Is Your Cat Always Hiding?

How to Help Your Cat Stop Hiding

  1. Use FELIWAY® Optimum to help with excessive hiding

    • Hiding can be a sign that your cat is stressed
    • FELIWAY® is the #1 vet recommended brand that helps cats feel calmer and less stressed, leading to less stress related behaviors (like hiding)
    • Results may be seen in as soon as 7 days
    • Try FELIWAY® Optimum risk free with our 60 day satisfaction guarantee
  2. Understand why your cat may be excessively hiding

    • Cats are known for being creatures of habit, so any changes within the home could be a stressor
    • Were there recent changes at home, like new furniture, redecorating, or moving to a new living space?
    • Have there been a lot of visitors, a new family member, or a new pet at home?
    • Is there competition or tension with another cat?
    • Make sure to be patient as your cat adjusts to changes in their environments; vets recommend using FELIWAY® to help cats to adjust to the changes in their environment
  3. Keep in mind, it is natural for cats to hide from time to time

    • Make sure to provide multiple hiding spots for your cats (cardboard boxes, baskets, etc.)
    • Hiding spots should be in easily accessible areas
    • Cats like their space, and they may just need some down time, so be sure to respect that
    • If you feel like your cat is hiding excessively or that they are hiding the majority of the day, their hiding may be a result of stress
  4. Consult your veterinarian

    • Underlying medical conditions can cause cats to hide, so make sure to talk with your veterinarian, especially if increased hiding is a recent change in behavior

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While periodic hiding is normal for cats, excessive hiding is not. If your cat is hiding all day, it could be a sign that they are stressed and trying to cope.

Many things can cause your cat to hide:

  • People: cats commonly hide from visitors
  • Noises: cats may hide if they are scared by sudden or loud noises
  • Recent changes at home: adding new furniture, remodeling, new baby in the family etc.
  • Another pet in the home (or in the neighborhood): cats don’t like sharing resources like their litterbox, food bowls, etc… this may cause one cat to hide
  • Recent changes in your routine: has your typical schedule changed?
  • Several medical conditions cause pain or discomfort and may be a reason for your cat to hide. If your cat spends most of its time hidden, or if you've noticed an increase in the amount of time they spend hiding, consult your vet.

When your cat is hiding, leave them be, as they are communicating that they want alone time. Stroking them when they are trying to hide could unintentionally increase their level of stress. Wait for your cat to come to you and ask for attention.

Reward your cat with food or petting when they are able to cope without hiding. This positive reinforcement may encourage them.

Try to work out what is worrying them to help them feel more confident and spend more time out of hiding.

If you have several cats, give each cat their own food bowl, water bowl, litter box, etc. Put these in separate areas to avoid tension caused by competition.

Using FELIWAY Optimum® may help keep your cat's sense of security and their interest in interacting with you.


If you’ve recently adopted a new cat into your home, they may need time to settle in before they feel comfortable enough to come out of hiding. The best way to help your new cat to settle in is to create a calm and safe environment. Start by minimizing any loud noises and sudden movements that could startle your cat. Next, offer treats or their favorite food near their hiding spot, gradually moving it closer to you over time to encourage them to come out on their own terms. You should also try speaking softly to reassure your new cat that everything is okay. 

And remember, patience is key! It's important to let your cat set the pace and come out of hiding when they’re ready. For help creating a calm and safe environment, we recommend trying our FELIWAY® Optimum diffuser kit. For more tips and advice on getting a new cat out of hiding, read our full guide here.


The time it takes for a new cat to stop hiding tends to vary based on their personality and past experiences. Typically, it can take a few days for a cat to feel comfortable enough to come out of hiding in a new environment, and up to several weeks to be fully settled in.

To help this process along, provide a quiet, safe space with everything your new cat needs, and use a FELIWAY® Optimum diffuser to ease any feelings of stress and help them settle in. Avoid forcing your cat out of their hiding spot and instead introduce yourself gradually with gentle interactions.

Sitting quietly nearby can help, laying out treats a little distance away for your cat to investigate. Similarly, you could try playing with a favorite toy. Fishing rod toys are great for this as they create a natural distance between you and your cat while still playing together.

As always, patience and a calm, reassuring presence are key to helping a new cat adjust and feel secure enough to explore their new home and interact with their new human!


Your cat is very likely hiding her kittens from you as a natural maternal instinct. Cats want to keep their kittens in a safe, clean, quiet space in order to help their chances of survival. Even in a safe home environment, this instinct can drive a mother cat to seek secluded spots she thinks are secure for her offspring.

Pregnant cats – technically known as Queens! – will often start looking for a suitable place to have their nest a couple of weeks before the kittens arrive. You can help by providing some warm, comfortable options in quiet areas of your home for your cat to choose from. For instance, you could try a laundry basket, under a bed, or behind some furniture. Then, once the kittens have arrived, keep their chosen spot as quiet and safe as possible. 

Don’t forget, as exciting as it is to see your cat’s new kittens, it’s important to give them their privacy. Keep children, visitors, and other pets away, and keep an eye on the kittens from a distance. After two weeks or so, you may start to see them emerge!