Cats are fun pets, but they can exhibit many strange behaviors, one being hiding and sleeping in the closet. We know it can be alarming when your pet suddenly disappears, especially if you aren’t sure why your cat might be doing it. Usually, cats like closets because they provide a dark and private spot to hide. Keep reading as we list several of the most common reasons that a cat might hide in the closet and provide tips for getting them to come back out.
The 8 Reasons Why Your Cat Hides and Sleeps in the Closet
1. Health Issue
It’s common for a cat that doesn’t feel well to seek out a dark and quiet area of the home, like a closet, to rest and heal up.
Frightened cats will often hide in the closet for shelter. Things that can frighten your cat include loud noises from fireworks or a storm. Large vehicles driving by and people knocking on the door also frequently send a cat running for the closet.
3. New Surroundings
Cats like to know every inch of their surroundings, so a new environment can send them into a closet or another dark space for a few days until they adjust.
4. New Pet
Cats are territorial animals and can take a while to get used to a new pet. They might look for a hiding place, like the closet, to observe and get familiar with their new family member.
5. Strange Visitor
Many cats don’t like it when visitors come to the house and will often run for the closet as soon as you open the door—if the doorbell or knock didn’t already send them there.
The closet is a popular choice among female cats for giving birth. If you didn’t spay your female cat and suspect that she might be pregnant, her suddenly vanishing into the closet is a sure sign that she is getting ready to give birth.
Stress is another reason that your cat might be hiding in the closet. If the children in your home get loud or people are fighting, it can cause your cat to seek shelter in the closet. Other things that might stress out your cat include neighborhood dogs, construction, and city traffic.
8. Quiet Time
Many cats like to spend time alone, and no matter how much effort you put into making the rest of the house comfortable, you might find your cat seeking out the dark closet at a certain time each day.
How Do I Get My Cat to Come Out?
In most cases, your cat will come out on their own. You can try to coax them with their favorite food or treat, but trying to dig them out might only frighten them more, and they will likely return to the closet as soon as possible. Going in after them is only a good idea if you think that they are sick and need to go to the vet.
Does a Cat Hide When They Are Sick?
Cats frequently hide illness or pain, so you should take them to the vet for frequent checkups to determine any health issues. However, many cats do hide when terminally ill. Although no one knows for sure, it is likely an instinctive behavior to protect themselves from predators in the wild.
What Are Other Popular Hiding Spots for Cats?
Cats frequently like to box themselves in when trying to hide. Common hiding places include under the bed, inside laundry baskets, on shelves, and under furniture.
Your cat likes the closet because it’s a dark, out-of-the-way spot where they can hide. They usually go there when they hear loud noises or when someone they don’t know comes over, but they may also rely on it to give birth or deal with an illness. If you think that a health issue is to blame for your cat’s behavior, you should take them to the vet. Otherwise, they will usually come out on their own when the noise subsides or they get used to their surroundings.
Featured Image Credit: Konstantin Aksenov, Shutterstock