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Home > Cats > Why is My Cat Hiding Suddenly? 3 Vet Reviewed Reasons & What to Do

Why is My Cat Hiding Suddenly? 3 Vet Reviewed Reasons & What to Do

British cat hiding under the bed

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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It isn’t unusual for cats to hide. Any time a cat feels uncomfortable or threatened, it is in their instincts to hide. Unlike dogs, cats haven’t changed heavily since domestication. Therefore, they still rely heavily on their instincts, which don’t always line up with how they live today.

In many cases, cats choose to seek elevation. Being above everything else makes cats feel safe, which is often why they are so prone to climbing. However, many cats will also hide under things, such as beds, if that is more easily available.

Usually, your cat hiding isn’t anything to worry about. However, there are some instances where hiding may indicate a health problem. Let’s take a look at the possible different reasons below.


The 3 Reasons Why Your Cat is Suddenly Hiding

1. Stress

Many cats that are stressed out will hide. There are many situations that can stress out your feline, even if they don’t seem like a big deal to you. For instance, cats may hide if you move the furniture around or change your schedule slightly. Even coming home an hour later than usual may stress some sensitive cats out, causing them to seek comfort by hiding.

Cats are very observant. Therefore, they may become stressed about changes you don’t even notice. If your neighbor gets a new cat or dog, your feline may notice it through the window, for instance. Cats can also smell other cats outside of their home, especially if the cat marks in your yard. Therefore, cats may become stressed by visitors that you don’t even notice.

Similarly, cats can become stressed by major events, too. Moving house or purchasing a new cat can all make your current cat very stressed out. Sometimes, it is possible to ease these transitions to make your cat more comfortable. However, this isn’t always possible.

Some cats are more sensitive to stress than others. Some may not seem stressed out by anything, while others can become anxious by the smallest change. Often, the only thing you can do in these situations is to provide your cat with enough time and space to become comfortable again. However, in extreme cases, you may want to visit your vet for some suggestions. Medications are available for cats that are particularly high-strung.

scared British blue-point cat hiding under the bed
Image By: Zossia, Shutterstock

2. Illness

In other cases, cats may hide because they do not feel well. In the wild, a sick cat was more likely to be attacked by a predator or even another cat. Therefore, cats have gotten very good at hiding their symptoms. Often, people don’t even notice that their cat is sick until their feline is really sick. Cats are notorious for hiding illnesses for months.

However, cats will often take to hiding as a way to cover up their illness, as well. Therefore, if you notice your cat is out of sight more often, you should probably take note. It isn’t odd for cats to hide if they don’t feel well.

If your feline hasn’t experienced any life changes and is hiding, we recommend taking them to the vet. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are sick. As we’ve explained above, cats can notice changes that you may not necessarily pick up on, which can cause stress.

There is not a specific illness that is more likely to cause your cat to hide than others. Anything that makes them feel bad can make them hide. Therefore, this isn’t a significant symptom that may hint at a specific illness. However, it may hint that something is generally wrong with your cat.

3. Pregnancy

When a cat is pregnant, they will try to find a place to have their babies, especially towards the latter stages. In these cases, it isn’t odd for cats to start hiding as they create a nest. Cats will often want to hide to give birth in a secluded area. Under the bed or in closets are most common. However, this could technically be anywhere.

However, by this point, you’ll probably notice that your cat is pregnant. Cats typically don’t start nesting until later. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise at this stage.

With that said, some cats are very good at hiding their pregnancy, as well. Therefore, it is possible for cats to start nesting before their humans have figured out that they are pregnant.

pregnant cat standing behind bob wire outdoors
Image By: fabian saragoza, Pixabay



Cats can start to hide for all sorts of reasons. However, usually cats decide to hide either because they are stressed or because they aren’t feeling well. When you bring a new cat home, it is very common for them to pick a place and hide under it until they feel safe enough to come back out. In this way, cats hide when they are stressed about all sorts of different things.

However, cats may also hide because they are sick, as well. Often, if a cat starts hiding a lot for no obvious reason, it is because they are sick. Therefore, we recommend taking them to the vet if there is no apparent reason for them hiding.

Featured Image Credit: ivSky, Shutterstock

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