Why Does My Cat Go Into The Closet And Scream?

As a cat owner, you may have found yourself in the perplexing situation of discovering your feline friend wailing inside your closet. It’s enough to give anyone a fright and leave you pondering what could be causing such behavior. So, why does your cat go into the closet and scream?

The answer isn’t straightforward. Some cats might be feeling anxious or scared, while others might be declaring their newfound territory. Your kitty could also just be indulging in a harmless game of hide-and-seek.

It’s crucial to keep an eye out for any other unusual behaviors or signs of distress that your cat may display. Are they eating and drinking normally? Do they seem lethargic or restless? Familiarizing yourself with your cat’s typical habits can help you determine if something is genuinely wrong.

While it may not always be clear why your cat is howling in the closet, by observing their actions and understanding their personality, you can ensure that they feel comfortable in their environment. After all, every cat has unique quirks and preferences, and it’s up to us as owners to cater to them.

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Screams in the Closet?

However, there are several reasons why your cat may be exhibiting this behavior, and it’s essential to identify the underlying cause.

One possible reason for your cat’s behavior is anxiety or stress. Cats often seek out enclosed spaces when they feel threatened or scared, and the closet could be their safe haven. Additionally, if your cat is experiencing any medical issues or discomfort, they may vocalize their distress by screaming in the closet.

Another reason why your cat may be screaming in the closet is due to boredom or frustration. Cats are active animals that require ample mental and physical stimulation. Without sufficient playtime or toys to keep them entertained, they can become bored and restless, leading them to engage in abnormal behaviors like screaming in the closet.

It’s also possible that your cat is trying to communicate with you through their vocalizations. They may be seeking attention or playtime, or they could be indicating that they need something from you.

Lastly, if your cat is not spayed or neutered, they may scream in the closet during their breeding season as a way to attract a mate.

To prevent such behaviors from occurring, it’s crucial to provide your cat with plenty of love, attention, and enrichment. You can invest in toys and climbing structures to keep them entertained and engaged. It’s also essential to observe their behavior closely and pay attention to their body language to determine if there is an underlying issue that needs addressing.

Reasons Why Cats Scream in the Closet

Fear or Anxiety

Cats are natural hunters, but when they feel threatened or vulnerable, they may seek out small, enclosed spaces where they feel safe. The closet provides a quiet and dark environment where your cat can hide from perceived dangers. So, if your cat is screaming in the closet, it could be a sign that they are feeling scared or anxious.

Territorial Behavior

Cats are territorial animals and may view the closet as their territory. If they feel threatened by another animal or person, they may scream as a way to defend their territory. So, if your cat is exhibiting aggressive behavior and screaming in the closet, it could be due to territorial issues.

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Medical Issues

If your cat is experiencing pain or discomfort, they might seek out a quiet and secluded space such as the closet to deal with their discomfort. It is essential to take your cat to the veterinarian if you notice any changes in their behavior, including screaming in the closet. Your veterinarian can rule out any underlying medical issues that might be causing the behavior.


Female cats in heat often become more vocal and restless, and may seek out secluded areas like closets to hide away from male cats. So, if you have a female cat that is screaming in the closet, she may be in heat.


Changes in their environment, such as the introduction of a new pet or family member, can cause stress for cats and lead to unusual behavior. Seeking refuge in the closet may help them cope with their anxiety. So, if your cat is experiencing stress, they may retreat to the closet and start screaming.

Fear and Anxiety

It’s not uncommon for cats to retreat to the closet and scream, and fear and anxiety are often the culprits. As a sensitive species, cats can become anxious or scared by various factors, such as changes in their environment, new people or animals in the house, loud noises, or even separation anxiety.

So why do cats prefer the closet? The confined space of the closet provides them with a sense of security and safety, helping them feel protected from any perceived threats. However, if they’re feeling anxious or fearful, they may also scream or vocalize their distress. This behavior can be alarming for pet owners, who may mistake it for their cat being in pain or distress.

To help your cat feel more comfortable and secure in their home, it’s crucial to identify what’s causing their anxiety or fear. If there have been any recent changes in your home or routine, try to create a calm and stable environment for your cat by providing them with a designated safe space. This could be a cozy bed or hiding spot with access to food and water.

In addition to providing a safe space, it’s essential to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to your cat’s behavior. If your cat’s behavior persists despite your efforts to create a safe space for them, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be causing your cat’s behavior and provide advice on how to manage their anxiety or fear effectively.

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There are also various behavior modification techniques that can help reduce your cat’s stress levels. Desensitization involves gradually exposing your cat to the stimulus that triggers their fear or anxiety in a controlled and positive way. Counter-conditioning involves replacing the negative association your cat has with the stimulus with a positive one.

Boredom and Frustration

It can be concerning to see your cat in such distress, and you may be wondering what could have caused it. Boredom and frustration are two major factors that can lead to such behavior in cats. These curious creatures require adequate mental stimulation to keep them engaged and happy; otherwise, they become bored and restless, which can cause destructive behavior like clawing furniture or hiding in small spaces.

To prevent boredom and frustration in your cat, here are some tips:

  • Provide Mental Stimulation: Offering puzzle toys or interactive games that challenge their minds is crucial for keeping your cat happy and healthy. Consider hiding treats around the house for them to find or playing games like hide-and-seek.
  • Maintain a Consistent Routine: Cats are creatures of habit, thriving on routine. Changing their routines suddenly can cause them to feel uneasy and stressed. Ensure that you maintain a consistent routine for feeding and playtime to keep them calm and content.
  • Identify the Cause: If your cat is already exhibiting signs of boredom or frustration by screaming in the closet, try identifying any recent changes or disruptions in their routine. Once you pinpoint the cause of their distress, you can reintroduce familiar routines or provide extra attention and playtime.
  • Offer Plenty of Playtime: Playtime is essential for a cat’s physical and mental wellbeing. Set aside time each day for playtime, using toys that allow your cat to engage in natural behaviors like hunting or stalking.

It is important to note that cats are creatures of habit; thus, they thrive on consistency and predictability. Any disruption to their routine can cause them to feel uneasy and stressed, leading to frustration and ultimately screeching in the closet. By providing plenty of mental stimulation, a consistent routine, and playtime, you can help prevent boredom and frustration in your furry friend.


In this piece, I’ll delve into the reasons why a cat may exhibit this behavior and what it could potentially mean.

First things first, before assuming that your cat’s screaming in the closet is a behavioral issue, it’s crucial to rule out any potential medical problems. Screaming is often associated with fear or pain, so if your cat exhibits this behavior frequently, it’s essential to take them to the vet for a check-up.

Assuming that your cat is healthy, there are a few possible explanations for why it might be screaming in the closet.

Privacy and Safe Space:

One possibility is that your cat is trying to communicate its need for privacy or a safe space. Cats are known for seeking out small, enclosed spaces as a way to feel secure and comfortable. If the closet provides this type of environment for your cat, it may retreat there when it’s feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

Asserting Territorial Boundaries:

Another possible reason why your cat might be screaming in the closet is that it’s trying to communicate its territorial boundaries. Cats can be very territorial animals and may become aggressive or vocal when they feel their territory is being threatened. If there are other cats in the household, your cat may be using the closet as a way to assert its dominance and protect its space.

Attention Seeking:

Lastly, it’s also possible that your cat is simply trying to get your attention. Cats are intelligent creatures and will often use various tactics to communicate with their owners. If your cat associates screaming in the closet with getting attention from you, they may continue this behavior even if there isn’t an underlying issue.

How to Address a Cat’s Screaming in the Closet

If you’ve ever been woken up in the middle of the night by your cat screaming in the closet, you know how unsettling it can be. As an expert, I’ve gathered some information to help you address this behavior and make your cat feel more comfortable.

Understanding the Reason Behind Your Cat’s Screaming

Cats are creatures of habit and prefer small, enclosed spaces when they feel anxious or stressed. If your cat is screaming in the closet, it could be because they’re seeking comfort and security. However, it could also be a sign of fear, illness, or injury. Watch your cat’s behavior closely to determine the cause behind their screaming.

Providing Plenty of Stimulation

Cats are curious and active animals that require mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. If your cat isn’t provided with enough stimulation, they can become bored and restless, leading them to engage in abnormal behaviors like screaming in the closet. Provide your cat with plenty of toys, scratching posts, and playtime to keep them entertained and engaged.

Creating a Safe Space

If your cat is screaming in the closet due to fear or anxiety, create a safe and comfortable space where they can retreat when they feel threatened. This can be achieved using a cozy bed, blankets, or toys. You can also try using calming pheromones or playing soothing music to help ease their anxiety.

Seeking Veterinary Attention if Necessary

If your cat’s screaming is due to illness or injury, seek veterinary attention immediately. Your cat may require medication or specialized treatment to alleviate their symptoms.

Strengthening Your Bond with Your Cat

Cats are social animals that crave attention and affection from their owners. Regular playtime and affection can help strengthen the bond between owner and cat and reduce anxiety overall. Additionally, positive reinforcement training can help your cat learn to associate good behavior with rewards.

Being Patient and Understanding

Addressing a cat’s screaming in the closet requires patience and understanding. By identifying the reason behind your cat’s behavior and making changes to their environment, you can help alleviate their stress and create a more comfortable living space for both of you.

Provide Stimulation and Attention

This is especially crucial for cats that scream in closets, as they may be experiencing anxiety or boredom. Here are some tips on how to provide your cat with the mental and physical stimulation they need to stay happy and healthy.

Interactive Playtime

Cats are natural hunters, and interactive playtime is an excellent way to provide them with mental and physical stimulation. You can use toys like feathers, laser pointers, and balls to encourage your cat to play and exercise. Spending at least 10-15 minutes per day playing with your cat not only provides them with stimulation but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend.

Scratching Surfaces

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats that helps them stretch their muscles and mark their territory. Providing an appropriate scratching surface such as a post or pad can prevent your furniture or carpet from being destroyed. When selecting a scratching surface, ensure that it’s tall enough for your cat to stretch fully. Additionally, you can sprinkle some catnip on the scratching surface to make it more appealing.

Attention from Owners

Cats crave attention from their owners and need to feel loved and appreciated. Spending quality time with your cat by petting them and talking to them can help prevent behavioral issues such as screaming in closets. If you’re leaving the house for an extended period, try leaving some of your clothing with your cat so they can smell your scent while you’re away.

Create a Safe Environment

Not only does it guarantee their happiness and well-being, but it can also reduce the likelihood of problematic behaviors like hiding in the closet and screaming. So, what can you do to create a safe haven for your cat?

First and foremost, make sure your cat has enough space to roam around and play. Cats are active creatures and need ample room to stretch their legs, climb, and explore. This doesn’t mean you need a massive mansion, but rather provide your cat with sufficient space to move around comfortably.

Next, give your cat a cozy and secure resting place. Cats adore snuggling up in warm beds or hiding in enclosed spaces like boxes or cat condos. By providing them with a place like this, you can help them feel safe and secure, reducing their anxiety levels.

In addition to creating a comfy space for your cat, keeping your home free from potential hazards is crucial. Remove any toxic plants, chemicals, or small objects that could pose a choking hazard to your beloved pet. Keeping your home tidy can also prevent any accidents or injuries that could cause your cat to feel scared or threatened.

Last but not least, spend quality time with your cat each day. Playing with them, grooming them, and cuddling them can strengthen your bond and reduce their stress levels. A happy and relaxed cat is less likely to display problematic behaviors; therefore, make sure to shower them with love and attention.


In summary, the mystery of why cats go into the closet and scream remains unsolved. However, as an expert on feline behavior, I have explored various possible explanations for this peculiar conduct, such as fear or anxiety, territorialism, health problems, boredom or frustration, and communication.

It is imperative to identify the root cause of your cat’s behavior and take appropriate measures to address it. Engaging your cat in interactive playtime and providing them with scratching surfaces and attention from you can help prevent problematic behaviors like hiding in the closet and screaming. Additionally, creating a safe environment that includes ample space to roam around, cozy resting places, hazard-free surroundings, and quality time with their owners can significantly reduce stress levels in cats.

If despite your best efforts to create a comfortable environment for your pet they continue to exhibit this behavior pattern, seek veterinary attention immediately. Your veterinarian can rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the behavior.

As responsible cat owners, it is critical to pay close attention to our furry friends’ behaviors and body language so that we can provide them with the care they need.