There is a reason why so many people love having cats in their lives. They are soft, adorable, and fun to play with. However, these pets can also display odd behavior at times, leaving their owners wondering what led to their actions.
One common occurrence that people experience with their cats is hiding behavior. There are several potential causes for your pet hiding under your couch and in other places, and some of these reasons will be highlighted throughout this article.
Basics of Cat Behavior
Cats are creatures that are naturally on high alert, aware of their surroundings at almost all times. Although they are ferocious felines that are always ready to pounce onto rodents and other prey, they can be easily spooked by loud sounds, new people, and other things they are not used to as they are also always prepared to react to any potential dangers.
Possible Reasons for a Hiding Cat
The natural behavior displayed by cats is the root cause for your pet hiding under your couch, but take a look below at some more specific possible reasons for your cat hiding away from you and others. If you can figure out the cause, you will be able to prevent the behavior from occurring.
1 – Taking a Nap
It is very possible that your kitty is hiding under your couch simply to go somewhere dark and quiet for a nap. Keep in mind that cats sleep an average of roughly 15 hours every single day, so take a look to see if your pet is sleeping the next time it is hiding away somewhere.
2 – Getting Startled
If your pet has been around a loud noise, near another cat or animal, or otherwise scared, it will likely experience the flee response, running away and hiding somewhere it feels safer.
As long as your pet comes back out of its hiding spot after some time following the threat having passed, there should be no reason to worry about your cat’s behavior.
3 – New Environment
Cats are highly susceptible to change, so when you and your pet move into a different apartment or house, your cat can become anxious until it gets used to its new home and realizes that it is perfectly safe.
The same goes for new people being around your cat. If you have guests over, particularly if they are people who your pet has never been around, it may be stressing out your cat and causing it to hide under your couch or in other spots.
4 – Physical Ailment
If you notice that your cat is hiding under your couch or in other places of your home constantly, and this is new behavior that is happening for no apparent reason, you should probably bring your cat to the vet for a checkup just to make sure that nothing is physically wrong with your beloved pet.
If it appears that your cat will not even come out of its hiding place for food or to use the litter box, this is most certainly a cause for concern and you should seek medical attention for your cat immediately.
5 – Emotional Issues
If your cat happens to be a rescue cat, it was adopted from a pound, or it experienced some sort of traumatic experience as a kitten or during adulthood, your pet could have emotional issues as a result.
This could lead to your cat taking time out to hide away from you and everything else in its environment to feel more safe and secure.
6 – Pregnancy
If your cat is an unspayed female and it is possible that she was around at least one unneutered male feline at some point, she could be hiding under your couch because she is about to give birth to some cute little kittens.
If you notice swollen nipples on your cat as well as recent weight gain, you might want to consider this to be the cause for her hiding.
How to Get Cat Out From Under Couch
If you feel the need to get your pet out from its hiding place, luckily, there are a few ways you should be able to successfully do so. Take a look at these below.
This method might not work with all cats, but it is most certainly a good trick for getting most felines out from hiding. Simply take out some catnip and wave it around by your cat’s nose before placing it somewhere that is away from its hiding spot.
This will hopefully get your pet to pounce toward the catnip and out of its hiding place so it can enjoy some of that good stuff.
Your cat likely has specific treats that it can’t get enough of. You can shake the bag of treats around where your cat can easily hear it to try to lure it out.
You should have some luck getting your pet to come to you by bribing it with food. If you have a can of tuna or wet cat food, these work particularly well for luring a cat out of its hiding spot since the scents travel so effectively to your pet’s nose.
Otherwise, try shaking a bowl of dry cat food around to attract your pet with the sound of its food.
How to Prevent Cat From Hiding
If you want to help your cat feel more comfortable and stop feeling the need to hide away all the time, you can use the following information to figure out how.
Make Environment Comfortable
Particularly if you have recently moved into a new home with your cat, you should make sure to unpack and remove clutter from the place as quickly as possible as this will result in less stress on your pet.
You can also make the environment more familiar to your cat by putting out its toys and any scratching posts or other structures you have for it.
You should give your cat plenty of time to get accustomed to new faces and environments rather than forcing it out from hiding when it is not ready yet. Of all pets, cats in particular can take a while to start feeling comfortable when unfamiliar situations are introduced to them.
Create Designated Safe Spot
One way you can help keep your cat from wanting to find solitude under your couch is by making a safe, small area designated specifically for your pet to retreat to when it wants to take a long nap or hide away.
This can be something as simple as a cardboard box placed in a corner of your home that is typically undisturbed.
After having read this article, it should be clear that the potential reasons for your cat hiding under your couch are vast. You should take a look at the patterns of your cat’s hiding behavior to see if it consistently hides away around the same time every day, which could indicate that your pet is simply taking a nap.
Keep in mind that if you notice that your cat is also acting ill or injured, it is likely hiding away for reasons tied to a physical issue, and you should get your cat to a vet as soon as you can.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys, and I’m so excited to start this adventure with them! In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.