When Tracie Hotchner appeared on the Martha Stewart ShowMartha Stewart brought her newly adopted cat to co-star in the segment. These days, Tracie is the founder of the Radio Pet Lady Network, but at the time she had a show on Stewart's Sirius radio channel. Unfortunately, when it was time for the cameras to roll, the feline guest of honor had seemingly disappeared. "Then, they looked on the bookshelf and found the cat squeezed between two of Martha's cookbooks!" Says Tracie with a laugh. If you're a parent cat, you'll probably relate to Tracie's anecdote about cat hiding.
Cat hiding at a glance
When it comes to hiding, our felines are so skilled that you often become convinced of your beauty. bed. But why is your cat hiding? And is it an issue if your favorite feline is indulging in hiding behaviors a little too often?
Why is your cat hiding?
When discussing cat hiding, Tracie relates to a feline's place in the animal food chain. "Cats are fearful 'prey' animals," she says. "Almost any noise or other animal or moving furniture can be stressful and drive them to hide."
Hotchner's characterization rings true for me: Every time the apartment doorbell sounds, my cat, Mimosa, scurries along and hides under the auspices of the world. Mimosa has never experienced any harm or distress. The fear of the unknown can make us all act in strange ways.
What are some preferred cat hiding spots?
A common way cats hide themselves to somewhere else, like the back corner of a closet. A couple of years ago, I was talking to John Bradshaw Cat Sense, about why cats seem to pick such boxed-in places as hiding spots. He told me that they are in the wild, they are constantly searching for "nooks and crannies to stay in the world".
This is one reason why cardboard boxes are such popular cat hiding spot. "For five sides out of six, you can keep an eye on the sixth one," Bradshaw says.
Cat hiding and cats in new homes
When bringing home-adopted cats home, they often use a form of Bradshaw's math. The standard advice to prevent cat hiding is to set up a small room – like a bathroom or utility closet – and make sure that the room has all the essentials like food, water and a litter box.
Then, leave the cat alone in the room and let her get accustomed to part of her new environment at her own pace. But if you peek in, you'll often see the cat in the room, too.
With my cat, Mimosa, she took up a hiding position under the sink cabinet – presumably to try and achieve Bradshaw 's goal of safe boxing as she was able to.
Is the cat hiding ever a sign that something is wrong?
In Mimosa's case, it's not going to last long. After leaving the bathroom door ajar, she eventually sauntered out around midnight to explore her forever home properly. These days, she occasionally enjoys hiding out in the closet where the coats and winter boots are kept.
While it's natural for them to get away from it all the time – they say it's going to be a little bit cooler – they're going to be in the dark – like sneaking in a little quiet respite and more like a sign of withdrawing.
"Knowing your own cat's clothes will tell you whether it is a physical problem or an emotional one," says Tracie. If your cat is going to leave you, you're probably going to be there.
Just be mindful of what Tracie says: "the number one skill needed to be a cat guardian: patience." Never try to force a cat out of hiding. Instead, let your cat "come out of her own good time" and respect your favorite cat's hiding tactics.
Tell us: Does your cat hide? What are some of the craziest cat hiding places you've seen?
Thumbnail: Photography © Rawpixel | iStock / Getty Images.
This piece was originally published on July 24, 2018.
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