Cat behaviour

Why does my Cat Hide?

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why does my Cat Hide?

Cats are animals with a particular nature and this is no secret for people who live with felines. However, many people can be curious about their tendency to hide themselves in places where they are difficult to find. This is something that happens when they need a moment of peace and quiet without anyone disturbing them.

However, this behaviour doesn't mean that your cat is unsociable or odd. This behaviour is completely normal, but it's natural for you to wonder about the reason for their behaviour. Why does my cat hide? Read the following OneHowTo article and find out.

  1. They don't like visitors
  2. They feel scared or stressed
  3. They feel ill
  4. The most common hiding places for cats
  5. Create a safe hiding place for your cat

They don't like visitors

You've no doubt noticed that your friends, family or other people will have barely arrived at your house when your cat then disappears. You don't see a whisker until a good time has passed after everyone has gone. Not all cats behave in this way, though. Some are rather curious and like to sniff and approach visitors. Nevertheless, for most of these animals, visits mean loud and annoying strangers, with furniture moving out of place and changes to their routine, which generates stress and tension for them.

The only way of calming this tension is to hide in a safe place where they can feel peaceful, and preferably one which has good views to spy on everything that is happening around them. This behaviour is normal, but it is important that you try to soothe your pet's nervousness by doing certain things:

  • Feed them at the same time even if this time coincides with your visitors. This way the feeding patterns won't be too altered and your cat won't stress more.
  • Give them a toy in their hiding place so that your cat is kept entertained.
  • Do not force your pet to come out, as this alone will stress them out more.
  • Occasionally visit your cat in their hiding place to give them love and attention.
  • Teach your friends and family, especially children, to play with your cat whilst also respecting it. These animals are not fond of cuddles by strangers so they must gradually earn their trust.
Why does my Cat Hide? - They don't like visitors

They feel scared or stressed

A loud noise, an argument, a loud drill, or the unexpected arrival of another animal into their home, are all situations which can frighten or cause stress for your cat. This is a sufficient enough reason to scare them into hiding. It is important to understand that this is the way your pet wants to feel safe and protected. For this reason, you need to create an appropriate environment for them to hide without endangering their safety and guaranteeing tranquillity.

They feel ill

It is very important to watch your pet to work out if they are feeling well. Whilst your cat may hide due to the above reasons most of the time, they can also do so because they are not feeling very well.

If your cat starts to hide more than usual or if they hide when they've never done so before, it's time to pay close attention as your animal might be ill. Watch their behaviour and if they continue to do so for more than two days, take them to the vet.

Why does my Cat Hide? - They feel ill

The most common hiding places for cats

If your cat has suddenly disappeared and you have no idea where they might be hiding, here are their favourite areas to hide in at home:

  • Under the bed.
  • Behind a long curtain.
  • Inside a cardboard box, one of their favourite places.
  • Under blankets, bedspreads or rugs.
  • Under furniture.
  • Inside open suitcases or backpacks.
  • Behind a tree, shrub or a large pot, although they can also hide themselves inside empty pots.

Not all hiding places are safe. Some are dangerous areas where cats can usually hide:

  • Inside empty bags.
  • Behind or under any appliance that emits heat, such as a refrigerator or washing machine.
  • In the washer, dryer or dishwasher.
  • Inside fireplaces or stoves.
  • Under the bonnet of a car. You must be especially careful if your cat lives outside and you park your car outside in the winter. Cats are attracted by the warmth that the engine of the car emanates and they enter the car and sleep under the bonnet. Always check your car before starting it up in case there is a cat hidden next to the engine.
Why does my Cat Hide? - The most common hiding places for cats

Create a safe hiding place for your cat

If you have a cat at home, the first and most important thing is to try to create spaces that your animal prefers to hide in so they avoid hurting themselves. For example, it is appropriate to leave adequate space behind the refrigerator if your cat has hidden there before. However, you should also always check the washer, dryer, dishwasher or chimney before use to ensure that your animal is not there.

Prepare a place under the bed where your cat can quietly rest. If you place an empty cardboard box there, we've no doubt that they will feel very happy. What's more, it is worth identifying the places where your cat likes to hide to check they are safe. Once your animal has chosen a place to hide, they'll usually always use that one, so this task will not be too difficult. By following these suggestions, you'll ensure that your pet is not at risk when they are seeking shelter.

Why does my Cat Hide? - Create a safe hiding place for your cat

If you want to read similar articles to Why does my Cat Hide?, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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1 comment
Don't forget CLOSETS! I lived for a couple of years in an apt. w/very generous closets; about 5 of them. And I left my cats shut up, at different times, in EVERY ONE of them. One of my cats was a solid black, so she was difficult to see anyway.
They would get in these closets and I would not know they were there, shut the closets and go on about my business. Sometimes I would leave the house and be gone for hours. I had as many as 4 cats at the time. So, when I came home and not all four were there to greet me, or if I called "treatsies" and not all came to get them, I knew something was wrong. I started checking closets and would often find one.
I always felt terrible when one was shut up in the closet after I had been gone for awhile. They seemed largely unaffected. I started doing a "kitty roll call" if I was leaving for any length of time, making sure that all kitties were accounted for before I left and none were shut up in closets.
But cats do hide in closets.
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Why does my Cat Hide?