Should I let him hide?

zsu1980

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So we had our new cat for over a month now. He seemed to settle in nice at first but then he regressed. I can set how he's a bit overwhelmed with all the noise and commotion as we are all 4 of us at home all the time now. The kids can get a bit too much and get in his face a lot. He seems to prefer to sleep hidden away. He used to nap out in the open before but now he mostly wants to hide when he's tired. He likes to hide behind the loveseat and under my bed. I feel a bit worried that if I let him he gets into the habit and will hide more. Should I let him hide?
 

ArtNJ

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Yes, let him hide is the universal advice you will get. It is one way cats deal with stress, and preventing it will make them more stressed. Additionally, many cats just like to sleep under a bed or otherwise hidden away even if they aren't stressed. Its totally normal.

You can really prevent a cat from hiding anyway. Block one space, they will find another. Or dig and claw at your blockage with massive patience. And actually pulling a cat out from under a bed could easily damage your relationship with the cat unless your bond is very strong.

About the most most of us will try and do is block off a particular hidey spot that we find unsafe or damaging to our property. A common example of that would be if the cat finds a way into the actual box spring/foundation - some allow that to continue, some don't. When I had that issue, it wasn't stress -- they just liked going in there.
 

Roxabelle

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The short answer is yes! Let cats take the lead. If he wants to hide and has found a cosy spot where he feels safe, then pulling him away from that or preventing him from going there will only make them feel threatened and anxious.

As for the younger ones, maybe they need a reminder that this is a cat - a real creature with feelings and worries of its own, and not a toy that they get to have a go with. If they don’t give the cat time to get used to them on his own terms, that bond is going to be impossible to form.
 

rubysmama

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Hello and welcome to TCS. :wave2:

I see you posted an earlier thread about him, and that he had fleas, and a watery eye. How are those things now? Is he eating and using the litter box normally? Did he get a vet check after you adopted him? If not, that's probably a good idea.

If he's healthy, and just timid/shy, TCS has some articles that you might find helpful.

However, that fact that he's regressing, does concern me, and again I would recommend a vet checkup, if he hasn't already had one.

How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding?
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat
16 Top Cat Experts Share Tips For Dealing With Timid Cats

How To Mix Cats And Kids The Right Way

The Healthy Cat: Eight Things You Should Check
35 Signs That Your Cat May Be In Pain
 
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zsu1980

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Ok just to clarify... he does not hide all day. He is out and about and active. He loves to play and actually his favorite play buddy is my youngest. They can play with chasing a bouncy ball or a string for up to an hour. He also stays close to us and sometimes comes over for a chin rub. It's just that when he wants to nap he wants to hide away. An example: last night when I wad putting my youngest to bed he came in... he wanted some petting then he jumped up on the bed. He stayed there for a minute looking like he was considering to settle down but didn't feel comfortable / safe enough. Then he left the room. Later I found him hiding behind the sofa. How can I help him feel safe? Will this come with more time?
 

Roxabelle

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Oh I see! My kitten did this for a while. She’d come out and play, eat, use her litter tray etc. but she’d always retreat under the sofa to rest. We just left her to it. I’d bought a raised platform cat bed which we kept in our bedroom, so when it was bedtime is carry her upstairs and pop her on the cat bed next to us.

Eventually she climbed in there on her own, and she never goes under the sofa now, even though there’s nothing stopping her from doing so if she wanted.

it just took a bit of time and gentle encouragement. I think she prefers the security of sleeping raised up closer to us than being alone under the sofa all the way downstairs. I’m sure it will come in time. Good luck :)
 

rubysmama

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Oh, ok. Playing and being active sounds much better. And finding an out of the way place to sleep isn't unusual for a cat, especially in an active house. As long as he seems normal otherwise (eating, litter box, etc.) there is probably nothing to be concerned about. And I'm sure you're doing this, but continue to explain to the kids that he's not a toy, and that they should watch for signs that he's tired of playing and then just let him be.

So, any pics of this cutie pie you can share with us? :camera:
How To Add A Picture To Your Forum Post | TheCatSite
 

rubysmama

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Awwww.... he's an orange tabby like my Ruby. :lovecat2:

BTW, I don't think you have to worry too much about his hiding, because when a cat sleeps on their back like that, it means they feel safe. :catlove:
 

Caspers Human

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Cats often sleep in odd places.

We often find Casper sleeping behind the sofa or inside a closet. It's normal cat behavior.
The only time it becomes a concern is when the cat is hiding all of the time. If the cat comes out to explore, eat, use the litter box, play and socialize with humans, there isn't anything to worry about unless he spends more time hiding than being out and about.

If that's the case, you can encourage the cat to spend more time out. Make sure he's got lots of things to be interested in and to play with. Give him plenty of places to explore, windows to look out of and high-up places to hang out in such as cat trees or shelves.

Of course, you'll want to make sure you don't scare or startle him, especially if he's a skittish cat but, on the same token, you don't want to walk around the house on eggshells all of the time, just because of the cat.

If the cat is spending ALL of the day hiding, you might want to make the hiding place harder to get into by putting things under the sofa to take up some of the space or, maybe, you could block it off, somehow, so that he can't get in. This should be a last resort, however. Only if all other things fail.

Mainly, it's just a matter of time and gentle encouragement. The cat has only been living with your for a month. That's not a long time. I think he's still getting used to his new home. Also, like you say, there is a lot of unusual activity in the house so you'll have to factor that in.

Some cats take to their new homes in a short time, maybe only a few days to a week. Other cats take a long time.

Casper spent his first day hiding under the bed but, that night, he went out and about after we were all asleep. We found a bag of kitty treats torn open on the kitchen floor the next morning! :eek: Still, it took a couple of weeks before he would come out and socialize on a regular basis. It took a good couple-three months before he was fully settled in.

If your cat is coming out and only spending part of the time hiding under the sofa, don't worry. Like people are saying, that's mostly normal cat behavior.

Give him a little breathing room and I bet he'll be walking around like he's king of the castle in no time. ;)
 
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zsu1980

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So I decided to block off his entry behind / under the sofa because it is a recliner and I am worried he will be caught on the mechanism that is under there. I hear him scramble and struggle when he squeezes himself in and out. I felt under there and feels some sharp edges. But I will leave the door open to the bedroom to see how much time he really spends hidden away under the bed. My fear is that he will spend most of the day there. If so, how do I encourage him to come out?

Roxabelle - your cutie makes sense … she was hiding when she came to your house and then got used to the new place and you. My Thor is backwards though. He was more outgoing when he got here and is spending less time with us and more hidden away now that he has been with us for a few weeks. That is why I fear that our family is what stresses him out and it will not work well in the long term
 

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Sounds normal to me. He wants some time and space away from the hustle and bustle of the household. He also may end up spending all day there as my cats spend their entire day sleeping and usually in the same spots all day. It’s just what cats do. He will come out when he’s ready to play, eat, potty etc.
 

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When he is resting I think hiding away is fine if he wants some peace.
look into a tall cat tree with beds you can put in the living room or even cat shelving;
 

Roxabelle

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...He was more outgoing when he got here and is spending less time with us and more hidden away now that he has been with us for a few weeks. That is why I fear that our family is what stresses him out and it will not work well in the long term
Ah, sorry! I should have paid more attention to your original post! But I still think you should let him hide. Cats have so many personalities, so maybe he likes the quiet life? I still would let your cat take the lead and if he wants to hide away somewhere quiet, let him. He might not be playful or a lap cat (for now at least) but I think preventing him from finding a safe spot might stress him out even more.

If you don't want him going to his current place for safety reasons then provide him with another sanctuary. Somewhere high up where he can quietly observe, or somewhere with a bit of shelter. I have a similar cube for my kitten (mine much less fancy) and she's taken to it really well, although my first cat turned his nose up at it, haha! But it gives her cosy shelter at the bottom and a good view at the top:
39fb7112763fd7d7e162b3a61a6471a9.png
 
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zsu1980

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OK so day 1 of open bedroom door and all Thor does is stay under the bed. He only comes out to eat and play a bit and use his litterbox. Otherwise he hangs out under the bed.
This same cat weeks ago used to hang out on the sofas, on the chairs and hop up next to me on the computer table. What is going on? Maybe I should try feliway?
 

Caspers Human

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Feliway might help but also try to make the house more interesting for him to explore and hang out.

Cat trees, shelves, window ledges are places where cats like to hang out. Also put out some cardboard boxes or brown paper shopping bags. Cats often like to use those things like a "clubhouse." Providing alternate places to hang out will, hopefully, entice him to come out of hiding.

Also try some catnip. Put just a pinch of it near the entrance of the place where he is hiding, now. Put another pinch a little farther away then make a little trail for him to follow.

The main idea, here, is to make the rest of the house more fun to explore than just hiding under the bed.

Try to keep calm around the house. Try to talk softly to the cat and don't do anything to scare him. In fact, almost ignore him when he comes out except, maybe, to say, "Hi kitty!" in a soft voice. Maybe a quick pet or a gentle stroke of his tail if he lets you.

Try to make it more fun to be "out" than "in." Try to keep the house calm. Let him come and go when he wants. Feliway sometimes helps.

Beyond that, some cats are more skittish than others. Some cats come out of hiding in a day or so. Other cats just take longer.

You've just gotta' be patient. ;)
 

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When he was out and about lounging and sleeping on the sofa or such was he bothered? Did the kids pet him or try to get him to play when he was trying to rest? Maybe he just likes the quiet and peacefulness of under the bed because no one bothers him there? There’s also a possibility he’s not feeling well too, especially if he just started behaving this way recently.
 
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zsu1980

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Update: day 2 and Thor wanted to go under the bed again after his morning play session. So I whipped out the treats and got him out from under the bed. As he was getting ready to go back under I patted the bed and said "hop up Thor" and he did. Then we had a nice petting session where I even got a few love bites YAY. Then he fell asleep there peacefully. I am feeling positive
 
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