Cats are one of the most common pets in most households in America. They evoke the same emotions from their owners and beholders; empathy. Their cute behavior is especially loved by many. Behaviors include playfulness and concealment.
If you are a cat owner, then you most probably have gotten into a situation whereby your cat hid and would not budge despite your familiar voice or tricks. You might have also gotten angry and abandoned the whole encounter altogether.
There are many reasons why your cat would conceal itself. However, a few solutions may go a long way in helping you to get your cat out of hiding. Getting your cat out of hiding involves successfully moving the cat out of its hiding spot voluntarily.
Reasons why your cat would go into hiding
There are many reasons why a cat would go into hiding.
Buying or adopting a new cat is one of the best experiences despite it being a task requiring a lot of time, energy, and financial input. Once you get the cat, it might take a lot of time and effort for the cat to adjust to the new environment and owners.
The time the cat might take to adjust to the new environment is dependent on factors such as:
A cat might have been used to living in a forested area, a small house, a large hall, or even a fenced ranch.
It may take a lot of time for the cat to adjust to the change in location and behaviors such as hiding are part of the signs that the cat is not yet comfortable with the new environment.
Just like dogs, cats have a great sense of smell. They use this sense to differentiate between people, food, and fellow cats among many other forms of nature.
Of course, new owners bring new and different fragrances and smell to the cat which might frighten the cats into hiding. A new home means a different meal/diet for the cat which might also force the cat to seek asylum under your sofa!
For a cat used to having a single worker feed it in its cage in a foster home, a lot of children and adults paying attention to the cat might make the cat afraid.
2. Poor treatment
Failing to care for a cat might be a good reason why your cat is hiding. Cats need care just as much as our human bodies need attention. Abandoning a cat in the form of an irregular feeding routine, failing to spend time with the cat, and not forgetting, actively clean the cat and its litter box might force the cat to hide.
Such mishandling of cats causes them to have stress and pain which alienates them from the public spotlight. Cats might also retreat into hiding when hit or beaten up for no reason; and even with reason, why would anyone attack a cat?
Every time there is a new face at home, cats retreat into hiding since they are paranoid creatures and are more comfortable with the usual faces.
The new face might not even be a person, and as a matter of fact, a new pet would scare a cat into hiding, especially dogs that are popularly known to always be in contention with cats.
New furniture or significant changes might induce fear into cats and force them into hiding.
4. Medical reasons
It is important to note that cats might hide due to infections and diseases. Hiding is in itself a symptom of diseases in cats as they don’t want disturbance since they’re not feeling well.
5. Poor people skills
Cats non-familiar being around a lot of people since early life might find it hard to accept being in the same room as people.
6. Maintaining their body warmth
Most cat hiding spots are warm, and by natural instinct, cats spend most of their time in these spots to regulate their body temperatures.
7. Birth and parenting
Cats are popular to hide their kittens in secret spots and areas where no one can reach them.
Cats have a way of knowing when their final day is close. They mostly want to find a safe and calm spot where they can spend their last moments alone and hence naturally retreat into hiding.
Common places where cats hide themselves
All these areas listed below have specific characteristics such as temperature regulation, privacy or calmness, camouflage ability, hunting viability, and solace from human disturbances, which are very attractive to cats.
- Large pipes
- Trees and roofs of houses
- Clothing and general drawers/wardrobes and even cupboards
- Home Appliances
- Ceilings and behind curtains
Ways to prevent your cat from always hiding
1. The best way to avoid a cat from still hiding is to reduce fluctuations in the cat’s environment which constitutes most of the stress a cat might have. Reducing cat exposure to new faces or routines is an excellent solution to prevent your cat from hiding.
2. Furthermore, providing the cat with a clean and calm environment might seduce the cat to avoid hiding. Spending some time with the cat itself makes it easier for the cat to familiarize being with people.
3. Taking your cat for constant and general health check-ups is essential since some cats might hide due to sicknesses. They will, of course, stop hiding when they feel better and have enough energy to run around.
4. Avoid mistreating the cat whether physically or emotionally to reduce the chances of having a fearful cat. Do not scold your cat or forcibly correct mistakes. Let the cat make its own choices.
Most of these ways require you to give the cat time to adjust to the environment, especially when the cat has no sign of getting an inch out of its hiding spot. This calls for a long-term goal and plans to get the cat out of its hiding spot gradually.
Once the cat has faith in you and is used to your familiar voice or fragrance, then the cat will most definitely reduce the number of times it retreats into hiding.
If you cannot prevent your cat from hiding, then it is better to provide safe hiding spots for the cat in the form of boxes and spaces in cupboards.
This is advantageous and is better than having the cat disappear for hours into areas you have no clue of. These areas might even be dangerous to the cats themselves.
Getting your cat out of hiding
The first step to getting your cat out of hiding is to probably and most importantly understand why the cat is hiding in the first place. This will help you choose the best approach to coaxing the cat out of hiding.
It is also necessary that it will help you avoid adding insult to injury. No one likes a stressed cat running around your home making weird noises especially when you are asleep.
1. Using food or snack treats
This works as a reward-for-results system. Sweet and special snacks can be used to draw the cat from its hiding gradually.
A good way is to give the cat snack pieces one at a time while placing the treats closer.
According to the Huffington Post, The cat might slowly get out of hiding and eat the snacks while slowly drawing near to your hand. Remain keen on the cat’s progression while avoiding direct eye contact. Reward the cat for movement alone. Your cat might finally end up eating from your hand.
During this process, do not make sudden movements or lunge at the cat as this will only scare it and force the cat into its previous hiding spot and worse, make it harder for the same trick to work twice.
Treats as positive Reinforcement
For some cats, the reaction to go for the snack and come out of hiding might be instant while for others it might take days for them to get used to even coming an inch out of their hiding spots.
It is, therefore, crucial to exercise patience and avoid getting excited at the first sign of success. Snacks can also be used to drive the cat into its carrier especially when you are traveling or going to see a veterinary officer. This method is highly advantageous in that it does not require you to be in direct view of the cat.
This solution is especially helpful since no matter where the cat is hiding, the strong smell of delicious treats is too tempting for them to lie still in hiding. They will come out.
Walking around your home with these treats might force the cat to come out of hiding in pursuit of the sweet smell.
The method is however not practical for some cats since the cat might never come out of hiding and might be taking advantage of you to get itself fed without having to come out into the public.
Some of the food treats that can be used include:
- Seafood such as Tuna (Most cats’ favorite)
- Fleshy meat pieces from Chicken or beef
- Store-bought snacks such as cat biscuits.
Toys are helpful in getting cats out of hiding spots, especially when dealing with kittens. The idea is to bring the toy close enough to the cat and allow the instinct of the cat to appeal to it so that it can start playing with it without it noticing you gently drawing the toy towards you or the final destination. Here is the list of Best cat Toys on Amazon.
Again, avoiding sudden movements and attaining a constant pace for progress are vital. For long-time cat owners, use the cat’s favorite toys, and for new owners, here are a few toys that are generally known to intrigue cats.
- Feather on string
- Mouse toys
- Sock toys
3. Using a calm, comforting voice
This might be one of the simplest ways to get a cat out of hiding. Some people are 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.
4. Eliminating stressful environment/factors
Having a lot of visitors and continually moving furniture around might scare your cat away. The cat naturally comes out into the open once normal conditions resume. Avoiding factors such as noisy children or adults might help you.
Settling into a general fixed home design is also advantageous as cats will feel more comfortable in spaces they are used to. If this does not work, you might be required to dedicate a particular area for your cat and make space for your cat’s sanctuary.
5. Spraying Feliway
Feliway is a synthetic spray containing artificial pheromones (hormones produced by animals to influence the behavior of another animal of the same species) that help relax your cat.
The soothing fragrance produced makes the cat curious about the source and makes it want to find out the source of the smell. This forces the cat out into open space. This method is especially helpful where time is of the utmost essence.
Do not spray directly at the cat’s hiding spot but rather sprinkle with a pattern that leads to your hands. Once the cat is out, show it some love and gently stroke it with your bare hands.
6. Eliminating the influence of other pets
If your cat started hiding when a new pet was introduced, it would be best if you got rid of the other pet or even better, provide the cat a sanctuary that is free of people and pets.
Music might also be a good solution for getting cats out of hiding. This is due to the universal fact that music, especially classical is naturally soothing to cats. It will help the cats relax and make them more likely to come out of their hiding spots.
This video is beneficial since an animal behavior specialist creates it and clearly explains a few ways in which you can get a cat out of hiding.
The quality is incredible, and the specialist speaks clearly while listing and demonstrating some of the mentioned ways.
Carefully listening and following the clearly outlined steps in the latter might be very helpful especially if you are dealing with cats hiding for the first time. The same stands for experienced cat owners.
When all has failed, it is best to seek professional advice or help especially when the hiding becomes regular and intense. It is also wise to avoid blowing the concealment of a cat out of proportion. A cat might be seeking a quiet place to rest or just reacting to you!
Getting them out into the public is a process and following some of the ideas above will benefit you a lot.