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Why Is My Cat Hiding Under the Bed? 7 Likely Reasons

British cat hiding under the bed

As a cat owner, you’ve likely seen your pet hiding under your bed a time or two. It’s normal cat behavior for cats to hide themselves away, but sometimes it seems as if your pet is spending way too much time beneath the bed. So, should you be concerned?

It turns out there are several reasons your cat will hide under your bed—reasons that include security, anxiety, and illness. Most of the time, it is not cause for concern, but there are a few times when you should keep an eye on your pet or coax them out. Read on for the likely reasons your cat is hiding under your bed!

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The 7 Reasons Your Cat Is Hiding Under the Bed

1. They’re Afraid

scared British blue-point cat hiding under the bed
Image Credit: zossia, Shutterstock

Fear is one of the biggest reasons our feline friends will hide under the bed (or elsewhere). Whether it’s because they’re a new member of the household, and they’re wary of the new surroundings and family, or because they’re afraid of a person, another animal, loud noises, or something else, hiding under the bed gives them a sense of security. Plus, being under the bed allows them to assess the “threat” from a distance and decide how frightening it actually is.

If your kitty is under the bed because it’s scared, it’s best to leave it to itself until it’s ready to come out again.


2. They Feel Secure

two British shorthair cats hiding under the bed
Image Credit: Georgy Dzyura, Shutterstock

Cats don’t just feel more secure under our beds when they’re afraid; this spot can make them feel more secure. They know nothing can creep up on them when they’re hiding there, whether it’s for a nap or something else. Call it innate feline instinct. It’s why cats enjoy hanging out in tiny, cramped spaces. It just feels more secure than being out in the wide open. If your cat is napping under the bed often, it could simply be its favorite sleeping spot.


3. They’re Craving Time Alone

cat hiding under the bed
Image Credit: zossia, Shutterstock

You already know cats want to hang out with you on their terms, not yours. So, it should be no surprise that sometimes a cat hides under the bed because it wants some time alone. Especially if there are other pets in the house, underneath the bed makes an excellent spot to get away from it all. So long as you don’t see signs of illness or distress, let your pet hang out under the bed as much as they want, so they can get that alone time they desire.


4. They’re Anxious or Stressed

a cat hiding under the bed
Image Credit: zossia, Shutterstock

Much like when they are frightened, felines may hide under the bed because they’re anxious or stressed out. By doing this, they are isolating themselves from you and the rest of the family. This won’t be the only sign of anxiety, though. Stressed cats may also have digestive issues, groom excessively, experience changes to their appetite, or be aggressive to others.

If you find that your pet is always hiding and showing other signs of anxiety, you’ll want to bring them to your vet to see what can be done.


5. They’re Sick

Domestic cat under the bed
Image Credit: Greentellect Studio, Shutterstock

If you’ve been a cat parent for a while, you know that cats tend to become withdrawn or hide away when they’re ill rather than making a fuss about it. It’s another one of those feline instincts—in the wild, a sick cat makes an easy target for predators, so hiding it means less risk of becoming prey. Unfortunately, this behavior means we sometimes don’t see signs of illness until our cat is seriously ill.

Thankfully, there are other signs you can watch for if your cat has been hiding under the bed more than often for seemingly no other reason. You’ll find that they may eat less, become quieter, use the litter box more or less, and sleep more, among other things. This is one of the times when you should get your pet out from under the bed as soon as you can for a vet visit.


6. They’re About to Give Birth

black and white cat hiding under the bed
Image Credit: Robert Way, Shutterstock

Mama cats seek out spots to give birth that are secure, dark, and easily defensible, and under the bed fits those requirements. That means if you have a pregnant cat, you might find yourself with kittens under the bed! In this instance, it’s best to let mama do what she needs to do so as not to stress her out.

However, if you’d prefer your cat not to have kittens underneath your bed, you should set up an area for them about two weeks prior to the due date that fits the secure, dark, and defendable requirements. There are no guarantees your pet won’t still go underneath the bed, but it will reduce the chances!


7. They’re Dying

Ginger tabby cat hiding under the bed
Image Credit: Konstantin Aksenov, Shutterstock

By and far the worst possible reason to have your cat hiding under your bed is that they are close to death. Just as when ill, cats also hide away to die. Again, it’s that innate instinct that they are more vulnerable when in a weakened state, so hiding away makes them safer. If your pet has been sickly or is elderly, this could be the reason it’s hiding there. If you think that’s the case with your cat, there are ways to comfort them, such as keeping the area quiet, giving them treats, and staying nearby.

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Conclusion

There are several reasons your cat will hide beneath your bed, including because they are sick, anxious, just want to chill alone, or are scared. The majority of the time, you won’t need to worry about getting them out from underneath there unless your pet is exhibiting other signs of concern, such as appetite changes, behavioral changes, or sleeping more. If you believe your pet is not feeling well or extremely stressed, you should coax them out for a vet visit. In most cases, though, it’s best to leave your cat be, so they can do what they need to do on their terms.


Featured Image Credit: ivSky, Shutterstock

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