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‘But his voice has been heard on the roof
When he was curled up by the fire.
And he’s sometimes been heard by the fire
When he was about on the roof’
T.S.Eliot, ‘M. Mistoffelees’, from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, 1939
You may have your very own Mr Mistoffelees, a cat who’s always finding new places to hide from you, but it can be worrying if he’s constantly pulling disappearing acts – especially if he’s hiding somewhere that could be dangerous.
Why do Cats Hide?
There are a number of reasons why cats like to hide, including:
- Fear – It may be that a loud noise has frightened him, or there’s a bunch of people in the house that he doesn’t know. In that case, it’s natural for your cat to want to find somewhere safe and secure to cocoon himself in.
- Comfort – As we all know, cats love to squeeze themselves into comfy little spots, because it keeps them warm and makes them feel secure. Your cat won’t realise that his igloo cat bed is good, but behind the washing machine or dryer is bad because you can’t find him; he’s just looking for the cosiest spot to curl up in and have a nap.
- Illness – It’s natural for a cat to hide if he’s feeling ill. In the wild, any show of weakness could mean he goes from the hunter to the hunted, so if he’s sick he’s likely to want to hide away.
- Natural instinct –Does your cat like to play ‘cat and mouse’? What better place to wait for his prey than somewhere hidden. If your cat has regular hiding places, be on the alert when you walk past with bare ankles.
Dangerous Cat Hiding Places
Hiding behind the sofa where he’s safe is one thing, but there are number of unsafe hiding places for cats in and around your home.
Cars – under the car, under the hood or under the wheel arch, are very common and dangerous places for cats to hide. During winter especially, cats are known to sleep under car hoods for warmth. Next time you get behind the wheel, make a noise, bang on the hood or toot the horn to wake any cat sleeping around the car and give them chance to escape before starting the ignition.
Household Appliances – inside your washing machine or dryer is another warm and tempting sleeping place for cats, so it’s best to leave the doors of appliances closed. If someone in your household puts clothes in without checking, and turns the appliance on, the consequences could be fatal.
Furniture – the recess inside reclining chairs can also be very attractive to your cat, all dark and cosy, so again, make sure that you check he’s not in there before you sit down to relax or when you put the chair back in its full upright position.
One of the best ways to ensure your cat doesn’t hide in dangerous places is to make sure there are plenty of safe and acceptable hiding places around your home – areas where your cat can escape to when he’s feeling scared, unwell or just wants some quiet time around from the hustle and bustle of a busy household.
What are your cat’s favourite hiding places? Does your cat like to hide in dangerous places around the home?