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Why is your cat hiding? Learn more about your feline’s behavior

Living with a pet is not the easiest task in the world, sometimes they are moody (just like us humans, of course) or maybe they have some sort of problems that we cannot immediately detect.

When it comes to hiding, our felines are so skilled that you often become convinced your beloved kitty has magically vanished — only to eventually find her nestled in the nook of a cupboard, perched up high above the kitchen cabinets or stealthily staking it out under the bed. But why is your cat hiding? And is it an issue if your favorite feline is indulging in hiding behaviors a little too often?

Why is your cat hiding?

When discussing cat hiding, we all should know that “Cats are fearful ‘prey’ animals.” . “Almost any noise or new person or other animal or moving furniture can be stressful and drive them to hide.”

Every time the apartment doorbell sounds for delivery, probably your cat does the same thing, she scurries along and hides under the bed like the end of the world has just been announced. Even if they have never experienced any harm or distress as a direct consequence of the doorbell sounding — it seems that the newness of the noise, which she cannot pinpoint as originating inside the apartment, sparks some cat hiding instinct. The fear of the unknown can make us all act in strange ways.

Bringing a new cat to your home

When bringing newly-adopted cats home, the standard advice to prevent cat hiding is to set up a small room — like a bathroom or utility closet — and make sure that room has all the cat’s essentials like food, water and a litter box.

Then, leave the cat alone in the room and let her get accustomed to part of her new environment at her own pace. But if you peek in, you’ll often see the cat hiding somewhere within the room itself, too.

Is it a sign that something is wrong?

While it’s natural for cats to retire to a preferred hiding place every so often — and this definitely happens more during the heat and humidity of summer when they seek out dark spots to cool down— look out for significant increases in cat hiding behaviors that seem less like sneaking in a little quiet respite and more like a sign of withdrawing.

“Knowing your own cat’s habits will tell you whether the hiding is a physical problem or an emotional one,” says Tracie Hotchner. If your cat usually reveals herself from her hiding place at the shake of the treat bag but starts to ignore the call, you might want to consider whether something is amiss.

Just be mindful of what Tracie says: “the number one skill needed to be a cat guardian: patience.” Never try to force a cat out of hiding. Instead, let your cat “come out in her own good time” and respect your cat’s favorite hiding tactics.

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