Why Is My Cat Hiding From Me
Wheres the strangest place youve ever found your cat hiding? From the smallest nook in a closet to the most unlikely places of comfort , cats are masters of concealment. Usually, cats hide simply because theyve found a safe, warm, and comfortable place to snooze away the day. But if you have a cat for whom hiding is not a normal behavior, who suddenly starts hiding and does not want to come out, it could be an indicator that something is wrong.
Give Your Cat A Safe Space
Its not uncommon for cats to be fearful of visitors or changes in their environments or routines. Fear in cats is often marked by prey behavior, which includes running away and hiding.
Dilara G. Parry, a certified cat behavior consultant, says safe spaces are an easy way for the owner to make sure that the hiding thats taking place is healthy and safe.
A sturdy cardboard box, turned on its side with a nice blanket placed inside, can be an alluring hiding space that is safe, Parry says.
Milani adds that cutting a cat-sized hole in an upside-down cardboard box is another great DIY safe space because the cat can face the opening and know nothing is coming up behind her.
Dangerous Cat Hiding Spots
Try to keep your catâs disappearing act out of the garage. Everything from toxic chemicals to the car itself make your garage a very unsafe space.
Closets and cabinets are also a no-go, since detergents, cleaning products, and other items often stored in these places are toxic if consumed by curious cats.
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How To Attract A Hiding Cat
Of course, the easiest way to attract a hiding cat is to use food and special treats. You should choose your cats favorites, such as fish, meats, and juicy gravies that are safe for cats. However, the use of bait might not work if the cat isnt hungry. If this is the case, you should try catnip.
Catnip is a minty, aromatic herb that catches the attention of felines time and time again. The herbs contain natural chemicals that seem to trigger happy neurotransmitters. This makes cats excitable and euphoric. Catnip is even known to reduce stress in cats and improve their behavior, so long as its used sparingly.
Whether your cat is hiding in the bush or under the porch, the scent of catnip is irresistible. As long as your cat catches a whiff, it will be tempted to draw nearer. You can:
- Offer catnip in your hand.
- Place catnip in a small bowl outside of the felines hiding spot.
- Pack the inside of a toy with catnip, especially balls or bells designed to work as catnip puzzles.
- Sprinkle a little catnip in a trail that leads outside of the hiding spot.
Depending on where the cat is hiding, it may not be able to smell the bait. For example, cats tucked up in trees will be too far away for a handful of catnip to work. In this case, youll need to get more creative:
Cat Hiding Behavior And What You Should Know
This post is brought to Adopt-a-Pet.com by Susan Tripp, MS, co-author of the Positive Pet Parenting e-Course for www.AnimalBehavior.Net. She is also a member of www.PetConnection.coms advisory board and founder and president of the non-profit www.positivepetparenting.org Youve noticed something odd lately about your cat. Instead of lounging on the couch shes holed up in your closet all day. And when you walk into the room a blur of fur streaks by as she bolts for the safety and comfort of your bed only shes underneath it.
Has your cat lost it?
Cat hiding behavior is not unusual and is a normal feline response. Cats withdraw suddenly from life and hide the day away when something is just not right in their universe. Common reasons why your cat may cower and want to avoid the public spotlight include one or more of the following conditions: a medical problem, pain, fear or stress.
Medical: Start by ruling out any medical issues. A change in pet behavior is often the first sign of an underlying illness or disease that may be causing discomfort. Medical issues can be ruled out with a thorough veterinary exam that includes diagnostic lab work. If your cat is not feeling well, then a health screening will give you a plan of action. If your veterinarian proclaims a healthy cat, then seek a behavioral explanation.
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Consider Access To Resources
Is your new kitty able to access everything they need? Hiding behaviours can limit your pets access to resources as they may be too afraid to go to them.
If another cat is scaring your pet, or blocking their access to resources, this could also be a cause of hiding. If your cat is hiding and not eating, this can be very concerning behaviour, so be sure to pay attention to your pet to ensure they have access to their own individual resources, and are using them.
How Long Will A Cat Stay In Hiding
Hiding is generally a normaland temporarything; more a function of a safe place to sleep . Cats should regularly come out of hiding to eat, play, use the potty, and spend time with you. If your kitty is hiding pretty much all of the time, and you have ruled out a medical issue, think about things in your home environment that may have changed and could be making her uncomfortable or, even sadsuch as the loss of a partner in a bonded pair.
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Why Cats Urinate Outside Of The Litter Box
There are a number of reasons why a cat may start peeing outside the litter box. While some owners may think that their cat does it as a way of getting even for something, cats lack the sophisticated cognitive abilities needed to concoct that type of revenge strategy.
Despite popular belief, cats do not urinate outside the box to ‘get back’ at the owner for something, said Dr. Laura George, DVM at;Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center;in Shoreline, Washington.
If your cats not using the litter box, its likely that he or she is trying to tell you something important.
Spend Time With Your Kitten
While your kitten should have some me-time to adjust to their new home, it doesnt mean they should be alone all time.
They will never be comfortable around you if you only come to give them food and clean the litter box.
Make sure that you spend time with the kitten every day.
You can talk to them so that they can get used to your voice or sit as close as possible when they eat.
Eventually, the kitten is going to come closer to you to check you out. Then you might attempt to pet your kitty and give them something delicious.
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Keep Your Cat From Urinating In That Spot In The Future
Once youve cleaned a particular area, prevent a recurrence by changing the significance of that area to your cat. In other words, since cats prefer to eat and eliminate in separate areas, place food bowls and treats in previously soiled areas, or play with your cat in that space and leave toys there.
Shake A Bag Of Treats
Do you guys remember the cat treats commercial, Temptations, where the guy shakes the bag of treats and the cat jumps 2 stories and does backflips for those treats?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but thats not going to happen. But, what does work is if you associate a particular sound to the cats getting treats. Yes, shaking a bag of treats does work. Its an easy sound to associate for your cats ears.
So, when your cat knows that shaking a bag means treat time, then this could help your cat come out of hiding.
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Feral Cat Hiding In A New Home
If the new cat is a feral cat, expect a longer hiding period and a more gradual adjustment. Feral cats who are adopted into homes face a long process. They need to get used to the very concept of a home and of enjoying a humans company. In fact, an older feral cat is probably better off staying feral. As long as theres a caregiver providing food, shelter and basic medical care , the cat is more likely to enjoy life as a feral.
If you are dealing with taming a feral cat or kitten, read this guide first and then share your experiences in our feral cat care forum where members can help you with advice and support.
Behavioral Issues Could Be The Cause
Once youve ruled out any illness, determine if theres a behavioral reason why your cat isnt going in their usual spot.;
You need to be a detective and take the time to figure out;why;the cats behavior has changed, says Sandra DeFeo, executive director of the;Humane Society of New York.
According to DeFeo, not using the litter box is one of the most common reasons cats are relinquished to animal shelters. Fortunately, if you can pinpoint the reason behind your cats outside-the-litter-box behavior, you can often deter your cat from staining your carpet or bed linens.
If there is not a medical problem and the problem truly is behavioral, early intervention is key, Dr. George says.;Behavioral issues can sometimes be resolved by adding additional litter boxes around the home, scooping frequently to remove waste, or by moving a litter box from one space in the home to another.
As a general rule, you should keep as many litter boxes as you have cats in the house, plus one.;So, if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes.
You can also try removing the cover of your cats litter box or changing the type of litter you use to encourage your cat to use his or her box.
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Is It Normal For A Kitten To Hide
Its completely normal
Your kitten is new to their environment
So hell seek a place where its cozy and comfy
Kitty dont want to be vulnerable to a predator so hell hide somewhere he feels safe
Like under the bed or inside a drawer
If your kitten is hiding, dont worry its normal and with time your kitten will be running all over the house!
Why Do Cats Hide In Car Engines
Cats and kittens, especially strays, seek out warm shelter in the colder months. When cars are left on the streets, driveways, or even easily accessible garages, cats will gravitate to the warmth. Sitting in between the engine and hood allows them a safe break from the harsh weather. Mother cats will often stow their newborns in this location, as well.
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Is It Normal For A New Cat To Hide
It is absolutely normal for a cat to hide when it is being introduced to a new home. Finding a safe space to hide allows a cat to get used to unfamiliar smells, sounds, and sights. Some cats may not hide at allothers may hide for days. If your kitty is the latter, you will just have to wait it out. Some things that may help boost kitty confidence are providing food and water near the hiding spot, making a little box available close by, providing toys, and also spending some time sitting where your new cat can see and hear you. As trust develops, so will your cats comfort level.
How Long Will A Scared Cat Hide
If your cat is scared, it will hide until it feels safe again. How long this takes will depend on the cat, what scared it, and how comfortable it is in its environment. Here are some common scenarios:
- A lightly startled cat, such as by a loud noise, may hide for up to 1 hour.
- A very startled cat may hide for 1-5 hours or until the scary thing stops or leaves.
- If a cat is new to your home, it may hide for 1-2 days after being startled.
- If the cat was a stray, it might hide for up to 7 days, especially if its upset by all the new stimulus in your yard.
The longest that a disillusioned or disoriented cat can stay in hiding is about 2 weeks. While this might seem like too long to bear, its not a problem unless the cat is sick or injured. The cat will eventually come out when it feels safe. If its normally an outdoor cat, feel free to let it calm down and emerge when it needs to. Leave water and food nearby.
Keep in mind that cats will often emerge to eat and drink when youre not looking. If the cat doesnt know where it can locate food or water, it will stay in hiding for longer. If your cat remains tucked away for more than 2-3 hours, then place its bowls near the hiding space. This will not only help the cat relax but ensure that it doesnt get dehydrated.
This can also help strays be more likely to return to your home after theyre done hiding. Otherwise, the cat will leave and only return if it feels like it.
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Using A Calm Comforting Voice
This might be one of the simplest ways to get a cat out of hiding. Some people have been known to sit there and converse with the cat as if it were a normal human being. This works since the cat gets used to your voice and reduces its fear and shyness.
Adopting a routine of spending some time with the cat will gently and gradually coax it out of hiding. The cat might end up responding to your calls whenever you call it. Making slow cat sounds might also be beneficial.
The idea is to assure the cat that no harm will come to it while also reducing the thought that you are different from it and hence dangerous.
How To Introduce A Fearful Cat To A New Home
Fearful cats usually do best in relatively quiet homes. They are often not suitable for young children as children can easily scare them with loud noises or sudden movements.
Many fearful cats slowly become more confident as they get used to their living space and daily routine. Going to a new, strange environment can throw some of these cats off and cause them to regress at first. However, if you follow the procedures outlined in this handout this should only be temporary. The amount of time it takes a cat to settle into a new home varies from case to case. Some cats may take a week; others may take months, depending on the individual personalities.
Bring your fearful cat home to a secluded room set up specifically for the cat. This home base provides a quiet place to adjust to new surroundings. Include a litter box, food dish and water bowl as well as a cat bed and some toys. Make sure the room is warm and comfortable. The first step is to calm the cat and help him feel secure. Your new cat will become curious about the rest of the house before you know it.
Keep the cat safely settled in their room until theyre comfortable in the room, showing signs of wanting to explore more of the home.
Let him explore the rest of the home gradually, avoiding overwhelming him with too much space all at once. If, at any point, he regresses, guide him back to his safe room for a few days and start over by only allowing access to one room at a time.
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Where Might My Cat Be Hiding
For a cat to choose a hiding place it must feel both private and secure. Some cats will choose an elevated position to hide, such as on top of a wardrobe. This has the added benefit that they can still observe what is going on without being seen. Other cats prefer to retreat to a ground level hiding place, somewhere as far away as possible from any activity, or other cats, usually in a dark, enclosed space.
Often not being able to see the threat is enough to reassure your cat, so you may see your cat thinking they cant be seen when they simply have their head under a towel. You might see this behaviour when you take them to the vet, for example!
Your cat might also use their hiding places as sleeping or resting areas when they are relaxed and not feeling in any danger. Its a good idea to follow some basic cat etiquette and not to disturb your cat while they are using one of their hiding places and to avoid disrupting or cleaning the areas too frequently.
What Should You Do About This
Whenever you cant find your cat, actively look for him or her. Learn where these nap spots are and make sure they are safe. Limit access to drawers or closets to avoid getting your cat trapped inside one while youre away. Make a habit of keeping appliances such as the washer and dryer shut. Even then, always double and triple check appliances before switching them on.
Offer safe alternatives too. If Kitty likes to nap in a closed space, invest in cat caves. These cat beds offer a sense of seclusion in a safe manner, and you can place them in quiet areas of your home. Here are 15 awesome cat caves that are practical, beautiful and fun.
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