Why is my cat hiding? The simple answer is: cats hide normally! It is a part of their nature to hide under objects so being they are both predators and prey. So if your cat is hiding, there is nothing to be necessarily alarmed about.
If you notice your cat has suddenly started hiding excessively or more than usual, then that may be a sign that something is wrong. Here are some possible reasons why your cat might be suddenly hiding.
Illness & Pain
In the wild, cats will hide when they are either sick or hurt as a way to protect themselves from predators. This is an innate survival skill they have kept through their domestication. So, if your cat is hiding more than usual it might be that he or she is feeling helpless from being in pain or ill. They might feel it is much safer to hide.
If this is the case, it is best to contact your vet for your cat’s sudden or excessive hiding could be a sign of an underlying health issue or a physical injury.
A frightened or a timid, shy cat will often hide when in fear. Some common fear triggers for cats are strangers or new environments. When a cat is scared, they react very similarily to toddlers: their first instinct is to run and hide (even if they’re not hidden very well).. Loud noises or items that move quickly, such as thunderstorms or vacuums, can also cause cats to run and hide in a dark, cozy space for comfort and safety.
Still wondering, “why is my cat hiding?” The answer could also be stress, as stress is one of the most common reasons why your cat may be acting weird. Since cats are extremely sensitive creatures, they experience both personal stress and take on the stress of their owner. So if there is a stressful situation in the cat’s external environment or in the home, they will respond by hiding!
Some more aggressive signs to look for in a stressed cat are gnawing at or ripping out their fur, as well as spraying the wall with their urine (male cats only). Some less aggressive signs could be a loss of appetite, irritation at regular activities, or withdrawal.
Anxiety is another reason why cats will hide. Similar to stress and fear, when cats sense something as a threat to their environment, they will hide in order to escape from what they perceive as a danger.
This is common when you first adopt a cat or introduce them to a new home. Your cat will be anxious about their new surroundings. This is perfectly normal. Don’t force them out of hiding. Be patient with them and wait for them to feel comfortable enough to wander, or gently coax them out with treats!
Cats are also known for having a set daily routine.. So if you notice something odd or off in your cat’s usual behavior, it probably means that something is wrong. For example, if you have another pet, they may be more food aggressive than your cat. This can lead to them bullying your cat whenever he or she tries to eat.
If you think your cat is anxious, keep an eye on your cat throughout the day to see what might be causing him or her to feel this way. Cats do not know how to process anxiety so they might hide in order to try to run from the feeling.
Flea bites can be painful for cats. They may be scared at the sudden twinge and run away from what is hurting them! Unfortunately for them, they can’t hide from their own fur. If you think your cat has fleas, check for redness or if you cat is constantly scratching or biting at his or her skin. Some places to check for fleas might be under their bed or an area of the home your cat often hangs out in.
If your feline friend has been hiding more than usual and you are still not sure of the cause, it might be best to give your local vet a call. We at Acoma Animal Clinic in Tucson will work with you and your animal friend to find the perfect solution or explore the possible reasons for the change in your cat’s behavior. We are here for you so give us a call or contact us!