What Does It Mean If My Cat Hides Under the Bed?
Written by FELIWAY, published on 16 September 2020
Do you find yourself spending hours searching for your furry bundle of joy only to find them under your bed? It’s perfectly normal for your kitty to take themselves off for some quiet time. Cats are more independent than dogs, and like to have their space every now and again. However, if your cat has taken to hiding more often than usual, you should consult your vet just to check that there aren’t any medical issues that could be causing your kitty pain.
Your kitty’s hiding may be nothing to worry about - they may just be after a safe, quiet spot for a snooze! However, if your cat is showing any signs of tension then this could be due to stress or anxiety and you should try to understand why do cats hide and what you can do about it, so that you can help them feel more relaxed.
3 REASONS YOUR KITTY MIGHT BE RETREATING UNDER YOUR BED
1. Does your cat perceive something in the house as a threat?
For your kitty, anything new or unfamiliar can be quite daunting! People can feel upset when something interrupts their routine - cats are just the same! If your cat perceives something around the house (such as a new item of furniture or a noisy appliance) as a threat, they may choose to hide under your bed for comfort. Remember that cats can be prey animals in nature (as well as hunters!) so they may take the precaution of hiding until they’re sure there’s no danger.
2. Visitors may be unsettling your cat
Your cat may be unsettled when you have visitors and may hide under your bed until they feel confident enough to come out. New people also bring in new smells which can confuse your puss as they’re not used to having strangers in their space! Although it can be tempting, try not to stroke or soothe your cat when they’re hiding and ask your visitors to give your furball some space. Stroking or praising your cat while they are hiding may accidentally reinforce their hiding behaviour; instead, it’s best to ignore your cat, giving them the space they need and allow them to venture out when they’re ready.
3. Your cat may be afraid of another kitty
If you have a family of kitties then be aware that any tension between your cats may be causing one of them to hide. Or perhaps a neighbourhood cat walking past the window might be upsetting them; closing the curtains may help reduce any cause of fear outside the house. If your pet feels threatened then they’ll want to find somewhere safe to hide away so make sure you provide them with access to a safe space as well as their own resources; be especially aware that one of your cats could be blocking the other’s access to their food, water, and litter box.
HOW CAN YOU HELP CALM YOUR CAT?
Never Scold Your Cat For Hiding
Don’t scold, shout or force your cat from under the bed or do anything to control or correct them. This would make them more anxious and likely to hide. They will perceive this as a threat and will act fearfully, with avoidance or aggression. Remember that they have retreated under the bed to feel safe and they will feel more secure if they are able to move about freely. Instead, focus on how you can lessen their stress as this will likely decrease their need to hide.
Praise Their Acts Of Bravery!
Give your pawsome pal the praise they deserve! Think of ways to encourage your cuddly kitty to come out. Call them out for meals and treats. If your cat will eat near you then you can try hand feeding your cat. A lack of appetite is another sign of stress so if they won’t eat out in the open then take the food to them to ensure they get the nutrients they need. If they don’t like taking food from your hand, try sitting quietly near them giving them the occasional treat. When they respond positively, make sure you praise them so they realise there’s nothing to be afraid! You should also ensure that your cat is getting enough mental stimulation, visiting and playing with them every day!
Ensure Your Home Has Relaxing Vibes
If your cat likes to play hide and seek or you can’t identify any changes to their environment or routine, consider how you can encourage your cat to be more confident in their environment. You could even consider giving your cat a private room, free from people and other pets. Make this their cat sanctuary, with everything they need to feel comfortable and secure; don’t forget blankets and their favourite toys!
You can also plug in a FELIWAY Optimum Diffuser in the room where your cat spends most of their time (this may be the bedroom); this releases “happy messages” and creates a comforting and reassuring environment for your cat. It helps them feel safe and confident and is clinically proven to help prevent signs of stress such as hiding. Feliway nurtures your relationship with your cat by creating a loving and relaxing environment at home.
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