Here's Why Your Cat Keeps Hiding in Such Weird Places
Experts weigh in on whether or not it's cause for concern.
If you're the proud owner of a feline, you've probably found yourself wondering why you keep finding your cat hiding in the oddest of places. Every week, it seems like there's a new viral video from a frazzled human who can't find their cat, only to discover them curled up in a kitchen drawer, squeezed behind the fridge, or even wedged between the glass and screen door. Which begs the question: Why do cats hide so much? And are they doing it out of fear, or is this behavior pawfectly—sorry, perfectly normal?
According to experts, it could be either reason.
"While they are predators, a cat's small size means it can also be prey to larger animals. This gives cats an innate need to have a hiding place that is enclosed on the sides," says Jessica Charo, a cat behavior consultant at FelineEngineering.
So if a cat is hiding, it doesn't necessarily mean they're hiding from you. It's just in their DNA.
MY CAT GOT STUCK BETWEEN THE GLASS DOOR AND THE SCREEN DOOR IM CRYING pic.twitter.com/19tsDrFe9c
— dylan (@dylan_smith58) March 8, 2016
However, like humans, some cats are particularly fearful, and others may not adjust well to kids or strangers. So if you find your cat frequently hiding in potentially dangerous places, it might be worth coming up with a solution that will make your fur baby feel safe out in the open.
Charo recommends providing "a covered bed in a quiet area where they wouldn't be bothered by other pets or kids" and placing the bed "on a raised surface so your cat can watch the world from above and feel even safer."
Kac Young, author of The One Minute Cat Manager, agreed that a cat's hiding habits could be a sign of stress, but could also simply indicate a need for alone time. Worst case, the behavior could be the symptom of an illness.
"Cats run away from the 'herd' when they are ill because they do not want to be seen as weak or vulnerable, because the weak one gets left behind," says Young.
As with humans, the best way to know whether your cat's habits are normal or not is to look out for changes in behavior.
"While a hiding cat is probably harmless, a sudden increase in this behavior could be a cause for concern," says Samantha Schwab, the resident pet expert at Chewy.com. "If your cat suddenly begins hiding more often or shows any change in their regular behavior, consult your veterinarian."
And if you're worried about what your cat's communicating, check out this New Study That Proves Cats Have a Healthier Attachment to Their Humans Than Dogs Do.
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