Cat hiding away is a sign of stress

cat hiding cat HIDING

Hiding away from time to time is something that every cat does, mainly to avoid a perceived threat.
Cats often go to their own safe space when feeling a bit of stress and will wait to emerge until they are comfortable.

Be aware of what might make your cat feel threatened and hide. This could be a person, noise, or another pet in or near the home. Cats commonly hide from visitors.

If you have more than one cat and especially if they share resources like a litter box, food bowls, etc this may cause one cat to hide. This is due to conflict between the cats, for more information see conflict between cats.

Several medical conditions may also cause pain or discomfort and be the reason for your cat to hide or stay withdrawn. If you cat spends most of its time hidden, or if his or her behaviour changed recently and he/she now stays hidden for long periods of time, start by ruling out any medical issues with a thorough veterinary exam. The vet will check for signs of pain or sickness.

If nothing is wrong at the health exam, your cat may suffer from chronic stress. Using a FELIWAY Diffuser will help with keeping your cat feeling calm and playful. The reason for this stress needs to be identified, although not necessarily obvious nor easy to detect. This will allow you to understand what seems to upset your cat and take this into account in the modifications you will implement to help your cat.

Questions to ask yourself are: 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?



Cats feel less stress when they are able to hide or can perch in high places and should be allowed so they feel safe. Provide several hiding places (carton boxes, baskets, cupboards with door left open). Add FELIWAY Spray on them to make them more safe and secure to the cat.


Add FELIWAY Diffuser to your cat’s favourite room/s for at least 30 days.


Do not stroke your cat during hiding. You may accidentally increase the 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 several cats, give each cat their own resource (food, water, litter box, etc) in separate areas to avoid stress caused by competition.


In multi-cat homes, this can mean separate rooms/floors, or at least having one bowl in high place compared to another on the floor in another part of the room.

Make your home more cat friendly (see Cat friendly home app).

To see how to provide essential resources to your cat(s), download our

Cat Friendly Home Resource Checklist



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