Has your new cat started hiding under your furniture? For a kitty in a new or unfamiliar environment, hiding is a normal reaction. If your pet is uncertain, they'll want to hide until they are sure they are in a safe place, without any possible threats!
For this reason, it's common to see new kitties make a dash under the bed when you first bring them home. But why do cats hide and what can you do about it? Read on and find out what you can do to calm and comfort your cat, and encourage them out from under the furniture.
7 TIPS TO STOP YOUR CAT FROM HIDING
1. Give your pet time!
When a new cat is hiding away, it's important to give them time to adjust to their surroundings. If your new pet wants to hide, let them, and give them some space! Never force them to come out, and always leave them alone to explore in their own time.
Cats are very territorial, so they will feel a little unsettled until they can establish that this is their home! Once they feel safe and a little braver, your kitty should start to come out and explore.
2. Think about hiding triggers and remove them
If you've given your pet lots of time to come out (they may be timid for a number of days!) but they remain reluctant to leave their hiding spot, consider other triggers that might be upsetting your cat.
What might they still be uncertain about their new situation? Do you have lots of people in the house, loud guests, or young children who may be making your kitty nervous? Even loud appliances, or unusual smells and sounds could be enough to worry your pet. Think about what could be triggering their hiding and try to eliminate it.
3. Make sure your cat doesn't feel trapped
Your kitty always wants to know where the nearest escape route is! If your pet has taken to hiding, be sure you leave doors open, and never block the exits to a room. Try to encourage an open and safe kitty environment for them to explore.
4. Reinforce positive behaviours
Sometimes a little positive encouragement can go a long way! With the right positive response, you can encourage your cat to come out of their hiding spot, and help them feel safe and loved.
For example, if your pet comes out of their hiding spot, play with them, or give them some tasty treats. Try to have some treats to hand any time your pet comes to you to reinforce the idea that being out in the open as positive!
You can also try leaving some treats just outside of their hiding place. Be sure to leave your pet alone when they need - let them come to you, and always let them move at their own pace!
5. Consider access to resources
Is your new kitty able to access everything they need? Hiding behaviours can limit your pet's access to resources (such as food, water and the litter tray) as they may be too afraid to go to them!
If another cat is scaring your pet, or blocking their access to resources, this could also be a cause of hiding. If your cat is hiding and not eating, this can be very concerning behaviour, so be sure to pay attention to your pet to ensure they have access to their own individual resources, and are using them!
6. Check with a vet
If your new kitty still won't stop hiding, it's wise to check that they have no underlying health concerns with the vet. This is especially important if your pet seems extra anxious, or has stopped eating or drinking.
7. Create a comfortable home environment
Giving a new kitty their own safe haven is a great way to help them settle in. Your cat needs to feel safe and secure in their own territory to boost their confidence and encourage their bravery! A good kitty safe haven will have lots of comfy bedding such as a cat bed, some favourite toys, and be in a quiet place. Secluding a brand new kitty to one room of your house is often a good way to help them adjust and boost their confidence before they explore the rest of the house!
Plugging FELIWAYOPTIMUM Diffuser in the area where your cat spends most of their time (such as in their safe haven or near their hiding spot) can be a good way to support a happy environment for your new pet. By releasing comforting messages, your new kitty will soon feel more comfortable, calmer and ready to come out of their hiding spot to explore and play!