Why Is My Cat Hiding?
Have you ever noticed your cat peeking out from his hiding spot and wondered, "Why is my cat hiding?" Cats love to be in quiet places. Often, hiding is a normal, instinctual behavior that helps your kitty feel content. You can lean into this instinct by providing your cat with special places to hide near where you like to hang out. But first, you need to know why he's hiding. This article will help you understand the ins and outs of your cat's instinct to snuggle down in quiet, safe spaces.
Cats Often Hide Simply Out of Instinct
Cats frequently choose to hide simply because they're wired that way — it's in their DNA. For the most part, hiding is a perfectly normal behavior and nothing to worry about. Cats are still natural predators even though they're domesticated, so an enclosed, hidden space (like a laundry basket or box) may help them feel like they can stalk prey more easily.1
This same instinct may lead them to seek out a dark, quiet spot so they can feel safer while sleeping. Or they may retreat to a hidden space when fearful. Having four walls enclosed around them may help them feel like they aren't in danger of becoming prey themselves. They might even seek a place to hide to simply get away from noise, like boisterous small children or a loud TV.
Cats also instinctually love being warm. Their natural body temperature is higher than a human's, and they have a lower sensitivity to heat. Your kitty might sneak behind a bookcase because he's cold, and there's a window sill behind it that gets a really warm sunbeam every afternoon.
Cats Sometimes Hide Because of Stress or Illness
If your cat has become antisocial all of a sudden, your cat might be hiding because she's stressed or not feeling well.
Often, the first sign your cat doesn't feel 100 percent is when she has a big behavior change and starts hiding more.2 You may also notice other behavioral changes, like decreased energy or appetite, or she may avoid the litter box altogether. If this is the case, take her to the veterinarian right away.
If you've ruled out illness but your cat is still hiding more than usual, you can take a few steps to help her feel more secure. The smallest things can trigger stress in your cat, such as rearranging furniture, bringing home a new pet, excessive extra noise or a change in your cat's schedule. Try to identify the trigger and find ways to minimize them. Sometimes just providing a new, safe place to hide can do a lot to reduce her stress levels.3
Provide Safe Spaces for Your Cat to Hide
If your cat loves to hide, then you might want to lean into this and provide safe and enclosed spaces for her. Try setting them up in different places in your home, including spots where your cat will still be near the family for a little interaction. For example, try putting an enclosed bed in the corner of your family room or in your home office where you work. This way, you can keep your kitty near, but he can still tuck himself away. It's a win-win!
The Thermo-Pet Nest is a fleece-heated bed that can be used as a cozy place for your cat to hide, or the soft roof can collapse to use as a cuddle bed. It comes with a removable heater for those extra-chilly nights.
The Thermo Pet-Cave comes in heated and unheated varieties, with a warm fleece interior your cat will love. It has a sturdy exterior to help it maintain shape and a zippable back door.
The Thermo-Mod Dream Pod also comes in heated and unheated varieties. This stylish pod is large enough to fit kitties of all sizes, and it's sleek design makes it a fan-favorite for cats and their families.
The Thermo-Lookout Pod has a window at the top where you can see your kitty sleeping whenever you want. This pod has a removable heater and a washable cushion.
While your cat may hide because of stress or illness, she may also hide simply because she enjoys it. Providing snuggly spaces for her to sleep in and placing them near where you hang out can be a great way to help your feline friend scratch her "stealthy" itch.
1. Aspen Grove Veterinary Care. "10 Most Googled Cat Questions." AspenGroveVet.com, https://aspengrovevet.com/the-10-most-searched-questions-about-cats/.
2. Gilpatrick, John. PetMD. "5 Ways to Help a Hiding Cat." PetMD.com, https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/5-ways-help-hiding-cat.
3. Fanslau, Jill. PetMD. "Why Do Cats Like Boxes?" PetMD.com, https://www.petmd.com/cat/general-health/why-do-cats-boxes.