Cats hide: game or stress?


Many things can make you hide:

  • People: cats usually hide from visitors
  • Noise
  • Recent changes in the home: bring new furniture, renovations, a new baby in the family.
  • Another pet at home or in the neighborhood: cats do not like to share resources such as sandbox, food, etc. This could make them hide.
  • Recent changes in your routine: have your schedules changed, are you busier and spend less time with your cat?
  • Also, some medical conditions can cause pain or discomfort and may be the reason that your cat hides. If your cat spends a lot of time hiding, consult your veterinarian.

Do not disturb your cat when it is hidden. You can accidentally make your cat hide more with your affectionate attention.

Wait for your cat to leave voluntarily and claim caresses.

Reward your cat for courageous actions in situations that pose a challenge. This encourages them to be brave again!

If you have several cats, provide each of them with their own feeder, drinking fountain, sandpit, etc. Place them in separate areas to avoid the tension that is generated if they compete with each other (to separate them, you can place them at different heights: one on the ground and one in an elevated place).

Use FELIWAY CLASSIC Diffuser will help your cat feel safe and more playful.

Why do cats hide?

Felines feel a very strong instinctive need to hide, either to isolate themselves from the rest of the world, to relax, or as part of their maneuvering. territory control. The place chosen by the cats to be isolated is usually high, safe, impregnable, and possibly with an outward view or at least dominating the room: a kind of castle located on the summit.

The cats, despite being predatorsThey do not have a size that is large enough to free themselves from being able to be an occasional prey, for this reason they need to feel safe when they rest, and look for unreachable places.

It’s good to find places to hide in the house. In this way the owners improve their quality of life and help them feel good in their home.

When should we worry?

If a cat hides to sleep but also spends time sharing with other cats, playing, exploring objects and corners, marking people or things, then there is nothing to worry about. On the contrary, if you spend too much time hiding, you only leave your hiding place when nobody is home, show other signs of disgust, such as doing your needs outside your box, neglecting the care of your hygiene, or He doesn't pay attention to his usual toys, it is possible that the cat has a problem. It could be some kind of concern caused by osteoarthritis, if our cat is long-lived, or it could be a conflict that leads the cat to a anxiety state and pushes it to redefine its borders and its territory in search of lost security. In both cases we must consult the veterinarian and opt for a behavioral therapy based on their individual needs.

Play hide? Better not

Better not to provoke our cat, or film this adventure: the only thing we will achieve is to convey the message that we are a potential dam, and that will make us scratch and bite us when we are not playing with him. For that same reason we should not set traps or ambushes to scare him into questioning the trust relationship necessary between a cat and its owner. He body language (in this case: dilated pupils, ears pressed against the head, sudden and syncopated tail movements, the bristly fur) says it clearly: the cat is not having fun.

Hidden cat

When it comes to hiding, our cats are so skilled that you often convince yourself that your beloved kitten disappeared magically, only to finally find your cat curled up in a corner of the closet or under the bed. But why is your cat hiding? Is it a problem that your cat hides very often?

Why does your cat hide?

When talking about the concealment of the minines among experts, it is said to be related to the animal food chain. Cats are afraid of being a prey.

Almost any noise, new person or other moving animal can be stressful for them and lead them to hide. Fear of the unknown can make cats act strangely. Their instinct makes them flee to hide when they hear some strange noise or movement.

What are the places where cats hide most?

A common way in which cats hide is by getting inside somewhere, like inside a closet. Cats usually choose closed places to hide.

In nature, cats constantly look for places to rest, because what they want is to protect the maximum protected sides of their body.

This is one reason why cardboard boxes are a popular place where cats hide. "On five of the six sides no one can attack you and you can watch the sixth."

My cat hides a lot, is it normal?

Well yes, if we talk about attitude, it's quite normal for cats to like to hide.

It seems to them a rather attractive hobby and some humans come to think that the strangest the hiding place, the better for them.

What's more, sometimes the not having a place to hide, it causes them great stress.

Reasons why a cat hides

But beyond that we can say “my cat hides because he likes it”, we want to specify this and other reasons well.

On one side is his instinct. As a feline, he has a hunting instinct, so he loves to look for perfect places from which stalk your possible prey. In turn, hiding feels protected against its predators.

In addition, for this purpose they prefer those places that are at a certain height, since from there they have greater control over the territory. They are vigilant experts!

You will have noticed, if you have a cat, that at home there will be a particular object that if they have it within reach they will use it 100% safe. Do you know what we are talking about? Yes, of the cardboard boxes! They adore them as hiding places!

But nevertheless, it may happen that your cat is hiding more than normal. We mean if beyond sleeping or stalking, he does it continuously, leaving only when no one is home.

You have many visits or have changed the furniture? You may not be comfortable with the situation, remember that these things can cause you a lot stress to your feline.

In addition, the arrival of a new family member or a new animal It can also make you feel threatened and cause you to hide to stalk or avoid it.

This attitude may be accompanied by other behavioral changes. how to stop eating or not making your needs in the sandbox, symptoms that beyond fear or insecurity, they can be of some muscular, digestive, anxiety or stress disease. Be very careful with it!

What can I do if my cat hides?

As we have mentioned, for cats to hide is something that is associated with their instinct. If you do it frequently, but your behavior in general is good (eat, not irritable, do your needs well, etc.), there will be no problem. It's more, It is advisable to respect those moments of privacy. Never force the cat out of hiding!

Yes you will have to worry yes, as we said, you practically don't see your cat and also has other attitude changes. In that case you should consult a professional to determine the cause of that behavior!

The importance of ruling out pathological causes

Some pathologies that cause acute pain, affect the senses or unbalance the metabolism (hormonal problems, for example), can cause behavioral changes and favor the development of phobias and traumas in felines. Therefore, we highlight the importance of consult your trusted veterinarian by observing any change in your cat's behavior. In the veterinary clinic, the professional will carry out the appropriate studies to rule out possible pathological causes and certify the health status of your pussy.

It should also be noted that cats can hide in unusual places by detecting the presence of fleas, mites or other pathogens. These small parasites are usually housed in carpets, pillows and behind "mats" surfaces where they can camouflage, reproduce and go unnoticed. Remember to respect the vaccination letter and periodic deworming of your pussy, as well as to reinforce the hygiene of your home, to avoid an infestation of ectoparasites and the diseases that can cause in your feline.

What can I do to help my cat?

First, it is essential that you consult your trusted veterinarian to find out the cause of your pussy's anomalous behavior. If your cat hides in dark places for natural reasons, you will not need to offer him a treatment. Nor should you force him out of his hiding place or disturb him while he is calm. It is important to respect the personality of our felines and the freedoms essential for their well-being.

If you need your cat to leave the hiding place for some reason, you should not yell at him or try to grab him. This exposes the animal to a high rate of unnecessary stress and favors the development of self-defense behaviors. Simply act calmly and try to attract him by stimulating his curiosity, using his toy or his favorite treat.

In the event that any pathology is diagnosed, the veterinary professional will guide you regarding the most appropriate treatment for your pussy. Already if it is a psychological or emotional disorder, it will be crucial to have the guidance of a expert in ethology or feline education. These professionals may base the treatment of your pussy on specific guidelines to help you regain your self-confidence to express yourself in a healthy and balanced way.

You can also follow the following guidelines to take care of your pussy and avoid the development of behavioral problems:

  • Offer adequate preventive medicine: The first thing you should do to help your cat is to offer adequate preventive medicine throughout his life. Visit the veterinarian every 6 months, respect the vaccination letter and periodic deworming, maintain a high-quality balanced diet, exercise your body and mind daily, and take care of your hygiene. All this will allow your cat to maintain excellent health, in addition to being able to quickly find out and treat any imbalance in your body.
  • Positive and enriched environment: It is important that you know the value of environmental enrichment for your pussy. This will allow you to keep it physically and mentally stimulated, even when you're not at home, and avoid the symptoms of stress and boredom. Do not forget to have several sandboxes, toys, walkways and feline structures that keep you stimulated, while modifying them.
  • Socialization: all domestic cats can and should be properly socialized to learn to relate to people, animals and other stimuli in their environment. Therefore, if you adopted a baby or adult feline, remember to socialize it to avoid behavioral problems.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do cats hide in dark places?, we recommend that you enter our Behavior Problems section.