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Why Do Cats Run Away From Home? Let’s Find Out Some Interesting Facts!

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It’s a nightmare for any pet parents encountering situations, where they come back home and her feline pal is not in her shelter or any other corner of the house. As no pet parents want to deal with such a situation in their life.

Why Do Cats Run Away From Home

But, we cannot deny the fact, that due to some reasons cats prefer stepping outside the house without their pet parent’s guidance.

This makes it difficult for the parents as they have zero knowledge like what happened to their kitty, and why she is stepping outside the house so often.

We have penned down possible reasons related to why cats run away from the house, and tricks to prevent them from doing the same.

11 Potential Reasons Why Cats Run Away

Cats are unpredictable creatures, you never know what’s going on in their mind, and understanding their body language is also tricky. Still, as a pet parent you simply just don’t give up on her, cats don’t express their pain or emotions. So, it’s important to get knowledge regarding her behavior and body language to understand them better.

We have done some research and jotted down eleven potential reasons why your cat runs away from the house.

Let’s dive in to get in-depth knowledge.

1. Your Kitty Want to Hunt

One of the reasons behind your cat running away from the house could be in need of fulfilling their hunting needs.

Yes, you heard it right, your feline pal who always wants to get a cuddle, play with you, like to be groomed, tickled, etc. She also has the urge to sharpen her hunting skills, as being indoor house cats they are not able to go on a hunt and fulfill their hunting desires.

Your Kitty Want to Hunt

We can’t deny the fact, that cats love hunting and they are great hunters. You cannot just suppress this power by keeping her grounded. As soon as she gets a chance to run away from the house she will not likely going to miss it and after the hunting session, she will be back to base.

If you don’t want your kitty to step outside the house, especially in search of hunting other species. Then you need to play some physical activities with her, which will give her a vibe of a hunting session, and naturally will sharpen her hunting skills.

Well, in this way you are not only keeping her at home but also preparing her to fight back whenever required so that when she is alone or attacked by predators can protect herself.

2. She Is in Heat

Malcolm Weir, from VCA, says that The estrous cycle[1] is better known as a cat’s heat cycle. Each cycle consists of several stages; the stage called estrus refers to when the female is sexually receptive, or in heat.”

If you haven’t spayed or neutered your kitty, then it’s likely that she will feel the urge of mating during her estrous cycle. It’s not possible for her to fulfill her matting needs at home. Because of that, she has to step out of the house in search of other male cats.

Basically, your kitty is in heat can be one of the reasons behind her running away from the house. No matter if your backyard wall is high, or surrounded by fences if she wants to step outside during her heat cycle, she will do anything to fulfill her need during that period.

If you are parenting a male cat they will be more stubborn as they can travel miles in search of a female cat during the heat cycle. They began to spend more time outside the house, and prefer to not return home until they have met a female one.

To prevent your kitty from stepping out of the house in search of another companion, it’s better you take them under spayed or neutered session. However, it will reduce their fighting spirit in them but they will be grounded at home in front of your guidance. It’s likely to prevent them from getting attacked by the predators or hurting themselves while traveling for mating.

3. About to Give Birth

Heather Hoffmann, DVM from PetMD explains that Pregnant cats are very independent and will usually find their own quiet area to nest before giving birth. Your cat might decide for herself where she wants to give birth.

During pregnancy, cats encounter many mood swings, they like to be pampered with love, and attention. Sometimes, they get cranky and want to sit idle in one corner of the house, basically isolating themselves.

Furthermore, if she doesn’t get a peaceful environment where she can give birth to her babies. It’s likely she will make mind to step outside the house, and search for a new place where she can give birth to her babies.

About to Give Birth

One of the reasons behind your cat running away from the house could be that she is about to give birth and searching for a peaceful place if she is not getting one in the house.

To prevent your kitty’s running away habit during pregnancy time, you need to take care of a few things like providing her peaceful surrounding, and her proper corner where she can spend alone time. A blanket, pillow for the coziness so that she can feel warm and comfortable, shower lots of love and attention, etc.

If you follow these simple steps surely will be able to prevent her from giving birth to a new place, and under your guidance, you will be able to see her giving birth to babies. Just make sure to provide alone time, when she is in labor because they generally want to stay alone during the labor period.

4. Your Kitty Is in Stress

Felines are not good at expressing their pain, you have to identify by studying their body language. If your kitty is under stress or anxiety you will notice that she is taking a long nap, licking or biting your hand, and sometimes they simply step out of the house.

Stress could be due to changes in her lifestyle like new litter, meal time, food products, new litter box, shifting of the litter box to a new corner of the house, etc. Even if you are planning to shift house this can also create anxiety in cats because they don’t like changes, and sudden change in their life is a big no, as she cannot adapt to it.

Your Kitty Is in Stress

Furthermore, she can also get disturbed due to the presence of any stranger member in the house, from whom she doesn’t get good vibes. So in such cases, sometimes cats just want to hide or step away from the house to a peaceful area where she feels safe and secure.

Here’s some advice for you if you want your kitty to be in the house, all you need to do is give extra attention and love to her so that she doesn’t feel depressed. If you are changing any routine give her time to adapt and shower love whenever she is trying to adapt something new for you.

5. Maybe Curious About Anything

Cats are curious by nature, they have the habit of exploring new places and things. So, might be out of curiosity your kitty escaped from the house.

For instance, if your cat is spending time in the backyard, if she founds some interesting stuff near the lawn area, out of curiosity she would like to go and explore that place.

Maybe Curious About Anything

If your feline is one of those, who like doing adventurous activities like jumping, and climbing then to sharpen their skill they will likely step out of the house. Sometimes, it’s also possible that your kitty is stuck somewhere in any lane or area, from where she is not able to come back home.

So, it’s not always necessary that she escape from the house to explore the outside world, sometimes it can also happen that she has got stuck, and need your help the rescue.

6. Marking Other Territory

As we know, cats are territorial animals, leaving their urine scent is their way of saying the particular area belongs to them. Plus, felines like to explore places and expand their territories.

So, there is a high tendency that she will try to escape from the house to build new territorial empowerment, which she can visit frequently, and can stay for a longer period. This includes the backyard, nearby streets, neighborhood, and terrace.

So marking other places as a territory could be one of the reasons behind your kitty running away from the house.

7. She Is Scared

Monica Weymouth from PetMD states that ” A frightened cat’s feet will be poised to either run off or defend himself”, when she is scared or not feeling safe.

Felines have strong instincts, and if she is feeling frightened, will run away from that place or people to save their life.

She Is Scared

For instance, if something is bothering your kitty or the presence of any of your relative, or friends make her feel that person will chase her. In such a scenario, she will simply try to avoid coming in contact with that person or run away from the house.

If you want to overcome this behavior of your kitty, closely monitor her body language. Try to figure out what’s bothering them so much, and give them comfortable space. Ensure your kitty that you will always be there for her and that she is safe and secure under your parenting.

8. Maybe Seeking Your Attention

Cats love to spend time with their pet parents, and if she is having working pet parents, then it becomes more difficult for her to wait a full day to spend time with her beloved ones.

Maybe Seeking Your Attention

If by any chance you are not able to give that love and attention to her then she might try this trick of stepping out of the house to grab your attention.

So, if you are thinking that your cat is neglecting you, then you are assuming wrong, it’s their way of seeking attention and going signals that she wants your time and attention. This is because she prefers running away from the house so that you will step out in search of her and will give time to her, and share “we time”.

9. Your Kitty Is Not Feeling Well

One of the reasons behind your kitty stepping out of the house can be that she is not feeling well and want peace. If she is not getting peace environment as per her wish she will likely switch her spot until she feels better.

Your Kitty Is Not Feeling Well

For instance, if you are changing houses and work is going on and during that time if your kitty is not keeping well she will try to switch to the backyard area. Still, if she is not getting peace, it is likely that she will step out of the house and migrate to a place where she can heal herself, and have some “me time” to groom herself.

Once she is finally feeling good it is likely that soon she will be back home. All you need to do is keep an eye on where she is preferring to spend her “me time” to heal her wound or health.

So, if any problem comes you will know from where you can escape her and bring her back home safely.

10. Might Be Cheating On You

Well, this reason is very rare in the case of indoor cats, they generally don’t switch their pet parents. However, if we talk about outdoor cats then it can be counted as one of the reasons behind running away from the house.

For instance, your outdoor cat might be cheating on you with other pet parents, once they get an idea that she can get multiple meals it increases the possibility that she will try to switch homes as per her mood.

Well, in this case, you can’t do much to bring back your feline pal, still can figure out which houses she is visiting for meals and can try to bring her back home.

11. They Just Do Out of Habit

As we all have an idea, cats like to explore new places, and things and they roam around as per their wish. So, if you are facing a situation where your kitty just steps out of the house at odd times or any time and returns as per her wish.

In such cases, don’t worry, she is just doing it out of her wandering habit of roaming here and there without any reason.

There’s nothing much you can do to stop your feline because she won’t listen to you easily. Still, if want to give it a try, all you can do is shut down all the possible escaping doors, you can train them to not step out of the house without your presence.

In the end, you have to just sit and wait for her because she will run off from your supervision if she wants to wander away. So, don’t worry much sit and wait for her to come back home.

How to Stop Your Cat From Running Away?

Now, you have fruitful knowledge regarding possible reasons behind your kitty running away from the house. Along with the reason, we have also added some friendly tips also. But, if you totally want to get rid of this issue. You can follow some more tricks which are discussed below for future reference.

Like if you are parenting a kitten then it will be easy for you because you can easily train them from the initial days that stepping outside the house, without your guidance is dangerous for them. Furthermore, you can train them on which area of the backyard is safe for them and where they can spend their isolating time. It will automatically reduce the risk of her stepping outside the house.

However, if you have adopted an adult cat, then it will be a bit tricky for you still all you need to do is keep restrictions on them like shut the main door, don’t allow them to spend time in backyard, keep an eye on them and restrict their wandering nature.

Moreover, if you take out time for your feline pal to take her for a walk then the urge of looking outside the world will decrease automatically, as you are making her do all outside activities but in your guidance. So, your feline pal will not feel to step outside to see the outside world.

All these small tricks will help you a lot as you will be teaching them to stay indoors and it’s good for their life as no predators will be able to attack her and if you play physical activities with her it will sharpen her hunting skills also.

Finally, try to make your house cat-friendly so that she feels safe and comfortable and won’t step outside so often. Plus, make sure you offer enough time, care, love, and playing session which will reduce the urge of running away from the house to fulfill her desires.


Do cats come back after they run away?

According to studies, it has been observed that felines usually don’t travel much far away from their home radius. If they run away from the house, they tentatively come back home within a few hours, or days, and don’t take much time to return.

Do cats remember where they live?

Yes, cats do remember where they live, they have strong home instincts which help them to find their way back home. And as we know, kitty has a habit of marking territory, so they also use their territory mark as a hint to reach back to their original base.

How long do cats wander off?

There is a number of reasons behind cats’ sudden wandering off, and sometimes it’s normal for them to disappear for a few hours. This is because cats like to explore new things and places, so they might just vanish for a day or two and then come back to their base.

Well, It’s a Wrap!

Confidently, we were able to serve you appropriate content related to why do my cat run away from the house.

Keeping your kitty grounded and safe it’s a good thing, but you have to understand her need of stepping outside the house.

Now you must have gotten ample amount of knowledge or reasons behind your kitty running away from the house. It’s your turn to observe her situation and try to identify which reasons can fit behind your kitty’s running away habit from the house. Then try to solve it as we have also given some friendly tips which will help you to stop her from stepping outside the house.

Basically, felines run away from the house if they don’t get a safe environment or are in the urge of hunting. If you are able to handle these two situations and provide your kitty’s comfort zone in the house and play physical activities with them then it will surely help you more in reducing the risk of her escaping away from the house.


  1. Weir, M. (n.d.-a). Estrous Cycles in Cats | VCA Animal Hospital. Vca. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from

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