Jumpy Cat

Jumpy Cat

by Corina

My cat is aptly name Taz for Tazmanian Devil. As a kitten and even now at 4 yrs old he would spin through the house in a blur of beige and chocolate fur.

He has always been a bit jumpy for no real reason. Our older cat who passed 4 years ago got a little skittish in her older age, but not like this.

I chalk it up to his unique nature, but my husband really gets his feelings hurt because the way he jumps or tenses up makes it look like he expects to be injured. Can anyone explain why he does this and if we can change it?


Hi Corina… thanks for sharing and asking. Taz may simply be a nervous individual. Some cats will be more nervous, insecure. This may be because of his innate nature (genetics) or how he was raised in the first 7 weeks of his life or both.

If he is a bit insecure, humans can seem awfully large and a bit scary! (Cats Live in a Land of Giants).

This insecurity shows in his behavior and his skittishness. Although I am guessing somewhat. There is a questionnaire on PoC about cat personality: Cat Personality Questionnaire. It is a PDF file that opens in a different way.

It seems to me that it is about personality provided everything else is normal and regular.

My immediate thought is to try and tune into that sensitive cat personality and make his home as calm and as reassuring as possible: How To Calm A Cat?. Diet may play a role too.

I feel though that you have a nice cat friendly home so some of the ideas may be redundant. But we can always make our homes a little more cat friendly and that includes me.

Visitor’s comments and input welcome…

Michael Avatar

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Jumpy Cat

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Feb 18, 2011
From Taz to Tender …
by: Fran Fontana

Ruth and Ann, you both have wonderful insight about this jumpy little fella. I would add that your husband whisper sweet nothings to him and give him little kisses where-ever he will allow. Consider the little fellas feelings and give him protective loves. Your little jumper will want to be called “Tender” after a few weeks of love he can understand.
Please, may I also say, that you consider carefully when deciding on a name for your furry friends. My sense is you were looking for a loving sensitive kitty. Please, give them names that match this desire … as they do understand your “emotional meaning” given to words.

Feb 09, 2011
I have a remedy!
by: Anna

Here’s what my remedy is (and it always worked before).
It is known that in the Russian Circus the trainers of big cats, like lions and tigers, have to sleep next to the cage of their animals to form a bond and develop trust.
When our furry cat Lyova first arrived (please read my story “Lyova the little lioness”) from a former evidently abusive household, she wouldn’t let anyone touch her, attempted to bite (the poor thing was declawed) and hated all men specifically.
After a few days of laying next to her for about 30 min at a time -and it didn’t matter where: on the couch, the carpet, her blanket or even the floor (yea, you can laugh, many folks did), where ever she decided to snooze a little, Lyova accepted me as a part of her “pride” and stopped being defensive and nervous.
Please let me know if this works.
Good luck to you and your jumpy hairball!

Feb 09, 2011
by: Ruth

Corina tell your husband not to be hurt by Taz’s nervousness, just to ignore him at those times, especially not to look directly at him.
With insecure, nervous or jumpy cats, looking at them feels to them that you are challenging them.
It’s possible that before he came to you someone abused him in some way, because cats never forget that.
Michael is right, always keep calm around Taz.
If your husband will get down on the floor and look at the world from a cat’s view it might help him understand. I know how hurtful it is because we had a cat who cringed from my late brother in law every time he came and he was the gentlest man on earth, who wouldn’t harm a fly. We could only think a man hurt him before he came to us.
Playing on the floor with Taz and giving him little treats might help him calm down.
But most of all I think you just have to accept him as he is, with his own personality, just as we humans have to accept each other as being different.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

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