Cats are predators that can be predated upon. As a result, they have a strong need for a sense of security. Otherwise, cats can start showing a wide range of behavioral issues to both their detriment and their owner’s detriment. Cat owners can do a great deal to help out. However, they need to be able to tell the signs of an insecure cat before they can do so. Here are 10 signs that a cat is feeling insecure:
People might expect a frightened cat to behave in a fearful manner. However, it is very much possible for them to become more aggressive rather than less aggressive as a kind of posturing. Since a cat’s teeth are one of the species’s most used weapons, it stands to reason that a frightened cat will start biting.
Similarly, a frightened cat might start clawing for much the same reason. Be warned that this kind of behavior can extend even to individuals who the cat trusts under normal circumstances, meaning that cat owners should not consider themselves immune.
In some cases, a frightened cat will hiss rather than proceed right to the biting and the clawing. Whatever the cause, a cat’s hissing is a very clear sign that either someone or something is making them uncomfortable, meaning that they should back off. As a result, interested individuals should take the hint because attempting to handle an upset cat in said state is not going to go well for them. Instead, they should wait for the cat to calm down before trying anything else.
Cats can be territorial creatures. Thanks to this, if they feel threatened by a new arrival, they could start marking throughout the home. This is a huge problem because the process of marking can involve either defecating, urinating, or a combination of both. Something that will be a huge hassle to clean up to say the least. Having said that, inappropriate elimination is by no means guaranteed to be a sign of insecurity. For instance, it is sometimes a sign of a medical issue instead.
Some cats choose to hide rather than posture if they are feeling threatened. Sometimes, this means that they will head for beneath the furniture. Other times, this means that they will head for chairs, couches, and even blankets. Please note that it is normal for cats to seek out hiding spots because of their need for security. Due to this, the concern isn’t that they are hiding from time to time but rather that they seem to be hiding on a constant basis, which should be considered worrisome. Meanwhile, if the cat is just hiding whenever they want to get some sleep in, that isn’t much of an issue at all.
6. Excessive Meowing
Meowing is a very versatile sound. For example, a pleasant meowing might be a polite request for either food or attention. In contrast, a more unpleasant meowing might be a similar request but with a much more demanding tone to it. In any case, if a cat is meowing on a constant basis, that could be a sign that there is something wrong with them. Unfortunately, said issue could be either boredom or insecurity, meaning that interested individuals are going to have to guess between those possibilities based on whatever contextual clues they can find.
7. Excessive Purring
Generally speaking, people associate purring with a positive mood on the part of their cat. However, it is important to note that purring can be intended as a soothing sound. This matters because a cat might purr because they are seeking to soothe themselves, which in turn, means that there is something that needs to be soothed. Sometimes, this is insecurity, meaning that the cat is seeking self-assurance. Other times, this is pain, which can be caused by a very wide range of health issues. In any case, if cat owners notice their cats purring on a regular basis while also exhibiting some of the other signs seen on this list, they might want to look over everything to see if something is up.
8. Excessive Grooming
Like humans, cats can find grooming to be soothing. As a result, they can engage in excessive grooming as a way to take their minds off of some kind of serious issue. Due to this, excessive grooming is something that interested individuals should follow up on to see if there is some kind of serious issue that needs intervention. This is particularly true because excessive grooming can result in visible harm to cats. For example, some cats have been known to groom themselves until they develop bald spots. Likewise, said process can make the skin more vulnerable, thus resulting in skin infections as well as other skin-related issues.
9. Dilated Pupils
Dilated pupils are a sign that something is up. It could be that the cat has spotted some kind of prey animal, meaning that they are feeling a sense of excitement. However, it could also be something else altogether. For instance, a cat might have dilated pupils to help them with spotting sights of interest for a very different reason, which is to say, looking out for potential threats rather than something that they can be threatening towards. In any case, it is also possible for a cat to wind up with dilated pupils because of a change in lighting, so once again, interested individuals are going to need to examine the context to get a more complete picture of what is going on.
10. Tail Down
It is very common for a cat to have their tail up. It could be that they will have their tail sticking straight up and it could be that they will have their tail sticking up but with a slight curve at the end. However, if a cat is feeling confident, they will have their tail sticking up in one way or another. Meanwhile, if a cat has their tail either down or even tucked between their legs, that could be a sign of insecurity. Something that is particularly true if they are slinking low to the ground as though they are trying to hide, which will further strengthen the fearful impression that they are giving off.