Why Is My Cat Suddenly Sitting in Corners?

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Cat behavior can be mysterious

Any sudden change in cat behavior shows that something has disrupted its routine. The cat may be upset about a change in the household, a different kind of food, or a new pet, for example. The cat might also be interested in the corner for a reason that seems mysterious.

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Some cats like to hear the sound of their own voice echoing off the walls or in the bathtub. Other cats like to revisit places in the house where they once caught something, like a spider or insect. By observing your cat's behavior closely, you may be able to understand why she is hiding in the corner.

Outside the litter box

It is important to watch your cat to make sure she is not using the corner as a litter box. Cats will commonly use corners to urinate if they are upset about a change in their life. This is one way they can show how upset they are with the new situation.

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The litter box should be accessible and regularly cleaned, and if the household has a new cat, the others may refuse to share the same litter box. Urine is used as a calling card to other cats, and is a more distinct marker in the corner than in the open center, which is another reason you may find your cat in the corner.

Feline health concerns

Cats have keen senses and are good hunters

If the cat is suddenly using the house as a litter box, or is unable to control its bladder, then it is likely a health issue and should go to the veterinarian. The same may be true if your cat is in the corner facing a wall and seems bored and uninterested in its normal activities.

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It is a good idea to find out the date of the cat's last check-up and make sure the exam covered any problems relative to its age such as diabetes, kidney, and heart problems. Older cats do become somewhat inactive, but a sudden change could point to an internal health issue.

Cat is listening to sound

The cat may be actively interested in the corner as well. If the cat is meowing or making noise in the corner, you may see if it is trying to get your attention, or simply sensing something else there. Cats sometimes like the sound of their own meow. Elderly cats with poor hearing sometimes meow into corners to amplify the sound. It is possible that the cat is simulating feline company or simply entertaining herself.

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Cat is stalking pests

If your cat is in corner of a room with her eyes open wide and ears upright in an alert position, she may be listening to another creature's movements. There may be spiders, ants, or even moths crawling on the walls or floor in the corner.

She could also be listening to creatures inside the walls, such as mice, bats, or even squirrels, but this is much less likely because you would also be able to hear rodents yourself. Even if there are not any insects your cat may even remember finding an insect there before, and continue looking in the same spot later.

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Cat hiding in the corner

Cats and all other animals sense the world differently than humans. The corner may hold the cat's interest for another reason. Some cats are interested in the shadows in the corners, cast by the molding on the ceiling or the furniture. Others often stare into space or at the wall for some time, only to look away abruptly after 15 minutes.

Cats may like the sound of the echo.
Image Credit: Kirill Busargin/iStock/GettyImages

Cats also use their body scent to communicate, so if the cat is rubbing the corners of its mouth or the base of its tail in the corner, it is leaving its scent. In the wild, this behavior is a marker to show other animals it lives nearby. Domestic cats still follow their instincts from the past.

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