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Hi Ali,

Our Cat is around 2 years of age,
growing into an adult. She was
very friendly, usually purring cat
until now. She has been stalking
under our couch-24/7. This happened
yesterday, and she won't eat or stay
on your lap, she just wants to stalk.

She is always crouched down when she walks
around the house now, her eyes big and tail
swishing. We are trying to nip this in the
bud.(Shaking pennies, picking her up and
carrying her away.)

What are some ways to end this? I understand
stalking is a cats natural instinct, but there
is nothing under the couch, and it is really
unhealthy. Secondly, why is she doing this?
I read it may be boredom, but she receives alot
of attention, and she is played with daily.

Thank you,



This sounds like awfully odd behavior - have you checked to see if there is anything under the couch that might be attracting your cat's attention? Perhaps what you're looking for might be in the walls if you live in an older home, not necessarily right out in the open (rodents can find their way into wall spaces through the tiniest openings). If you don't find anything obvious under the couch that she may be focused on and she still isn't eating I would strongly suggest having her assessed by your vet to make sure that there isn't some sort of medical issue causing her to act this way... It's always a good idea with behavioral changes to have your cat assessed by a vet just to be on the safe side - some cats show signs of illness in strange ways.

My general feeling is that this might be a behavioral issue either related to getting frightened near the couch or an obsessive manifestation of play type aggression. Rather than using behavioral modification techniques to frighten her (shaking pennies in a container) or removing her from the situation ideally redirecting her is a much healthier option. If your cat is bored she may have created games to entertain herself and providing things like puzzle toys that dispense food and treats to occupy her time may change her behavior over time. I would also suggest using wand type toys like Da Bird or Neko Flies to play with your kitty until she is tired (on her side, panting and absolutely done), then feed her a nice meal. She should then groom herself and go off to nap somewhere because she has followed her instinctive drive to stalk, hunt, catch, kill and eat her prey.

If you have your cat medically assessed and find that there is nothing concerning to the vet and you follow the behavioral advice I've given here without seeing any change over the course of the next few weeks it may be worth speaking to your vet about the possibility that your cat has obsessive compulsive disorder. Since our cat's brains are quite similar to ours in many ways they have been known to develop psychiatric disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder. If your cat does have OCD then you can choose whether or not to treat her using medication.

I wish you the best of luck - this definitely is odd behavior! If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,



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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.


I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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