What Is Unusual Cat Behavior?

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head in confusion over your cat’s bizarre actions? One minute they’re cuddling with you, and the next they’re knocking over your prized possessions or staring at a blank wall for hours on end. As a self-proclaimed cat enthusiast, I’m sure you’ve experienced some peculiar behavior from your feline friend. But what exactly constitutes as unusual cat behavior?

From harmless quirks to concerning actions that may indicate underlying medical or psychological issues, unusual cat behavior can take many forms. Some common examples of quirky cat behavior include obsessively grooming themselves, kneading blankets or humans, and playing with random objects like shoelaces or bottle caps. However, if your furry companion suddenly starts hissing or growling at you, refusing to use their litter box, or becoming overly aggressive towards other animals or people – these could all be signs that something is not quite right.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the mysterious world of cat behavior and explore the various types of unusual behaviors that can occur. We’ll also discuss possible causes for these behaviors and offer helpful tips on how to address them. Don’t let your curious kitty’s odd behavior go unnoticed – read on to discover how to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Excessive Meowing or Vocalization

Cats are fascinating creatures with their own unique personalities, but when they start meowing excessively or producing loud vocalizations, it can be a sign that something is amiss. Excessive meowing is one of the most common types of unusual cat behavior, and it’s essential to understand the potential causes and seek veterinary care if necessary.

One reason why cats may start to meow excessively is attention-seeking behavior. Cat owners are familiar with their furry friends meowing to request food or attention, but if the meowing is too frequent and doesn’t stop even after their needs have been met, it may be a signal that something more serious is going on. An underlying medical condition could be at play, and it’s important to take your cat to the vet for a thorough evaluation.

Another potential cause of excessive meowing is stress or anxiety. Cats can become anxious due to changes in their environment such as moving to a new home or the addition of a new pet. Separation anxiety, which is common in cats left alone for extended periods, can also manifest as excessive vocalization. If you suspect that your cat’s meowing is due to stress or anxiety, there are several strategies you can try, such as providing a safe space for your cat to retreat to or engaging in playtime to reduce their anxiety.

It’s crucial to note any changes in your cat’s meowing habits and seek veterinary care if necessary. A veterinarian can assess your cat’s health and determine if there’s an underlying medical condition or behavioral issue that requires attention. Additionally, other unusual behaviors such as aggression towards humans or other animals, refusal to use the litter box, and excessive grooming could be signs of underlying problems.

Aggression Towards Humans and Other Animals

Aggression towards humans and other animals is a concerning and potentially dangerous type of behavior that many cats may exhibit. While felines are generally known for their independent and aloof personalities, aggressive behavior can stem from a variety of reasons.

The first possible cause of aggression towards humans is fear or anxiety. If a cat feels threatened or cornered, they may lash out in self-defense. This is especially true if the cat has had negative experiences with humans in the past, such as abuse or neglect. If you notice your cat hissing, growling, or swatting at you, it may be a sign of fear or anxiety.

Another possible cause of aggression towards humans is redirected aggression. This occurs when a cat becomes agitated or aroused by something, such as another animal outside, and then directs its aggression towards a human who happens to be nearby. This type of aggression can be unpredictable and dangerous, making it important to recognize the signs early on.

In addition to aggression towards humans, cats may also exhibit aggressive behavior towards other animals. As natural predators, cats may become aggressive towards other animals, including other cats, dogs, and smaller pets such as birds or rodents. Fear or territorial instincts can also cause this type of behavior.

Socialization issues can also lead to aggression towards other animals. Cats that have not been properly socialized with other animals may not know how to interact appropriately, leading to aggressive behavior. Proper socialization can help prevent this type of aggression from developing.

It’s essential to note that while occasional displays of aggression are normal for cats, persistent or extreme aggression can be a sign of an underlying health issue or behavioral problem. If your cat exhibits unusual aggression towards humans or other animals, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to rule out any underlying issues and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Refusing to Use the Litter Box

Before throwing in the towel and resigning yourself to a lifetime of unpleasant surprises, it’s important to understand that there are a number of underlying causes that may be contributing to this behavior.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to rule out any potential medical issues by taking your cat to the vet for a thorough examination. Once you’ve established that your cat is healthy, it’s time to consider other possible causes.

One common reason for litter box aversion is stress. Changes to your cat’s environment, routine, or the introduction of new pets or family members can all contribute to stress. To help your cat feel more comfortable, provide them with a safe and secure space where they can relax and unwind. This could be a cozy bed in a quiet room or a spot on the windowsill with a view of the birds outside.

Another potential cause of litter box refusal is dissatisfaction with the litter itself. Some cats are pickier than others when it comes to their litter preferences, so it may be necessary to experiment with different types until you find one that your cat likes. Additionally, make sure to keep the litter box clean and well-maintained so that your cat isn’t put off by any unpleasant odors.

It’s also worth considering whether or not you have enough litter boxes in your home. The general rule of thumb is one box per cat, plus an extra one just in case. Providing multiple boxes can reduce competition and alleviate stress among multiple cats.

If none of these solutions seem to be working, it may be time to consult with an animal behaviorist for additional guidance. These professionals can help identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to your cat’s litter box aversion and provide targeted interventions and support.

Excessive Grooming or Over-Grooming

While this behavior is natural and helps cats maintain their hygiene, excessive grooming or over-grooming can become problematic and lead to health complications.

Excessive grooming in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress or anxiety. Like humans, cats can experience stress and anxiety due to changes in their environment, conflicts with other pets, or illness. When cats become overwhelmed by these emotions, they may resort to excessive grooming as a coping mechanism.

Allergies or skin irritations can also cause over-grooming in cats. Allergic reactions to certain foods or environmental factors like pollen or dust can cause itching and discomfort, leading to excessive grooming as an attempt to find relief.

Addressing the underlying cause of your cat’s excessive grooming behavior is crucial to ensure their well-being. If stress or anxiety is the root cause, creating a comfortable and safe environment for your cat can help alleviate the behavior. Using pheromone sprays or diffusers can also help calm them down.

If allergies or skin irritation are causing the behavior, consulting with a veterinarian is essential. A vet may recommend medication or changes in diet to alleviate symptoms and prevent further health complications.

In severe cases, excessive grooming can lead to hair loss and open wounds on the affected area, which can then lead to infection and other health issues if left untreated. Seeking professional help immediately is crucial if you notice your cat exhibiting this behavior.

Destructive Scratching or Chewing

Destructive scratching or chewing is a common behavior among cats that can become problematic if left unaddressed. However, with a few simple strategies and some patience, you can prevent this behavior and maintain a harmonious relationship with your feline friend.

One of the main reasons why cats scratch or chew is boredom. Cats need mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy and happy. When they’re left alone for too long or without any toys or activities to engage in, they may resort to destructive behavior. Combat this by providing your cat with plenty of toys, interactive games, and playtime. Try hiding treats around the house for your cat to find or setting up a window perch where they can watch birds and other wildlife outside.

Stress or anxiety is another common cause of destructive scratching or chewing. Major changes in your cat’s environment, such as moving to a new house or the addition of a new pet or family member, can trigger this behavior. To prevent this, minimize stressors in your cat’s environment and provide them with a safe space where they can retreat when they feel overwhelmed. Calming pheromone sprays or diffusers can also help your cat feel more relaxed.

To prevent destructive scratching or chewing, it’s important to provide your cat with an appropriate scratching post or pad. Cats need to scratch not only to maintain healthy nails but also to stretch their muscles and mark their territory. A good scratching post should be tall enough for your cat to stretch fully and sturdy enough not to tip over. Consider materials such as sisal rope or cardboard that your cat likes.

If your cat is already exhibiting destructive behavior, don’t despair. You can redirect their behavior and train them to scratch only on appropriate items. Try using deterrents such as double-sided tape or bitter sprays on the items you don’t want your cat to scratch, while providing plenty of positive reinforcement when they use their scratching post or pad.

Changes in Eating Habits

However, sudden changes in their eating habits should not be taken lightly. These changes could indicate underlying health problems or stress.

Let’s delve into the various reasons why your cat’s eating habits may change:

  • Dental issues: Just like humans, cats can suffer from painful dental problems that make eating uncomfortable.
  • Digestive problems: Constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues can affect your cat’s appetite.
  • Decrease in appetite due to illness: A decrease in appetite could be a sign of minor illnesses like a cold or something more serious like kidney disease or cancer.
  • Increase in activity level: A sudden increase in your cat’s activity level may leave them feeling hungrier than usual.
  • Change in diet: If you recently changed your cat’s diet, they may need time to adjust and eat more or less than usual.
  • Stress: Cats are creatures of habit and any sudden change in their environment may cause anxiety and a refusal to eat.

It’s crucial to note that if your cat stops eating altogether for more than 24 hours, take them to the vet immediately. This could signal serious health concerns such as kidney disease or cancer.

Hiding or Avoiding People and Other Pets

Cats are known for their mysterious and independent nature, but sometimes their behavior can be puzzling, like when they start hiding or avoiding certain people or pets. As an expert in feline behavior, I know that excessive hiding or avoidance could be a sign of anxiety or stress. While it’s natural for cats to seek out quiet and private spaces, it’s important to recognize when their behavior becomes concerning.

A common reason for hiding or avoiding behavior is a negative experience or association with a particular person or pet. If your cat has been bullied or attacked by another pet, they may start hiding to avoid confrontation. Similarly, if they were once scared by a loud noise made by a particular person or pet, they may begin to avoid them altogether. These triggers can cause distress and anxiety for your cat.

To address this behavior, it’s crucial to identify the root cause. Gradually reintroducing the person or pet in a positive and controlled environment may help alleviate some of the anxiety. Providing safe and comfortable hiding spaces can also help reduce stress for cats who are prone to hiding. These spaces should be easily accessible and away from any potential sources of stress.

If your cat’s hiding or avoidance behavior becomes excessive, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. This behavior could be a sign of underlying medical issues that require prompt attention. Other concerning symptoms to look out for include changes in appetite and aggression.

Urine Marking Inside the Home

However, before you throw in the towel, let’s explore the causes and solutions for this common issue.

Firstly, it’s important to note that urine marking is a natural behavior in cats. It’s their way of communicating with other cats and marking their territory. However, when this behavior happens inside your home, it could be a sign of something more significant.

One possible reason for urine marking indoors is territorial marking. Changes in your cat’s environment, such as new pets or changes in routine, can trigger this behavior. Cats may also mark their territory to assert dominance over other cats or even people in the household. Establishing clear boundaries and providing your cat with their own space can help reduce territorial marking.

Stress and anxiety are also common reasons for urine marking inside the home. Cats are sensitive creatures, and changes in their environment or routine can cause them to become stressed or anxious. This can lead to inappropriate elimination behaviors, including urine marking. Providing your cat with plenty of mental and physical stimulation, such as playtime and puzzle toys, can help reduce their anxiety levels.

Medical issues should also be considered when dealing with urine marking inside the home. Bladder infections, urinary tract infections, or kidney problems could be causing your cat to urinate inappropriately. If you suspect a medical issue, it’s crucial to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Cleaning any areas where urine has been marked is crucial to discouraging further marking behavior. Cats have a strong sense of smell and will continue to mark in areas that smell like urine. Using enzyme cleaners specifically designed for pet urine can help eliminate the odor and discourage further marking behavior.


In conclusion, feline behavior can be as quirky and unpredictable as their personalities. However, some unusual cat behaviors may be a cause for concern and indicate underlying medical or psychological issues. As a devoted cat parent, it’s important to recognize the various types of unusual behaviors that can occur and their potential causes.

If your kitty is excessively vocalizing, it could be a sign of attention-seeking behavior or stress and anxiety. Aggression towards humans or other animals may stem from fear, anxiety, or territorial instincts. Refusal to use the litter box could result from dissatisfaction with the litter itself, too few litter boxes in the home, or even stress. Excessive grooming or over-grooming could be due to allergies and skin irritations or stress and anxiety. Destructive scratching or chewing may result from boredom or stress and anxiety. Changes in eating habits should not be taken lightly as they could indicate underlying health problems or stress. Hiding or avoiding people and other pets could also signal anxiety and stress triggered by negative experiences.

Understanding your cat’s behavior is crucial for their well-being. If you notice any unusual behavior in your furry friend, it’s essential to seek veterinary care to rule out any underlying medical conditions or behavioral issues. With proper attention and care, you can keep your curious kitty happy and healthy.