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Why Do Cats Hide, and What Can You Do About It?

If your cuddly kitty has taken to hiding around your house and you’ve already been to the vet to rule out any health issues, it’s important to find out what else is causing your furry friend to hide.

Cats sometimes like to have their own space; and they can get stressed if there are changes in their environment. Although hiding is a natural behaviour for cats, they tend to hide more frequently if they feel stressed. So if you keep having to search high and low for your kitty, only to find them under the bed, in the laundry bin, or tucked away on top of the cupboard; it’s time to try and understand why they are hiding!

How To Help Your Furball Come Out From Hiding

1. Ensure kitty resources are always available

Make sure that your cat’s food bowl, water, and litter box are always available. It’s best to place their food bowl up high so that they feel safe while they’re eating and locate it away from their litter box. You should make sure that their resources are in a quiet area where they won’t be frightened by loud noises or disrupted. Providing your cat with a perch such as climbing tree can help provide them with a safe place to feel secure and observe their kingdom from up high.

2. Stick to their routine

Try your best to keep to your cat’s schedule and avoid disrupting their routine. Changes in their environment, such as visitors or loud noises, can scare your cat. Here, their natural response will be to seek shelter. You should always allow your cat to hide when they feel the need to, and support them by providing safe places like a crate or a cardboard box full of comfy bedding. Once your kitty realises that there’s nothing to be afraid of, they should feel more confident to come out.

3. Keep change around the house to a minimum

If your kitty is spooked easily, try to keep changes around the house to a minimum. Moving furniture, DIY and maintenance, and noise can all spook your furbaby. If you’re going to make changes around your house, try and keep your cat to one room and provide them with everything they need. You can also use a FELIWAY Diffuser to create a more relaxing home environment and support your cat through any renovations.

4. Never force your cat from their spot

grey cat lying on a chair behind a table

You should never force your cat to leave their spot, shout, or use physical strength or punishment to stop them hiding. Punishment is never a good idea for your pawsome pal, as it will reinforce their hiding, make your cat more anxious and damage your friendship. Instead, use gentle encouragement; calming methods are far more likely to be successful.

5. Check if your cat might be frightened

cat frowned up under a chair

Although cats are predators, they can also feel insecure and at risk - this may make them shoot under the sofa or up on a shelf to feel safe. Unexpected visitors, a dog barking or any other sudden noise can all frighten your cat - in these cases it’s important to leave your cat alone. Don’t force them to be friends with the visitor or get them to befriend the pooch that has just arrived. Instead, be patient. Let them reappear on their own terms when they feel safe.

6. Treat your furry bundle of joy

Provide your kitty with lots of bedding and toys and set a regular play time with your cat so that you have some quality time together. The evenings are a particularly good time for this as cats are usually playful around 7-9pm.

Some quality one-on-one time is a great way to show your cat love and let them know that you are there for them. Make sure that you provide your kitty with treats whenever they attempt to come out from their hiding area; this will encourage them to associate being out and about as a positive experience.

If your furry friend is still hiding frequently despite following these tips it’s worth seeking the help of a professional. To help create a reassuring and calm environment for your kitty you can plug in a FELIWAY Diffuser by your cat’s hiding area or in their favourite room. This releases “happy messages” to provide constant comfort and reassurance to your kitty to build their confidence.

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