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Can cats have tantrums?

When you first brought your cat home, you probably thought the rest of your life was going to be filled with lap cuddles, purring and playtime. But if your cat is annoyed, do they throw a temper tantrum? Read on to learn more about your cat and their sometimes bizarre behaviour…

Do cats have tantrums?

Yes, cats can have hissy fits – literally. There are countless reasons behind these tantrums, and they can come and go quicker than you can shout, “Down!”
Usually, cats don’t get ‘annoyed’ in the sense that they do things to spite you, but they sometimes act up when they’re stressed or not getting their own way.

Signs of a cat tantrum


Illustration of a cat clawing on furniture
  • Yowling, hissing or growling
  • Destroying furniture
  • Too much excitement
  • Sulking
  • Not using the litter tray
  • Aggressive behaviour

Why is your cat throwing a ‘tantrum’?

It can be difficult to know why a cat does anything. But their mischief is often caused by a change in environment, sickness, hunger or loneliness. If you’re trying to get to the bottom of their bad mood, here are a few common reasons:

They’re unwell

If you have a poorly cat, they’re likely to throw a small tantrum (just like a toddler). Not sure if your cat’s poorly or not? Check out our handy guide on how to spot the signs of sickness in your cat.

They’re upset

This seems obvious to say. But the reason why your cat is upset is probably not so obvious. Cats are mysterious, and sometimes their behaviour is confusing. Maybe you raised your voice at your cat? Or they weren’t given food when they wanted it? Or maybe you just got a new coffee table that they hate? Whatever the reason, you’re likely to spot the anger in your cat’s face.

Upset sulking cat

Something’s changed

It goes without saying that most cats hate change. If you’ve changed the layout of your home, moved their favourite tree, or simply shut them out of a certain room, they can become upset.

Over time, your cat will hopefully become comfortable with any changes, but it can sometimes take days or even weeks.  

You annoyed them

Often, you’re the reason behind your cat’s temper tantrum. Even the smallest of things can upset your cat, such as:

  • Saying no to them
  • Picking them up
  • Raising your voice at them
  • Ignoring them when they want attention 
They’re scared

The phrase ‘scaredy cat’ doesn’t come from nowhere. Cats are known for being nervous and fearful. Not all cats can cope with scary triggers – like strangers, storms or fireworks – so you should be extra mindful in these situations.  

Litter problems in cats

Stress is one of the biggest causes of urination changes in cats. By peeing outside of the litter tray, your cat may be simply trying to tell you that it’s stressed. Stress can be caused by other animals in your home, a change in environment, or even a new type of litter. If your cat is urinating in inappropriate places, you should always seek the advice of your vet, as this can be the sign of illnesses like kidney disease or a bladder issue.

How to calm down an angry cat

An annoyed or angry cat can sometimes be difficult to calm down. But don’t worry, there are a few ways you can try:

  • Redirect their focus with treats or food 
  • Try gently petting or stroking your cat (only do this if your cat isn’t hissing or attacking)
  • Distract them with their favourite toy 
  • Remove the stressor, or isolate your cat
  • Try a calming supplement if your cat is constantly getting stressed out

Our top tip: Always be careful around a cat mid-tantrum. Regardless of your bond, or how you’re trying to help, cats are known to lash out when they’re frightened or angry.

How YuMOVE can help

YuMOVE Calming Care for Cats promotes calmness and happiness in cats. Its all-natural formula has been specifically designed for nervous, stressed cats – whether they’re fearful of other animals, family members, vet visits, car travel, or just generally anxious – and works to promote the ‘happy hormone’, serotonin.  

Most cats thrive off daily quality time with their owners. Otherwise, your cat can become irritable, bored and – in the worst cases – throw tantrums. With the right amount of pampering and training, their hissy fits can be reduced and stopped altogether.

Is your cat prone to temper tantrums? Do you have any additional tips? Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to share your insights.