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Why Is My Cat So Jumpy – Reasons Things To Consider

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As a cat owner, you may have noticed that your feline friends become so jumpy, startled, or frightened at times. Though they look so adorable when they do so, it happens for some reasons. And if you don’t know the reasons behind their jumpy behavior, you may wonder: why is my cat so jumpy? 

Cats are jumpy when they are frightened by loud noises. Cats are also jumpy when exposed to new environments, people, or other pets. Past traumatic experiences or any physical illness that is causing discomfort can cause cats to be jumpy.

In this article, we will be discussing why your cat is so jumpy. We will also be answering some other commonly asked questions and providing some necessary information that you may consider when it comes to your cat’s jumpy behavior.

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Reasons Your Cat Is So Jumpy

There are six main reasons why your cat is so jumpy. Your feline partner can become so jumpy and excited seeing any sudden changes in its daily routine, such as changing existing litter with a new brand, changes in food, rearranging furniture, etc.

It may also happen when your cat is exposed to a new environment. However, your cat’s excessive jumpiness may indicate that it lacks proper socialization or went through past traumatic experiences. It can also suggest that your cat is physically sick and need your attention. 

Sudden Changes In Your Cat’s Routine 

A sudden change in your cat’s routine can make it so jumpy and defensive. As cats are reluctant to see any change in their routine, they become so frightened and nervous when you make any sudden changes in their day-to-day life.

It can happen when you mix up its feeding, playing, and sleeping routine, rearrange its resting place or even shuffle your room’s furniture. The changes can be very subtle – like changing your perfume brand, or the brand of their cat food can also make them frightened and jumpy.

Your feline friend cannot stand a slight change in their routine. So with its excessive jumpy behavior, it tells you that it’s getting fearful or experiencing discomfort due to the recent changes.

Your Cat Is Exposed To A New Environment

Your cat can be so jumpy being exposed to a new environment. If your cat remains indoors all the time, it may show excessive jumpiness when you take it outside.

Cats are highly territorial animals. So it’s natural for them to become frightened and defensive when exposed to any new setting. For example, if you bring a new pet into the household, it’s natural for your cat to be so jumpy and defensive.

Again, if your feline friend is newly adopted, it can be so jumpy being in your household and take time to get accustomed to the new environment. As cats are very cautious animals, anything new or unexpected things can make them nervous and defensive.

Your Cat Is Exposed To A New Cat or Pet 

Your cat may show jumpiness when it is exposed to a new cat or any other pet. It can happen when you bring a new cat or dog into your household. It may also happen when you take your cat outside for playing, and it sees other cats or dogs in the field.

As cats are highly protective about their area, they hiss, growls, snarl, and show jumpiness when another cat or dog intrudes into it.

A new pet in the house can also make your feline friend nervous, frightened, and challenged. It may hide under the sofa or bed being intimidated or show restlessness around you to tell you that it is not happy being in this situation. 

Lack Of Proper Socialization 

When your cat lacks proper socialization, it may act jumpy in front of new people. For example, if any plumber comes to fix some issues in your household, your cat may get frightened encountering the stranger and become so jumpy.

The voice of the plumber or the sounds during work may startle your cat as well. However, it may also happen when your friends come to visit you. Your cat may feel nervous and frightened.

When cats lack proper socialization, they fear interactions and thus act so jumpy, fearful, and restless. 

Your Cat Has Traumatic Past Experiences

If you adopt an adult cat and it was abused or ill-treated in the past, it may get so jumpy and startled at times. In most cases, it happens for stray cats. If you adopt a stray cat, it may show jumpiness or get easily startled for the first few days or weeks.

Cats have a great memory, so they become meticulous and cautious about what’s happening around them. And if any of the current events are related to its past traumatic experiences, it may show excessive jumpiness and restless behavior. 

Your Cat Is Experiencing Physical Illness Or Discomfort

Your feline friend can be jumpy due to some physical illness or discomforts. Sometimes, their jumpiness may occur due to excessive flea, mite, or other parasite infections.

Your cat can become sensitive to touch and therefore show restlessness and become jumpy. It is always wise for you to regularly check your furry friend’s health to ensure that it’s in good health and free from flea attacks or other infections.

You may consult a vet if you see excessive jumpiness combined with other symptoms like lack of appetite, trembling, aggressiveness, etc.

Why Is My Cat So Easily Startled

As cats are incredibly independent, sensitive, cautious, shy, and territorial animals, they can get startled by any sudden changes in their environment. Your feline partner may get easily startled when they hear loud noises or are exposed to a new pet, animal, or even humans.

As your cat is highly independent and solitary, a change in its routine can make your feline friend easily startled too. It also happens in the household with many members when people go and come to the house, open the door loudly, or talk in a high tone.

Your cat always despises a noisy environment, and if your place gets crowded with people, it can startle your cat very easily. 

Spooked Cat Symptoms

Several things can cause fearfulness in cats. It can be a new environment, an unknown person, another pet, a slight change in its routine, and so on.

To understand your cat’s jumpy behavior properly, you must know the following spooked cat symptoms. It will help you identify the cause of your cat’s fearfulness, anxiety, or discomfort and overcome the situation easily. 

Signs/SymptomsWhat Causes It
HidingWhen your cat is exposed to another cat or dog. It can also happen when your cat is exposed to a new environment.
Over-aggressivenessWhen your cat is new to any environment or challenged by any situation, it can show over-aggressiveness as a defense mechanism.
TremblingIt happens when your cat is excited, irritated, or frightened in any situation. It can happen in a noisy environment or when your home is full of strangers.
Hissing, growling, or snarlingCats show this behavior when they are frightened by other cats. As cats are highly territorial, they feel threatened by any intruders.
Lack of appetiteAny change in your cat’s daily routine may result in discomfort and therefore your cat may start eating less and fearful about the changes.
Not using the litter boxWhen your cat is frightened due to new or subtle changes it may stop using the litter box. It can happen when you change the existing litter with a new brand. Cats are highly sensitive about changes.

How Do You Calm A Jumpy Cat

There are a few ways to calm your jumpy cat. If you follow the below suggestions, your cat will feel comfortable in your household and not show excessive jumpiness. It will also enhance the relationship between you and your furry friend. 

Calm Yourself First 

Always stay calm and peaceful even when your cat expresses its jumpy behavior. Don’t react or shout at your cat. Always treat your cat with love and care. When you open or close the doors, do with slowly without making loud noises. Don’t startle your cat with any sudden changes or surprises. 

Give Your Cat A Comforting Place 

Offer your cat a beautiful and comforting resting place. The place must be free from any noise and distraction. Make sure your cat is undisturbed when it eats, rests, or sleeps in its place. 

Make Sure Your Cat Has Access To Enough Food and Water

Many cats show jumpiness when they are hungry. So, make sure your cat has easy access to food and drinking water. Never leave your cat hungry for a long time. You can also give treats to your feline partner in between the main meals. 

Stick To Your Cat’s Routine 

Try to stick to your cat’s routine. As cats don’t love changes, you shouldn’t change anything dramatically. If you want to change anything, such as foods or litter, make it very gradually so that your cat can get enough time to get used to it. 

Hide Things That Scare Your Cat 

If any particular toys or things scare your cat, you must hide them from your cat’s eyesight. Try to observe your cat’s behavior and remove the things that make your feline friend nervous or frightened. 

Check Your Cat’s Health Regularly 

To make sure your cat is healthy and active, you should regularly check its health condition. You should check its body, fur, face, ears, paws regularly, and if found anything unusual, you must consult your vet for help. 

Things To Consider

There are several things you should consider when it comes to the excessive jumpiness of your feline friend. It may occur due to a sudden change in your cat’s daily routine or when your cat is exposed to a new environment.

It can also happen due to poor socialization, traumatic experiences, or physical discomfort. So, to make sure your cat is doing okay, you should always observe its behavior and act accordingly.

Offer love and care 

No matter how busy you are with your life and works, you must show love and care to your feline friend. When you are home, play with your cat, offer delicious food, and cuddle to show how much you love your feline partner.

Showing good love and affection is a way to let your cat know that you are always there for your furry friend. It helps your cat to calm down and own the place and the environment. 

Never Punish Your Cat 

It would help if you never punished or shout at your cat even when its jumpy behavior bothers you the most. If you do so, it will only worsen the situation. Your cat will lose trust in you and feel intimidated by your presence. So, always be calm and peaceful when your cat is around you. 

Make Sure Your Kids Are Not Bothering Your Cat

If you have kids in your house, you must tell them not to bother your cat when it eats, rests, or sleep. As cats are incredibly solitary and independent animals, they love to spend time alone and undisturbed. 

Consult A Vet If Excessive Jumpiness Continues For Long 

Suppose your cat shows excessive jumpy behavior for a long time. In that case, you must consult your vet or animal behaviorist about it because it can indicate that your cat is not feeling well and needs medical attention.

Though momentary jumpy behavior is quite common in cats, their excessive jumpy attitude may suggest that they are in physical discomfort. In that case, you should be concerned and book an appointment with your vet to overcome the situation.