! My other cats always had some debris in their ears. Wish I had known about Revolution Plus before.
 
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Ljay

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Fair enough. He doesn't have fleas and we haven't applied any flea or otherwise medication.
 

Mamanyt1953

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We'll continue to ponder as you continue to be patient. Cats are SO sensitive. It could be something as subtle as a noise outside that didn't even register for you, but startled him, and now something about how/where you are standing triggers the same reaction.
 

cmsandford

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My Jackson was suddenly wary of my right hand when I put food down for him. A mystery why, but it may have been some static electricity discharged at the moment. They remember things for long time.
 
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