If your cat seems grumpy all of a sudden, it’s your job as a cat parent to find out why and do something about it.
This is sometimes easier said than done, but with a little investigation and patience, I’m sure you’ll be able to get to the bottom of it and get them back to their old, happy selves!
Here is a look at some of the most common reasons why cats become grumpy, cranky, irritable, and generally have a change in behavior:
They’re Sick or in Pain
The most common reason why cats become ‘grumpy’, for want of a better word, is because they’re dealing with a medical issue.
It’s understandable really, I think most of us feel a little cranky or irritable when we’re sick if we’re not being left alone to recover or being helped.
The issue is that cats can’t tell us what’s wrong. In fact, they’re great at hiding when they’re injured or sick, as I’ve found out numerous times over the years.
If your cat won’t let you handle them, is being aggressive, is not eating or drinking as they normally would, etc, a trip to the vet to rule out/in any health issues is your best bet.
Something Is Stressing Them
Cats are very sensitive to their environments and can easily become stressed if something in their world changes or they’re ‘spooked’ by something.
If you’ve recently moved house, added another pet to your household, or made any other major changes, this could very likely be the cause of their changes in behavior.
Something minor can also suddenly cause a cat stress. A few years ago, one of my cats had a near-miss with a car, and she was clearly visibly shaken for around 7-10 days afterward.
Some of the other symptoms and signs that a cat is stressed are typically:
- Being very withdrawn and not spending as much time with you and others in the home
- A noticeable change in eating and drinking habits
- Being aggressive or defensive when you do try and interact with them
- Being destructive, such as scratching furniture and other items
- Excessive grooming causing them to have a patchy coat or skin issues
- Generally looking tense or on edge
- Having a ‘grumpy’, worried, or stressed look on their face (yes, you can usually tell)
Your vet may be able to help, but you will more than likely need to talk to a pet behavioral therapist to help identify and solve whatever is causing your cat stress.
You’re Not Paying Attention to Their Body Language
It can be very difficult to read and understand a cat’s body language at times, especially as first-time cat parents.
We often want to pet and play with our cats when we have time, which might not be when they want to play.
Believe it or not, no matter how much your cat seems to love being pet and fussed, they can easily become over-stimulated.
It’s up to you to pay attention to how your cat is reacting to being stroked and where you’re stroking them.
If they bite or nibble on your hands, flick their tails quickly, or leave when you’re fussing them, take notice and give them some space.
You can look at it as if you’re being an over-excited, dare I say ‘annoying’ friend. If you’re being too much for your cat, they’re going to be grumpy around you
They Are Missing Some of Their Basic Needs
Cats have some basic needs (not many) that if not met, can cause them to understandably become a little grumpy.
At the very least, you should be providing your cat with:
- Fresh drinking water at least once a day
- Fresh food twice a day
- Clean litter box(es)
- Plenty of space to roam and explore
- Some of their own furniture to play with and scratch (better than scratching your furniture!)
- Some nice quiet, warm spots to sleep undisturbed
- Availability to play and interact with you (often at their own leisure)
If one or more of these things is missing, or maybe it’s something like you’re not cleaning their litter box often enough, your cat might be off with you.
There was a very famous internet celebrity cat called Grumpy Cat, but that was because he had a permanently grump-looking face – he was actually very happy.
It’s not cool or funny if your cat is grumpy or upset. Start investigating how you can make their life more enjoyable – even if it’s a little more inconvenient to you.
The sooner you do so, the sooner you will have a happy and loving cat bringing more joy and fun into your life, too!
Image credits – Photo by Cyrus Chew on Unsplash