Peek-A-Boo: Why Cats Hide

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December 25, 2010
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Have you ever come home from work and not been able to find your cat? You check the preferred sleeping spots and only find traces of cat fur. You call his name and shake a bag of treats and no response. Then you start to wonder if he got out of the house and begin searching. Finally, you find him! He’s in the hamper, the dresser, back in the darkest corner of the closet, or maybe under the bed snuggled between two storage bins. You’re relieved but wonder why he does that when he’s safe in his own home.

Why do kitties hide?

Cats hide for many reasons and some have to do with their instinct and need to sometimes recharge, observe, and feel safe. Knowing the reasons won’t make the hiding any less bizarre or silly but it will let you know what they might be feeling at a given time.

Spy – Cats like to observe their environment and study what’s going on. This sometimes means taking a voyeuristic approach and hiding somewhere to watch the world without being seen. A secluded perch, dark corner, or inside of a paper bag will do quite nicely. Especially when there’s a lot of activity in the house, cats tend to take a backseat and watch. If you’ve ever been cooking or cleaning the kitchen, you might find your cat sitting on the top of the fridge watching you. He’s keeping an eye on his domain and you.

Hunting – Hiding is how cats begin hunting. They make sure they can watch and stalk prey without being seen. If your cat appears from out of nowhere attacks that down feather that has been blowing across the floor, he’s practicing his hunting skills and ninja stealth! He may also attack the object and then turn and run away. It’s all very silly to watch.

Hide and Seek – Sometimes cats just want to play. It’s a way to hunt but not seriously and a great hiding spot means he gets to surprise you. Ever walk by a doorway or your couch and a paw comes out and smacks your foot? Your cat is playing. You’ll know if it’s serious if the claws pop out!

Hiding is a part of their nature. It’s gives them the advantage in a situation and also sometimes gives them the spot they need to safely slumber without being disturbed. The next time you find your cat dozing under the blankets on the bed or under the couch, you’ll know why but it won’t make it any less cute or amusing.

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One Response to “Peek-A-Boo: Why Cats Hide”

  1. Donna Eggett says:

    For decades I’ve had pet cats around. They all love to hide and in really strange places – deep inside the couch, through a hole in the mattress and into a spring, etc. I leave cardboard boxes about the place with the flaps almost closed and they usually end up hiding in them. Makes the cats easier to find. They also end up putting the boxes right where I can trip over them in the middle of the night.

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