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Why does my cat hide when people come?

Cats are animals that love to hide , although they do not always do it for fun or in search of tranquility. There are some situations that can make your feline uncomfortable, even cause stress, such as the arrival of unknown people at home. Knowing why the cat hides when people come will not always be possible, especially if the feline has been adopted, but there are ways to help it manage fear, stress and even encourage it to meet new people, always respecting its emotional well-being and ensuring a positive presentation. In this TecnoMD article we will explain why your cat hides when people come and we will offer you some guidelines that you can apply yourself. Keep reading!

Why does my cat hide when people come

Why do cats hide?

Although they are especially sociable, all cats sometimes hide in search of tranquility. This is why we always recommend that the feline have a safe area to go to when he needs refuge, a private place where he should not be disturbed.

However, there are other causes that can cause a cat to hide:

  • Socialization: when the cat is a puppy it goes through a critical period of socialization, which begins around one month of age and ends when it is three months old. At this stage the kitten relates to its mother and siblings, learning to relate to other felines, but it must also learn what the relationship should be like with humans, with other animals and ultimately with everything that the environment offers it. If at this stage we have neglected to introduce it to people, we run the risk that with the appearance of fears the cat will distrust and perceive humans as a danger.
  • Trauma: trauma can cause the cat to become afraid of people and can occur due to details that are almost imperceptible to us. The feline can also develop fear towards a single person, a group or towards all humans.
  • Stress: a move, the arrival of a baby or the departure of a family member can cause our best friend to suffer from stress. If there has been a change in your cat’s daily life, observe him to see if he shows any of the signs of stress.
  • Two cats: if you live with two felines, we recommend that you make sure that there is no coexistence problem between the two and that they both have their own resources (toys, feeder, water bowl, sandbox…). You should also rule out that one does not dare to approach you when the other is present.
  • Others: There are many other causes that can cause a cat to hide, illness or pain can be an example, but there are also mental or hormonal illnesses that could be the cause of strange behavior.

To know why your feline is hiding, you will have to observe him and pay attention to the body language he shows at all times, even when there are no other people present. This will help us really understand what our cat’s personality is like and what things it likes, dislikes or is afraid of. We can also warn of a possible illness, the presence of parasites or discomfort, details that could make you hide. We could discover that our cat is afraid of plastic sound, a male voice or excessive noise, for example.

Why does my cat hide when people come? - Why do cats hide?

What to do if the cat hides and doesn’t want to come out?

When our cat hides we must empathize with him and understand that we should not bother him, on the contrary, we will offer him a nest and walkways (or shelves) so that he can take refuge, lowering his stress levels and feeling better. Of course, sometimes they prefer to climb into the closet, get into a drawer or hide under the bed.

We will act normally, trying not to make noises that could scare him or constantly calling him to come. The goal is for the cat to go out on his own, because he feels safe in his home.

Guidelines to get it to come out of hiding

Checking if we comply with the 5 freedoms of animal freedom will be essential before starting to work on socializing our cat with people. Remember that in some cases it can be long, you must be patient.

The objective will be to make our cat associate people with something good and to do this we give you some tips:

  • Whenever visitors come home, leave a feeder with a little pate or homemade food in the room where your cat usually hides, something that is irresistible to him.
  • If he comes out of hiding when you approach his safety zone, you can reward him directly with a small piece of cooked chicken, for example.
  • Check out the option of purchasing synthetic pheromones for cats, a product that secretes calming substances, which will help your cat feel better. We recommend that you look for those that have scientific studies that support their effectiveness.
  • Improve your cat’s well-being by taking care of its health, feeding, playing with it and making it not feel alone. This will help improve your bond, making him feel safe when you are present.
  • Mentally stimulate your feline with intelligence toys or food vending toys, through these types of activities your feline is much more willing to do new things and will be more adventurous.

By following these tips you will see your cat more active and curious, so it will be easier to reinforce the positive behaviors that may occur: approaching the living room, sniffing one of the guests or letting yourself be petted by you in the presence of others.

We can reward a behavior that we like in many ways, it is not just about offering a tasty reward: a caress or a high-pitched word can satisfy him and make him feel loved.

At the beginning of this process we will be able to reinforce few things, because it will be inhibited, but as the days go by it will become easier as we observe the appearance of new behaviors. As we have explained, it is a long process , but if you do not force your best friend and get him to gain trust , there is a good chance that one day he will not hide when people come to visit you at home.

In the most serious cases, for example when the cat suffers from a phobia or sensory deprivation syndrome, it will be indicated to go to an ethologist, a specialist in feline psychology.

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