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Why Does Your Cat Love to Hide in Odd Spots?

March 01, 2020 3 min read

Like humans, cats enjoy retreating to a warm, quiet location for some refreshing downtime. 

When cats need to isolate themselves, they often find safe places in your house to hide such as space under a bed, in a cupboard, or behind the sofa. It’s when they venture into unsafe zones like an open dryer or under the hood of a car in the garage that can put them at risk for injury or worse, death. That’s why it’s important to understand why cats like to hide and how you can be sure to keep them safe while they act out this normal feline behavior.

Why do cats like to hide? 

Animal experts believe it’s an innate behavior cats developed in the wild to shield themselves while stalking prey or to protect themselves from becoming prey. That curious behavior remains, and according to PetMD.com, cats who hide tend to be less stressed than cats who have no place to retreat.

What are the most common places cats like to hide?

Some cats will retreat to a hiding spot just to nap undisturbed. Others may seek refuge if spooked. It’s not uncommon for some kitties to make a mad dash for their favorite hiding spot when a company makes an entrance or a new four-legged addition enters the mix. They will eventually emerge from their hidden shelter and leave you wondering just where they’ve been stowed away during their absence. 

The most common safe places cats like to hide include:

  • Under the bed
  • Behind or inside a sofa (by entering through a hole in the lining)
  • In cupboards
  • Behind the curtains
  • In the back of a closet
  • Behind an appliance
  • Inside an empty box or grocery bag
  • Inside a suitcase or backpack
  • Under a Christmas tree
  • Under a porch or deck

Then, there are those risky places cats hide that can be dangerous, such as:

  • Around your car’s engine
  • In drawers
  • In the dryer or washer
  • In the refrigerator
  • Inside the woodstove
  • Behind a space heater
  • In the garage
  • Under a recliner

We’ve all heard the horror stories about cats who’ve fallen victim to a car engine, washing machine, or dryer. Warm places such as woodstoves and space heaters are also attractive, but these can pose a burn risk. 

Cats enjoy exploring so when you open doors, drawers, or cabinets, cats can quickly dart inside without notice and become trapped. The underside of your recliner is another unsuspected hiding place that can be dangerous if you release the mechanism not knowing your cat is still under the chair.

Realizing that cats like to explore unusual places, you should always double check to be sure your cat hasn’t snuck up behind you and slipped into one of these danger zones.

Create safe places for your cat to hide.

The places cats choose to hide — a bed frame, for example — might seem odd to their human family members, but it’s crucial for cats to have safe and secure places to retreat. You can help. Lay a blanket or cat bed behind the sofa or on an elevated shelf. Provide a kitty condo or a simple cardboard box turned on its side in an out-of-the-way area. 

Give your feline friend comfortable and quiet options for retreating. And remember, a cat with the ability to hide away tends to be happier and healthier than one without that luxury.



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