Cats owners know that even their even-tempered cat can exhibit some bizarre behavior after being caught in the rain. The loud vocalizations and anxious behavior are just two traits. Many pet owners wonder how they ever survive in the wild.
Why is my cat acting weird after being in the rain? Three reasons exist for why a cat acts weird in the rain. They are sensitive to atmospheric changes, they don’t like loud noises and visuals like thunder and lightning and they don’t like getting wet.
Read the article below to find out more about your cat’s strange behavior in a storm.
The Weather Affects All Living Things
Rain isn’t a bad thing. It helps things grow but it can also affect both animals and humans. Anyone with arthritis can tell you when a storm is coming. It’s the same with cats.
Cats have a super-sensitivity to changes in atmospheric pressure even if they don’t suffer from things like arthritis. They may not know or understand it but associate changes in their body with an approaching storm.
Felines may also be sensitive to the added electricity a storm brings to the air. Cats may get little tingle shocks the bad weather brings and this is heightened slightly because they are covered in hair. It’s like the shock you would get after you rub your socked feet across a carpet.
A cat would just want to come in after feeling a few tingles like that!
The air may feel denser when a storm approaches and that may give make your cat nervous. It may not realize the change is due to a storm or rain but will be a reason for your cat to head to a safe spot to hide out for a bit.
Noises Affect Cats
Cats tend to jump at odd noises. Both cats and dogs tend to react negatively to thunder. Big booms are scary and can even make people jump so it’s no surprise they can frighten animals.
Lightening can also cause a fearful reaction in a cat, especially if it’s striking close. Cats will want to hunker down until it passes because they don’t like wide, open spaces anyway. That means they will run quickly to the house as soon as the storm is beginning or has a break.
It will take a few minutes to calm a cat down after he runs into the house afterward. Remember, this is a survival moment for your cat. It may vocalize for a while to tell you all about it.
Cats and Water
Most people know cats detest water but what most don’t know is why. The reason cats hate water is really a point of survival. Their fur isn’t water resistant like many dogs’ coats. It becomes weighted when it gets wet and that makes agility and movement harder for the cat.
This prevents them from hunting and also prevents them from better protecting themselves against predators. Even though you have a domesticated cat, the natural instincts of hunting and protection are still there. Like their wilder ancestors, house cats don’t like wet coats.
A wet cat is also uncomfortable. A wet cat can get cold and change its body temperature. Cats have to maintain a certain body temperature to prevent sickness. That makes it important to dry your cat quickly if it’s been out in the rain. This is even more important in long-haired breeds as they take longer to dry.
You can use a towel to quickly dry your pet. Then, find them a warm spot to lay.
Cats That Don’t Mind Water
Some cat breeds are better suited for rain than others because they have water-resistant fur. Cats like the Maine coon, the Turkish van, the Bengal, and the Abyssinian aren’t as skittish of rain and storms as other cats.
Other Reasons for Fear of Rain
These three reasons are the most common explanations for your cat having a fear of being wet or in the rain. However, it could be a particular issue with your cat because of a past experience.
Those who rescue cats understand that animals, just like humans, sometimes react according to past experiences. A cat that was homeless or left out in the rain by a previous owner will associate storms with an unpleasant experience.
This may cause the cat to duck and run at the first sign of a storm. It always helps to find out the history behind an animal you adopt, especially if the pet is an adult or older one. Its history may explain a lot of its behavior and help you work through issues.
Odd Behaviors of Frightened Cats
Cats will display several common behaviors when they become frighted of something like a storm. This includes:
- Increased vocalizations
- Hiding under beds or in strange places
- An overabundance of energy and nervous activity like jumping
- Following you or other family members around
- Acting aggressively like growling or clawing on furniture
How to Handle a Scared Cat?
Several hacks can help your cat react better to storms. Pick the one or use several to try to make the kitty’s life a little easier.
One way to stop the electrical shock is to rub your cat with an unscented dryer sheet a couple of times during a storm. The idea is a de-static session will prevent charges and shocks. Just don’t leave them alone with the dryer sheet because increased exposure can be toxic.
Associate with the Positive
A key way to change your cat’s attitude about storms is to reassociate rain with things the cat enjoys like cuddling, treats, and indoor playtime. Doing these things during the storm will distract her from the weather and will replace bad experiences of a storm with happier ones.
Your cat will learn to be calmer during storms over time. Be patient because it may take a while to accomplish calmness.
Get Kitty a Cosy Bed to Hide In
It’s perfectly fine to let your cat hide during a storm. That may be the best way for them to feel safe. Those concerned about where they hide can bet a covered bed, or create a space for the cat in a cabinet. There are several handcrafted cabinets on the market with built-in discreet pet beds that would be perfect.
It will take some time to introduce your cat to its bed and get him used to going there during storms so be patient. Put some treats and toys in it and work with him before a storm comes so he feels safe in it. He’ll get the point that’s a good place when the rain hits.
Pay Attention to a Change in Behaviors
Some animals can predict storms because they feel them. Watch your pet for abnormal behaviors when rain is expected. They may start acting oddly as much as two hours before the rain. Keep them inside if they act strange as you don’t want them outside when the rain hits.
Part of resolving your cat’s fears and issues is understanding their normal behaviors. Once you do that, you will know when to be concerned and how to make them feel loved and safe.