My Cat Wants to Be Alone All of a Sudden: What You Should Know

As a pet parent, you may spend much time at home with your cat and notice that the cat seems withdrawn. Naturally, you might suspect your cat is sick or stressed. Or you might also wonder if cats are solitary creatures. “Is that the reason my cat wants to be alone all of a sudden?” 

This article discusses all the reasons your cat may suddenly want to be alone, the reason for this, and what you can do about it. 

Table of Contents

Do Cats Want to Be Alone?

Pet experts disagree. Cats don’t need so much alone time. However, their owners may need help understanding them because, for example, your cat prefers a comfortable spot in the same room rather than sitting on your lap.

Also, just like humans, cats have individual personalities. Some are needier, some more independent. Some are more playful and like it when you pet them, while others need more alone time. 

Tell-Tale Signs Your Cat Is Trying to Avoid You

Sometimes, your cat wants to be alone. Here’s how to tell your cat is avoiding you:

  • Your cat hides when you’re around.
  • Your cat runs away whenever you approach or try to get near it.
  • Your furball steers clear of your favorite spots or the places you frequent.
  • When you finally get a hold of your cat, it struggles to free itself from your grip.
  • When you pet your cat, it swishes its tail, bites, scratches, or meows in a manner that conveys displeasure.
Image of a cat acting violently

( Image of a cat acting violently)

  • Your cat won’t let you touch it, yet they’re receptive to a stranger petting them. 

Why Does My Cat Want to Be Alone All of a Sudden?

Here’s the answer to this frequently asked question that plagues many cat owners from time to time.

1. Your Cat Is in a Bad Mood

Picture of a depressed cat

( Picture of a depressed cat)

Also, like humans, cats can get depressed. For example, grieving the loss of their kittens or siblings due to death or separation can cause a cat to get depressed, and so can severe illness or underlying medical condition. Further, if your cat is very affectionate and fond of you, separation from you for long periods can cause them to feel depressed. 

2. Your Cat Is Unwell

Often, cats tend to withdraw when they’re feeling under the weather. That’s because they prefer to be alone to deal with the issue. But note that cats will isolate themselves, whether suffering from an upset tummy or severe disease or infection requiring medical attention.

3. Your Cat Is Unhappy With a Change

Generally, cats don’t take well to change. So if you move or bring home a new pet, your cat will react. Even less drastic disruptions like a change in routine or rearranging the furniture may cause them to feel disgruntled. And when that happens, isolation is their coping mechanism. 

Image of a cat hiding under the sofa

( Image of a cat hiding under the sofa)

4. Your Cat Is Growing Older

Similar to humans, cats experience new phases in their life as they get older. For example, as kittens, they may want to play and cuddle all the time. But when they hit their teen years, they may withdraw a little. Senior cats like peace and tend to spend more time alone. And as they near their end, they will isolate themselves completely or even go missing altogether,

5. Your Cats Senses are Deteriorating

Cats’ senses are extraordinary. Also, cats depend highly on sight, hearing, and smell. Your cat will react if there’s an issue with these senses. 

6. Your Cat’s Distracted

Generally, cats are highly aware of what’s happening around them and sometimes get engrossed in their grooming, playing, or staring at a perceived threat with their backs arched. When that happens, it’s not that your cat is avoiding you. It just considers what it’s doing too important.

Image of a ca staring intently at something

(Image of a ca staring intently at something)

7. Your Cat Is Resting

Although cats enjoy playing and hanging out with their pet parents, it’s often on their terms. So when your cat is resting, it’s normal to show disinterest in engaging with you. First, determine if they’re ready before trying to play with them.

Image of a senior cat resting

( Image of a senior cat resting)

What Can I Do to Regain My Cat’s Trust?

If, for some reason, your cat is avoiding you, here’s what you can do to regain its trust.

  • Instead of pushing, give your cat space to recover and return to you.
  • Feed your cat its favorite meals, and remember to add water if it’s dry food.
  • Sit next to your cat and gently pet it if it moves closer to you.
  • Don’t grab your cat forcefully.
  • Avoid sudden movements and stay calm when around your cat.
  • Feed your cat treats from your hand.
  • Stimulate your cat mentally with puzzle toys.
Image of a cat feeding

(Image of a cat feeding)


For several reasons, your cat may want to be alone. Whatever the behavior, give your kitty time and affection. With time, your cat will return to its old self. Sometimes a cat’s isolation is due to something serious. If that’s the case, make sure to contact your vet.