Sometimes we worry that something is wrong if our cat likes to hide. Are they sick? Is it that they don't like us? It’s possible, but it’s probably just instinct. Cats are born hunters, pouncers, and stalkers. So hiding – whether in a cupboard, under the bed, or behind the clothes dryer is one way they feel safe and in control.
Hiding gives your cat the feeling of security and a place to observe their surroundings. And since cats in the wild use hiding places to keep an eye on their prey, your cat may simply be exhibiting her hunting instincts.
It's completely natural for domestic cats to hide, but it might not occur to you that your indoor cat needs appropriate hiding spaces and protected perches. After all, your kitty doesn't come with an owner's manual.
Why does my cat like to hide?
Your cat may be hiding for a variety of reasons. If she feels stressed or scared, hiding is an easy way to get away from the hustle and bustle of your home or to simply get some alone time. Think of how much you appreciate quiet time when you’ve been stressed or busy. Your cat is no different. Giving our indoor cats appropriate opportunities to hide is essential to their health and well-being.
So here are 4 inexpensive and easy ways to give your cat more cozy hiding places in your home.
Create several dens for your cat within your home, where they can tuck themselves securely away. Cats love to be able to observe from secure places, and a tunnel is a great location for a cat to use to spy on his prey. This hunting instinct was one of the reasons we developed the Hide and Sneak. Tunnels are ideal places for cats to sleep, hide, and relax.
You don’t need to buy a tunnel to give your cat a place to hide, though. Look to items around your home to give your cat a secure place to observe her surroundings. My cats love boxes, bags, baskets, and shelves. You can even use a storage tote. Just grab a box cutter and make a hole in one or both sides. Then snap the lid back on, and you have your very own kitty hideaway!
Speaking of inexpensive items in your home, make your cat his very own camp out with a handmade tent. You can use blankets, towels, clothing, or our Magic Carpet to create an indoor tent. Use your dining room chairs, ottoman, or bed to drape the fabric over and coax your kitty inside with a few treats or some silvervine.
Have an old bookshelf you don’t use anymore? Cut some holes in the shelves so kitty can climb all the way to the top. You might be able to find a cheap bookcase or armoire at a local thrift store or online swap network. Another option for cat-friendly perches: install some inexpensive standalone shelves (or use scrap wood) to build a kitty jungle gym. This technique is great for homes without much square footage. Cat trees and tunnels might not work for a small apartment, but shelves go vertical, saving you valuable floor space. Just make sure your shelves are secured to the wall to prevent injury.
Think like a cat to make the most of your home
Your cat loves you and your home. It’s her territory. But she wants places to hide and observe, so you need to understand her perspective when you create spaces for her. If your cat tends to climb on top of your refrigerator or cabinets, then he’ll love some vertical hiding places. If he tends to hide under the bed when company comes over, give him a tent or cat tunnel to use. Or better yet, give your cat the most pawsome home ever and do both!