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Causes Of Cat Hiding Behavior And How To Deal With

January 04, 2018

Our cats are our furry babies and very important to us, because they are family members too. This is why we have to take care of them, to be sure that they are happy at all times.

The happiness of our cats is the key when it comes to giving us their lovely company, especially when we are relaxing at home.

However, just like humans, cats face situations or conditions that make them develop abnormal behaviors. One of the behaviors that cats might develop is hiding. Cat hiding behavior is common among many cats and yours might not be exceptional. Here are some of the causes of cat hiding behavior.

I'm speaking here about things you need to be aware of, not about the fact that your cat is hiding to play; for example, my cats like to hide in a box or bag.

When playing

When cats are playing, they like hiding in paper bags and boxes they find in the house. If you find your cat hiding in such places you do not have to worry about, because this is what gives them fun. 


When you find your cat is hiding longer than usual, this might be a sign of illness. It might be a sign that there is something wrong with her/his health. This happens especially when your cat is outgoing and changes suddenly.  The cat might be going through pain or is suffering from an illness that requires immediate medical attention. Other signs that will show that your cat is ill include loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea among other abnormal behaviors. 

Anxiety, stress or fear

If kitty cat is new in your family, it is a normal cat behavior to hide. It takes time until he/she will feel comfortable in the new house and this might make him/her to hide. At this moment, you should not force him/her to come out of the hiding place.

What you need to do is, to do your best, to help him adapt to the new environment by giving him good treats or a funny toy.

Your cat might also hide if you change your house.

Naturally cats do not like changes and they seem to retreat when change occurs until they fully adapt to those changes.

Strangers in your house might also make the cat to hide as they take cover. 

During pregnancy 

A pregnant cat that is almost to give birth might also develop a hiding behavior. In most cases, they do so, as they prepare the nest for the kittens - this is normal behavior, so do not worry. To ensure that your cat does not get stressed when looking for a nest to give birth, it is advisable to offer her a nesting box. Place the box in a good location where she can access it easily and feel safe.

How to deal with the cat hiding behavior 

When you realize that your cat hiding behavior is not normal, it is important to take action. Here are some of the most effective ways to help.

Normalize your new environment fast

When you move into a new house or any other environment, help your cat feel safe and comfortable and she will stop hiding. You can do this by normalizing the house quickly. Try to settle as quickly as possible and make your house look normal. Unpack all your items and set up the cat tree next to the window to make her/him adapt quickly too. Give her/him toys from the first day, so that she/he can start playing and find the new house comfortable.

Provide safe space

Cats are usually afraid of visitors or changes in the routines. If you find that your cat is hiding because of being uncomfortable or fear, you need to give it a space haven to stay. You can have a nice box with a blanket in it to make her/him feel comfortable. 

Consult your vet

Your cat might develop a hiding behavior because of an illness. The first step to do is to take a look at his/her poop, drinking, eating and urinating habit to find out if there is any potential problem that you can identify. If you cannot figure out what the problem is and your cat is still hiding, this is an abnormal behavior and you need to talk with a vet. The vet has the ability to assess the cat problem, who might be suffering, and offer the right treatment.

Treat it in a friendly manner

If you really love your cats, don’t stroke them. Researchers say that the pets become stressed if they’re constantly petted.

The animal behavior experts discovered that cats release hormones linked to anxiety when they are handled by humans.

On the other hand, cats may ignore you, hiss at you, scratch you (or the furniture), and spray. While this can be frustrating and make the owner feel like the cat is out to make everyone's life miserable, the truth is these behaviors can range from normal to a sign of stress. The causes of stress can range from a change in routine to illness.

Knowing what to look for and how to understand your cats can be the key to making a calm household for everybody.

If you develop the habit of confronting your cats, they might start hiding from you. The best solution is to treat them warmly, in a friendly manner to make them feel comfortable in your house. 

The most important thing, try to understand your cats, what they want to communicate you, through their behaviors as hiding, scratching, hissing and don't just assume that they are being bad on purpose or that they want to upset you. There may be a real issue making them act the way they do.

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