If your cat is in the habit of running away every time you approach, it is obvious that he is afraid of you. Perhaps you are yet to win your cat’s trust.
To fix this issue, you should focus on winning your cat’s trust and understanding actions that can upset your cat.
Giving your cat his personal space will help him to develop a sense of security.
Cats tend to like time away from humans. To maintain a good relationship with your cat, it is important that you understand when your cat wants to play with you or be held and when he wants to be just left alone.
Do not take it personally when your cat avoids you; he still loves you but needs a break.
Below are a few reasons why your cat may be running away from you:
1. Insufficient socialization as a kitten
Kittens need to be exposed to the environment around them, humans and animals in the initial two months of their life. This is important for social development. If this doesn’t happen for any reason, they are likely to be afraid later on in life.
If your cat was not handled by humans or had little to no interaction with people in the initial years of his life, he may have anxiety and fear when around people.
It will be good to have a chat with the adoption center staff on the socialization of your kitten before adoption.
You can also talk to your vet about helping your cat with his anxiety around humans, improve his social skills and how to grow the bond between you and your cat.
Though cats have evolved over the years they still retain some of their wild instincts, which includes hiding during the day and hunting at night.
Cats also have a prey instinct and if you got your cat recently, he may see you as a threat and choose to hide.
On the other hand, if you have had your cat for some time and he still runs away or backs away when you approach, it may be because of your body language. He is probably anxious and unsure of what will happen once you hold him. It goes back to building trust with your cat.
3. Painful past
If your cat is staying away from you or displaying indications of hostility or continual fear, they may have gone through painful experiences in the past involving humans. Abuse and neglect in the past can have lasting psychological impact.
Some cat owners punish their cats to stop unwanted behavior like scratching furniture. Abused animals can get better overtime but it requires time and assistance. The best strategy is to be nice with your cat and not compel them to participate in activities that they are not yet comfortable with.
4. Needs time alone
Each cat tends to have a unique personality and the social behavior can vary from one cat to the other. Some cats enjoy being with people while others prefer to be on their own or their human owners occasionally.
Approaching your cat when he is not in the mood to mingle can frighten him away. Respect your cat’s personal space and do not interrupt their time alone. Wait for your cat to approach you when he is ready to be with you.
5. Age of your cat
As mentioned above, kittens get accustomed to humans during early socialization. If your kitten is running away, you need to give him time to get accustomed to the new environment and you. You need to be patient.
Giving your kitten time to adjust will help to build a good bond between you and your pet. Age can also be the reason why your senior cat avoids you. Some cats prefer to be on their own as they grow older.
6. Too much noise
Cats dislike loud noises and if you tend to make a lot of noise as you approach them, it can scare them away. Maybe your shoes are making a lot of noise or you are too loud while calling out to your cat. Try to be calmer and softer when approaching your cat next time and see if it makes a difference.
Your cat may be trying to initiate play by running away from you. If its play, then they will try to ambush you or keep returning after running away. If they are in a playful mood, you can get some toys out and play with them.
If your cat is hurt or ill, he may try to hide. When a cat is sick, his first instinct is to hide and protect himself. If your cat starts running away from you suddenly or is hiding more than usual, then you should get an appointment with your vet immediately.
How to get your cat to stay when you approach?
1. Get your cat to be relaxed around you
Win your cat’s trust by staying close to her without touching or talking to her. Your cat should view your presence as a pleasant experience and not one that strikes fear.
If your cat flees at the very sight of you then you need to approach when your cat is eating or taking a nap.
Again, no touching. Keep your hands behind your back or on your lap if seated. Keep the bowl and wait at a distance the cat would consider as safe; hunger will get the better of your cat and she will eat even if you are nearby.
Repeat this each time you feed your cat and even when giving snacks to your cat.
You can also do this while your cat is napping. Sit or stand nearby. Your cat will wake up when he senses your presence but if you remail still, he will go back to his nap. Stay for a few minutes and leave.
Your cat will eventually get used to having you nearby and start trusting you. He may even start approaching the food bowl while you are standing next to him.
Once the initial trust is established start approaching your cat even when he is not eating or napping. Approach your cat, pause for a few minutes, and then depart. Increase the frequency of this action, and your cat will cease fleeing when you approach her.
2. Train your cat to be comfortable with your presence
Approach your cat at random intervals and do one of the following:
- Sit near your cat
- Take a treat from your pocket and offer it to your cat
- Offer some catnip
- If the cat seems comfortable with you, try petting your cat gently
It takes patience to win over a cat and build trust. With consistent effort, you will be able to establish a good relationship with your cat. It is important to respect your cat’s boundaries and give him space when he wants to be alone. Always allow your cat to approach you when he wants to interact with you.