Hiding In Cats

Does your feline friend often hide? This is a pretty common behavior among kitties. It’s not always problematic: sometimes Fluffy just enjoys finding herself a little hidden nook or cranny. However, there are times when hiding can be indicative of health or behavioral issues. An Ellicott City, MD vet delves into this topic below.

Why Do Cats Hide?

Kitties may hide for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they just want to find napping spots where they feel safe and secure, and aren’t in the middle of a lot of commotion. Your furry pal may also be hiding because she’s feeling playful and is mimicking hunting behaviors. If that’s the case, your feisty pet may ambush you or run out in front of you  as you walk past. However, cats also sometimes hide when they feel sick, scared, or stressed. Fluffy may also hide as she is adjusting to a new home, or is perhaps afraid of another pet.

When Is Hiding A Problem?

Determining why your feline buddy is hiding can get a bit tricky. You’ll need to look at other behavioral clues. If Fluffy emerges bright-eyed and bushy tailed at dinnertime, she probably just wanted some alone time in a safe spot. However, if she doesn’t want to come out of her hiding spot, or if she emerges briefly just to retreat again, there may be something else going on. Hiding that is accompanied by signs of illness should always warrant an immediate call to the veterinary clinic. Some of the things to look for include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, limping, fever, respiratory issues, litterbox woes, and uncharacteristic behavior or vocalizations. 

Going With The Flow

Is your cute pet just naturally timid? Work with her, rather than against her. Provide Fluffy lots of cozy nooks and crannies to retreat to. These can be boxes, paper bags, kitty condos, or even spots under the bed or couch. If you have a dog, and you know or suspect that your furball may be frightened of Fido, offer some vertical space, such as a cat tower with an enclosed level. (Note: if your dog is going after your cat, consult a pet behaviorist immediately.) 

Playing with your furry friend may also help her burn off her excess energy, leaving her calmer after. Just don’t force your feline pal to come out if she doesn’t seem comfortable, and don’t punish her for retreating. In time, she may become more confident. If not, you may just have a scaredy-cat on your hands. That’s purrfectly fine! The most important thing is keeping Fluffy happy and healthy. 

As your local Ellicott City, MD pet clinic, we are alway here to help. Contact us anytime!

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