Erratic Cat Behavior

Updated March 23, 2017

Cat owners will be the first to tell you that cat behaviour is often strange, but sometimes it can be downright erratic and a bit of a concern. When a cat begins exhibiting erratic behaviour, it may be an indication that something is wrong or it may be completely normal (at least by cat standards). There are, however, times when a cat's erratic behaviour is a sign of illness. It is important to know how to recognise these situations and to know when to seek veterinary assistance for your cat.

Erratic Attacks

Many erratic cat behaviours are completely healthy. For instance, a cat will sometimes begin suddenly running about, flipping through the air, pouncing and jumping through the house. To a human, this type of erratic behaviour seems completely insane, as though the cat has lost its mind. In fact, this is just a way that cats can keep healthy, it's no stranger than jogging is for humans.

Apparent Hallucinations

Other times it can appear that a cat is attacking an invisible prey. This doesn't mean that a cat is hallucinating, it simply means that something has caught its eye, like a reflecting light or a floating dust particle. This kind of erratic behaviour is not something to worry about, but actually shows that you have a healthy, active cat.

Erratic Eating Habits

While most erratic cat behaviour is completely healthy, there are some types of erratic behaviour that should concern you--particularly if your cat's eating habits become erratic. Overeating or refusing to eat can be signs of illness.

Erratic Physical Behaviors

While cats are known as prolific sleepers, erratic changes in a cat's sleep habits are a possible symptom of illness. You should be concerned if your cat is sleeping more than 20 hours in a day. If your cat is showing erratic physical behaviour, such as an unwillingness to jump from the heights that it normally does or walking in a strange manner, it could be the sign of an injury or illness. In this case it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.


There are certain situations in which you should immediately seek a veterinarian's help for your cat. If your cat appears to have had a seizure, this is more than erratic behaviour, you should take it to the veterinarian immediately. Remember that you know your cat's behaviour better than anyone else. If you suspect that something is wrong, even if it is something that might be completely normal, it is best to take your cat to the vet. Cat's are sensitive animals and it is better to be safe than sorry when dealing with their health.

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About the Author

Wendel Clark began writing in 2006, with work published in academic journals such as "Babel" and "The Podium." He has worked in the field of management and is completing his master's degree in strategic management.