Cat hiding away is a sign of stress

cat hiding cat HIDING

Hiding away from time to time is something that every cat does, and is a normal response to a perceived threat.  When, however, it becomes excessive, it is time to investigate as to why your cat is feeling to need to hide all the time. 

Why does my cat hide?

When your cat feels threatened, one of its natural reactions is to hide. Common causes include unfamiliar noises, visitors or another pet in or near the home. Once the threat is gone, your cat will typically leave their hiding place and resume normal activities.

Several medical conditions can also cause pain or discomfort and may be the reason your cat is hiding. If your cat spends most of its time hidden, or if their behaviour changed recently and they now stay hidden for long periods of time, start by ruling out any medical issues with a thorough veterinary exam. The vet will check your cat for signs of pain or sickness.

If you've ruled out health issues, then your cat may be hiding due to a perceived threat or stress. To help identify the cause of the stress, ask yourself: Have you added new furniture? Is there building work going on? Is a new cat or dog now part of the family? Has a neighbouring cat taken up residence in your backyard? Has your routine changed? How is your stress level?

Using a Feliway Diffuser will help comfort and reassure your cat so they feel safe and secure in their environment.

How to help your cat hide less


Cats feel less stress when they can see what is happening around them, without being seen themselves. Provide several hiding spots (boxes, baskets, cat trees), spread throughout the house, and spray them with Feliway Spray to help your cat feel safe and secure.


Plug a Feliway Diffuser in the room where your cat spends most of its time to provide constant comfort and reassurance.


Do not pet your cat while they are hiding. You may accidentally increase the likelihood of hiding with your loving attention. Wait for your cat to spontaneously come out and “ask” for cuddling.


Reward your cat for brave actions shown during potentially stressful situations. This encourages them to be brave again.


If you have multiple cats, ensure each cat has access its own resources (food, water, litter box, etc). By spreading these resources throughout the house, you will help avoid stress caused by competition between cats. This may mean placing resources in separate rooms or floors, or having one bowl in a high place and another on the floor in a different part of the room.

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