Why Do Cats Run Sideways? – Cat’s Behavior Explained!

Why do cats run sideways?

Cats run sideways to express their feeling of playfulness, defensiveness, intimidation or being threatened. It could also be a sign of a bad health condition such as vestibular disease. Cats do this behavior during playtime to lure you to play along with them.

However, running sideways or hopping is part of your cat’s or kitten’s favorite posture during their playtime.

Let’s dive into and discover in-depth about this sideways running behavior of your cats and figure out the exact what could be the reason behind this cute gesture. 

Why Do Cats Run Sideways? In-depth!

Why Do Cats Run Sideways

Usually, cats run sideways when they are exhibiting threat, in the act of playfulness, seeking attention, or avoiding something on their way.

It could also signify intimidation, defensiveness, or a health problem, such as vestibular disease.

Let’s go deeper and learn each of them in detail.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Smell Good?

Your Cat Is Playful

Walking sideways can also be a sign of a playful mood. Whenever you catch your cat while they were playing, they will act silly to play with you.

Cats are wild animals and often require a good amount of exercise and physical play to remain healthy. 

Cats have many gestures to show their mood. Your cat may bite your feet, hope sideways, or arch their back up when they are in the mood to play. 

Usually, kittens are high on energy, and when they are in the mood to play, they run straight like they saw something then runs back to you; weird, right? I know!

If you see your kitten is always on high energy, try purchasing toys like catnip toys, interactive toys, mice, and animal toys, this will keep your cat busy for the entire day.

Thus, if you notice your cat is in a joyful mood and wants to play with you, do give them attention and spend some quality time with your little furball.

Your Cat Is Trying To Avoid Something

Cats often run sideways to avoid an unpleasant situations like water, holes, or threats. For example, if your cat notice there is water on the way, they likely to run sideways or jump over it depending on the situation.

They also run sideways to move faster than you; whenever you walk with your cat, you will notice that your cat is walking way ahead.

Walking sideways gives your cat several advantages; it makes them more flexible, which means if you are walking with your cat want to grab them, walking sideways will make the job tougher.

Besides, walking sideways makes it tough for their prey to pounce on them; they are pretty small in size, and walking in a zigzag style makes them more slippery.

Seeking Your Attention

Unlike dogs, cats are attention seekers, and they love when their owners give them attention. 

Cats often run sideways to grab your attention; whenever your cat sees you after a few hours, they may run to you or even dance around you to express their happiness.

Besides, it could also be a sign of hungriness, and your feline companion is asking you to feed them. So, if they haven’t fed for a while, try feeding them and then a while with your little kitty.

Your Cat Maybe Scared Of Something

Cats often run sideways to avoid getting pounce by lethal predatorsit could be dogs, raccoons, eagles, or coyotes.

This behavior is pretty similar to joyful sideways running, but the only difference is that they will have the back arched with tail up like they are trying to scare someone in this scenario.

While running sideways, the cat also meows louder to show their anger or scare off their predator.

Cats may also hiss while shouting loudly and runs afterward if they find their predator dominating them.

What Does It Mean When Cat Walks Sideways?

Apart from regular joyful sidewalks, your cat may also be sidewalk because of some medical conditions.

If you notice your cat suddenly started walking sideways and seems a little imbalanced, the chances are that your cat might be suffering from vestibular disease.

According to VCAhospitals, whenever the vestibular apparatus is damaged or contaminated, coordination and balance are negatively affected, result; vomiting, lack of coordination, falling, nausea, and head tilt.

The exact reason for the vestibular disease is not known; however, usually, it occurs when the middle and inner ear is infected. Besides, exposure to some toxic drugs can also cause vestibular disease to your feline friend.

However, some breeds such as Siamese and Burmese are more likely to inherit this condition.

Usually, idiopathic vestibular is a self-treated and short-term disease. Otherwise, your vet may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medications in case of middle- or inner-ear infection.

Why Does My Cat Arch Her Back And Run Sideways?

Usually, cats arch their back when they feel offensive. Arching their back is a type of defending mechanism.

You may have noticed; your cat often arches their back when there is a threat, it lifts its body upwards, and they appear bigger in size. 

Why Does My Cat Arch Her Back And Run Sideways

Cats are relatively small, and arching their back while fighting gives them several advantages.

When cat arches their back in a fight, it allows them to jump on their prey or predator to make an attack.

Thus, if you have an indoor cat and their back is arched upward. Ensure that you don’t piss your cat off; they may be in the mood of fighting, and the risk of getting pounced is pretty high.

To calm them, try offering them their favorite snack. If they refuse to eat it, stay back until you see them in resting mode.

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Hops Sideways?

The sideways hop is one of their favorite behaviors, and they often do it to express themselves. Whenever your cat or kitten is in the mood for joy, intimidating or fearful, they arch their back, lift their body sideways, jump or hop towards their prey, or even a friendly cat.

Cats are among one the creatures whose body language and behaviors always amuse their owners. For example, sideway hops are one of the most interesting behaviors that you might have observed.

So, here are a couple of reasons why cats do the sideways hop:

Your Cat Want To Play – 

Cats often get over-excited and do the sideway hops to express their jolly nature. Usually, kittens do the sideway hops when they play with their siblings or their favorite toys.

To Avoid Guest – 

Cat doesn’t like to share their love with anyone else; it could be your family member, friend, guest, or a new pet. So, they often sideways hop when there are strangers in the house.

To Intimidate Other Cats – 

Cats often do sideway hops to intimidate other cats, dogs, or predators bigger than their size; they stand straight with their arched back high and turn their body sideways to the opponent to frighten them.

Besides, you may also notice your cat may do meow with aggression, usually in a louder voice and puff and fur to scare off the predator. 

Showing Aggression – 

Sideway hops could be a part of their aggression. Whenever your cat or kitten is under attack, they lift their back with a straight tail and sideways hop to scare off bigger animals like cats, dogs, or raccoons. It makes them appear way much bigger in size and fearsome. 

Final Thoughts

Cats run sideways for several reasons; it could be a joyful, attention seeker, or act of dodging something. 

However, medical conditions often make your cats run sideways, like a vestibular disease that imbalance their walking.

But if you observe your cat closely, you can easily identify whether it’s a normal sideway run or caused by a medical condition.

So, now you know why do cats run sideways?

I hope this article was helpful.

Happy parenting!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *