Cat hiding in weird spot, what do i do about it?

Boggoblin

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Hi so i accidentally posted this under Cat Health, when i intended to post it under behavior sorry.

My cat is about 4 years old and she’s always been very anxious. Hiding and being anti-social is not new behavior for her, but suddenly as of the last month she has been hiding underneath my recliner chair at random points during the day. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue and id take it as her just trying to hide close to me, but this chair has a sliding mechanism underneath it that im worried is going to hurt her. I’ve tried to make her other hiding spots to lure her out but shes decided thats where she wants to be, and is hiding there more and more frequently. Im almost worried that she’s sick but i feel like she’s just being stubborn because other than the sudden hiding, she’s perfectly normal. I don’t feel like i should reprimand her for hiding, but it’s not safe for her to be under there and i dont want her to continue to do it.
 

AshwinR

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Is there no way you can close off the opening? Yuo can try to spray it with cat repellent. If not, you need to get rid of the chair if you think she might get hurt.
 

gilmargl

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These reclining chairs can be extremely dangerous for cats. Can you do without it for a while and put it somewhere where it won't be used? Perhaps put something like a bucket chair in its place. My cats "hide" under my bucket chair when they know I'm desperately trying to catch them for medication or a vet visit. Unfortunately, it won't be nearly as comfotable for you.

There are cat-repellant sprays available for indoor use - for protecting furniture etc. These will keep your cat away from the chair for a limited amount of time until the smell fades. I cannot recommend them personally as the smell of them is as repulsive to me as it is to cats!

So, if the chair has to stay where it is and you have enough alternative hideouts in the room, I can only suggest that you try to make the alternative hideouts more attractive. A friend of mine swears by cat-mint (either fresh or oil) put in the cat bed. I'm not so sure about baldrian - it may be a bit too strong. But, putting a few of her favourite treats in the hideouts regularly will encourage her to use them.

Good luck!
 

di and bob

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I had the same problem for a while until they finally changed spots. What we did is remember to SLOWLY start putting the footrest down and sitting up to give the cat a chance to move if something is pinching. We still do it even now, It is good exercise too!
 
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Boggoblin

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I shouldve clarified, this isnt a standard recliner its like a cloth rocking chair? If that makes sense? And it has these little cloth flaps that cover the sliding mechanism and thats where shes hiding. The chair is extremely sentimental and id rather not get rid of it, so any other suggestions would be extremely helpful.
 

FeebysOwner

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You could try to safety pin the flaps up to the chair body and see if that spoils her interest in hiding there since the underside would be semi-exposed. And, if you are willing to NOT use the chair for a while, you could try stuffing boxes underneath it to see if she would stop being able to get underneath there at all. Maybe even cans of coins/marbles/etc. that would make a lot of noise?
 

di and bob

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I think being aware at all times that she may be under there and proceeding slowly to get up would work. As for rocking, just rock the first time, slowly and with care.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi! All good suggestions regarding the chair, I think, depending on how you want to handle that. However, about your cat, can you try cat music? There's Spotify, Youtube, RelaxMyCat and MusicForCats as sources you could consider :)

There are also many calming products on the market, this information below is just a sampling;
Only Natural Pet has a calming product called Just Relax Calming spray with essential oil (catnip oil).

There's this one, be sure and scroll all the way down the page;
Bach Flower Remedies - Rescue Remedy Pets Dogs Cats Horses Birds
Rescue Remedy Pets, Information, Bach Flower Remedies helps animals and pets when they feel fear, anxiety, lonely, jealous, depression.

Also, there is ThunderWunders calming chews, Naturevet Hemp, HomeoPet Anxiety Relief, Head to Tail Calming, Relaxivet Quiet Moments Cat treats, GNC Calming formula, and there is Calm-o-mile, Natures Miracle calming spray, Vetri-Science's Composure is another item to look at, Pet Remedy - UK (it has valerian) is yet another, as is Essential Pet Pet-eze, Pet Organics No Stress, Only Natural Pet (brand and website) has other calming products, Pet Naturals also has one I believe, and there are others.

Lambert Vet Supply is a website to look at, and of course chewy, also there's Petwishpros, animaleo, 1-800-petmeds, Petco and PetSmart, and other pet stores.

There is also a product called a lickimat which could be helpful, as cats can be calmed by the process of licking.

foodpuzzlesforcats.com

The LickiMat - Food Puzzles for Cats
This is a fantastic new tool to slow down those cats that eat wet food too quickly. Available in three different textures and two colors. Easy to wash and clean, easy to fill. This could also be used as a tool while introducing new cats to each other since it will slow down their eating […]

This post talks about some other products;
Calming Treats For A Very Picky Cat
 
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ArtNJ

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Well, I'm sure this will be controversial, but as far as I'm concerned, there are times when it is appropriate to scare your cat. If they climb on the stove, for example. Now there might be a better solution, but a possible solution that I would consider is stomping really loudly right beside the chair when the cat goes under there. If need be, you could yell at the same time. It is fairly likely to work, in time anyway. If the cat is bonded to you and generally well adjusted, the consequences should be limited to not going under the chair. Again, there might be better solutions, things to try first, second and maybe third, but I personally would not reject scaring the cat if nothing else is working.
 
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Boggoblin

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You could try to safety pin the flaps up to the chair body and see if that spoils her interest in hiding there since the underside would be semi-exposed. And, if you are willing to NOT use the chair for a while, you could try stuffing boxes underneath it to see if she would stop being able to get underneath there at all. Maybe even cans of coins/marbles/etc. that would make a lot of noise?
This is a really good idea, im gonna try pinning the flaps and see if that helps thanks :))
 

Caspers Human

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Try soaking a piece of cloth or a cotton ball in something that your cat won't like the smell of then place it underneath the chair.

Lemon oil, orange oil or anything "citrusy" are smells that cats don't like. Peppermint, wintergreen, menthol or cinnamon also work and all of these things are relatively non-toxic to cats.

Eucalyptus or tea tree oil or ammonia also work but be careful to make it so your cat can't get into them because these things can be harmful to cats. Put the soaked cloth inside a plastic container with a tight fitting lid and poke some holes in it so that the smell can get out but the cat can't get in.

Any of these smells make good cat repellents but, except for ammonia, usually smell good to humans.

If you put some of this kind of "scent repellent" underneath the chair, the closed in area underneath will concentrate the smell and should, hopefully, make your cat stay away from the place.

A funny story for you...

When I was a kid, we had a Miniature Schnauzer, "Tyrone," who used to go under the reclining chair when my mom was sitting there.

One day, the phone rang and my mom got up to answer it. She pushed the footrest down and ran for the phone, not realizing that Tyrone was sitting underneath. He got swept under and was trapped under the chair!

The phone call ended. About a half-hour later, we were all sitting around the living room and somebody asked, "Hey, where's the dog?"

We searched and searched but couldn't find him. We looked everywhere. Finally, somebody called his name and we heard a whimper come from underneath the recliner. My mom pulled the lever, up went the recliner and out ran the dog... shaken but none the worse for the wear.

Once we figured out that Tyrone was all right, we had a good laugh.

The dog never sat under the recliner again... Once was enough for him! ;)
 

susanm9006

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Some might object but I would get a little squeaker horn at the dollar and use it near the chair every time she is under. I expect this will make her leave her spot and not be too interested in returning.
 

Caspers Human

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Some might object but I would get a little squeaker horn at the dollar and use it near the chair every time she is under. I expect this will make her leave her spot and not be too interested in returning.
That's good, in theory, but, in practice, the cat will tend to associate the noise with the human who squeaks the noisemaker but not necessarily the act of going under the chair.

If the human is 100% consistent and makes the noise immediately, every time the cat goes near the chair, this tactic can work but it's probably just as easy to shout, "No!" If a person does not act with machine-like consistency and immediacy, the cat will probably just get sneaky and will still do the undesirable act when the human isn't looking.

That's why the best solutions are things that are always there, that always act the same way every time the cat does something wrong.

"S-scat!" canned air guns work on that principle. They are always active and always operate when the cat goes near the place where the human doesn't want it to go.

I had a cat that used to go on kitchen counters when I didn't want him to. I tried all sorts of things to keep him from going there. I tried shakers, air horns and water guns. The only thing he learned was to look for me to see if I was watching before he jumped up. Even after months of doing this, I would still wake up in the morning to find kitty paw prints all over the kitchen counter.

In the case of the chair, I'd say that the best solutions are ones that either prevent the cat from going underneath by blocking it off or by making the space under the chair undesirable such as putting something underneath that the cat doesn't like.
 

susanm9006

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That's good, in theory, but, in practice, the cat will tend to associate the noise with the human who squeaks the noisemaker but not necessarily the act of going under the chair.
If you use the squeaker when the cat is under the chair they won’t know where or who it came from.
 

Caspers Human

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Yes, you can try using a squeaker like that. Different cats react to stimuli in different ways. The only way to know for sure is to try.
Still, you will have to be very, very consistent about it.

Or, maybe rig up a squeaker such that when the cat tries to go under, the squeaker makes noise. :)
 

ArchyCat

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If you can find it .. Pet Smart use to stock large squares of double sided sticky tape. I used it to stop my parent's cat from scorching their leather couch. Put a square under the chair.
 
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