Cat owners often wonder about cat behavior, particularly if they think that it might be related to a health issue. There are some cat behaviors that can seem strange to humans that are perfectly normal for cats to display. One of them is hiding behavior. While this can be a behavior that is linked with health concerns, it can also be a normal behavior for your cat to display.
If you are worried that your cat might be hiding due to a health issue, you need to know more about the reasons that cats tend to hide. Being more familiar with the conditions that can lead to this behavior can help you determine when your cat is hiding due to a health issue and when they are just hiding because cats like to do this from time to time.
Some cats love to hide so they can jump out at you or a toy or other pets in the home. If they love doing this enough, they might spend a lot of time on some days lying in wait for something to come by that they can jump out at. This is more common in cats that are younger, but some older cats really love to “hunt” things and will hide to see if they can pounce on something that passes by.
If your cat seems otherwise healthy and they are engaging in play with you or other pets in the home, they are probably only hiding because they are feeling playful.
Cats can sometimes hide because they feel safer in small spaces. This is common if there is commotion in the home or if a new pet has been added to your family. Sometimes a move to a new place can lead to your cat hiding for hours out of every day for a time as they adjust.
Not every cat chooses to hide when they are worried or scared, but many cats show this behavior when they feel scared or worried. If you can tell that your cat is still sneaking out of their hiding place to use the litterbox and to eat and drink, you don’t need to worry too much. If your pet is not eating and drinking, or they are not using the litterbox, you might need to take them to the veterinarian to be looked at.
Sometimes cats will hide because they are not feeling well. This can be more common in older pets, but even kittens might hide if they are not feeling the best. Even if your pet is not vomiting or having diarrhea, or acting particularly distressed, consistent hiding behavior can be a sign that something is not right with your pet’s health.
Always be sure that you are checking on your cat’s eating and drinking behavior as well as their use of the litterbox if you think they might not be feeling well. You should also encourage your pet to come out of hiding so you can watch them moving around. Look for signs of pain, discomfort, or dehydration while your cat is out of their hiding place. Being able to get your pet the care that they need right away is key if health issues are why they have chosen to hide.
Some cats prefer to rest where they won’t be bothered, and they might pick a post out of the way to hide and sleep. This is quite common in older cats, and you might notice that your pet is more likely to do this if they are aging. Cats that otherwise seem healthy and are sleeping when you find them hidden away are probably not suffering from an illness and are not likely to be worried about anything.
Your cat might be tempted to hide in warm places that are small where they feel safe no matter how old they are, so make sure that anywhere that might be unsafe for your cat is not accessible. These might be places where they could get stuck or where they might get closed out of the main part of the house and end up dehydrated or overheated. Cats tend to also crawl into car engines and other small and warm spaces to sleep, so be careful about this if your cat spends time outside.
To Get Up High
Sometimes it might seem like your cat is hiding when really they are just trying to get up to a tall location to enjoy looking down on the rest of the house. Cats really like to be up high, and they might find small spaces that are tucked away near the ceiling or in a tall window to perch. This is perfectly normal, and your cat might enjoy just being able to watch things that are going on below them.
Make sure that your cat can exit this kind of space easily, however. Sometimes cats put themselves at risk for broken limbs and other injuries by jumping from high places that are much easier to climb into than to exit.
Cats Can Hide For Many Reasons
Cats have a lot of instincts that drive them to hide in small spaces. Cats love to hunt things from cover, and your cat could also be looking for a nice, quiet place to take a nap. So long as your cat seems to be feeling well and they are eating and drinking, there is probably nothing for you to worry about if your cat is hiding on a regular basis.
However, if your cat seems to be feeling unwell or they have stopped eating and drinking, you should consider taking them to the vet. Cats that are hiding and also seem to be feeling unwell could be far more sick than you realize. Cats are good at keeping their illnesses from their families in some cases, and hiding can be an early warning sign that something is not right.
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