Cat suddenly very jumpy and nervous

sweetseamus

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Hello,

I haven't posted in quite a while but one of my cats is acting strangely and I'm wondering if anyone has advice. We bought a new house about 2 months ago and overall both cats adjusted well and seem to be enjoying their new digs. However, yesterday morning my female started acting very fearful and I can't figure out what set it off. She is not normally skittish and is generally pretty outgoing. She slept with me on Monday night but in the morning my husband couldn't find her and it turns out she was under the bed. She normally spends most of her day laying around in the sun or looking out the window, but she stayed under our dining room table for a good portion of the day. She's very jumpy and keeps looking over her shoulder like she worried something is going to sneak up on her. She's eating, using the litter box, and recently was at the vet for a check up so I don't believe it's a health issue. She just seems really spooked. Last night she snuggled with me in bed but it took her a long time to settle and she kept staring at the door which started to make ME feel a little paranoid!
LOL! I also notice that she seems very nervous in the basement where I keep the food and litter and again keeps looking over her shoulder constantly. We have an enclosed sun room that she loves to lounge in during the day but she hasn't ventured out there at all since yesterday. I'm really at a loss. We had no bad thunderstorms or anything obvious that might have scared her. She was completely fine on Monday night when I went to bed. My other cat who is the more nervous of the two in general seems fine. For a while i was thinking maybe he sneak attacked her or something but they usually get along and when they do get into scuffles she can hold her own very well. I'm not really noticing that she's nervous around him in particular. Anyway, I'm clueless so if anyone has ideas/advice on how I can get her to calm down I'd appreciate it!
 

wasabipea

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Hi sweetseamus -
When I moved into my current home I had a problem with a neighborhood cat that was an outside cat, he used to jump on the windowsills outside, and flip out my girlcat that would sit on the windowsills inside. She used to screech and fight through the screens... after an episode would happen, she wouldn't be right for days. Nervous and aggressive, with her tail swishing around. She wouldn't let her brother anywhere near her and couldn't seem to relax.

Anyway, maybe your kitty saw an animal outside that frightened her when she was lounging in the sunroom?

As far as how to solve the problem... if that was the case, I don't know. I had to stack bricks and window flower boxes on my outside sills to keep the neighborhood cat off them, also put craft paper over the basement windows so she couldn't see the other cat. Not 100% effective but it helped.

Also, the only thing I found to help her get over it was patience and extra sunggles.

Good luck!
 
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sweetseamus

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Thanks, yes, I'm beginning to think it was something she saw outside. We live in a country setting and there is quite a bit of wildlife around. We also have a neighborhood cat that likes to "visit" my cats. So far she hasn't been very aggressive but Smudge doesn't like her one bit, so maybe some type of squabble happened through the window screen that I was unaware of...anyway, she seems a little bit calmer today so hopefully she'll be back to normal before too long.
 

Cee28

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Hello,

I haven't posted in quite a while but one of my cats is acting strangely and I'm wondering if anyone has advice. We bought a new house about 2 months ago and overall both cats adjusted well and seem to be enjoying their new digs. However, yesterday morning my female started acting very fearful and I can't figure out what set it off. She is not normally skittish and is generally pretty outgoing. She slept with me on Monday night but in the morning my husband couldn't find her and it turns out she was under the bed. She normally spends most of her day laying around in the sun or looking out the window, but she stayed under our dining room table for a good portion of the day. She's very jumpy and keeps looking over her shoulder like she worried something is going to sneak up on her. She's eating, using the litter box, and recently was at the vet for a check up so I don't believe it's a health issue. She just seems really spooked. Last night she snuggled with me in bed but it took her a long time to settle and she kept staring at the door which started to make ME feel a little paranoid!
LOL! I also notice that she seems very nervous in the basement where I keep the food and litter and again keeps looking over her shoulder constantly. We have an enclosed sun room that she loves to lounge in during the day but she hasn't ventured out there at all since yesterday. I'm really at a loss. We had no bad thunderstorms or anything obvious that might have scared her. She was completely fine on Monday night when I went to bed. My other cat who is the more nervous of the two in general seems fine. For a while i was thinking maybe he sneak attacked her or something but they usually get along and when they do get into scuffles she can hold her own very well. I'm not really noticing that she's nervous around him in particular. Anyway, I'm clueless so if anyone has ideas/advice on how I can get her to calm down I'd appreciate it!
I am so glad to read this because my Cat started this yesterday. I was with her all day so I know nothing unusual happened to her. I am very worried because it upsets me to have her so skittish
 

crystal dawn

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Cats can hear and smell things we can't and sometimes something we don't hear/see/smell can make them freak out entirely. My 9-year-old female does it off and on throughout the year, but I noticed that this time of year she seems to have a few days when she seems really freaked out about something for a few days then she settles back down. As others have advised, keep them under observation and give it some time and try some cat calming things to see if it helps. These will be different for every cat. For mine, I sing or hum or just talk to her and I give her scratches, pets, brush her and even pick her up and sway with her if she'll let me. Sometimes she's to freaked out by touch and I need to back off and just make sure she doesn't hurt herself and has safe places to hide in where I can find her to double-check she's okay since she's a little older.

Also, don't be afraid to call the vets office and talk with someone and see if they have any suggestions or can at least help settle your nerves a little. I know talking to everyone here and messaging with a vet (the office near me has an attitude on the phone unless you're making an appointment) helps as I can get my questions answered and learn what signs to watch for and understand them better, so I know when I need to make a vet appointment.

Also try to be calm yourself as cats can sense when you're anxious and that can make them anxious as well. I just went through a bout with my girl being anxious because I was due to my other cat being unwell. Now that I'm calmer she is too.
 

di and bob

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Yes, she might have seen something outside that only lasted an instant, but enough to scare a cat for days! A big dog, another cat, or a coyote would do it. You can't watch them every second, so I would bet she saw something out the window, or smelled it.
 

Dart77

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I know I'm a bit late with this post but just to add, I'm sure it has something to do with the different house /location move just 2 months ago. If you had said the same thing but had been in the same house for years, it would be more perplexing. Most people would not be comfortable with what I will say, but different houses have different 'comfort' levels or energy levels. It may take quite a while for a cat to settle in to a different house which is not the same 'feeling' as the previous house it was comfortable in. Sure, he /she is comfortable with you and that is making most of the difference but cats are highly sensitive and tuned into other energies (some may call them paranormal energies) than us humans. More than likely it was spooked by something she saw through a window or door that rattled her confidence, but that can't be taken as a 100% reason. Still need to consider the 'unknown' and 'unseen' factors that we are not tuned into but that animals are often sensitive to.
 
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