As an Abington pet sitter, we love taking care of cats as well as dogs. Cats are natural hunters and part of that instinct to hunt is what causes them to hide. They hide for protection when they feel there is a potential threat and they hide to observe their prey. Cats can also hide when they are ill, however, and sometimes it is necessary to get them out of their hiding spot.
Remember that the gentler approach is always better when dealing with a shy or frightened cat. Sticking your hand or some other object into the hiding spot will likely feel like a threat to your cat and you risk getting scratched or even bitten.
Try to lure them out with a treat or some tasty morsel of food. Put it a few feet from their hiding spot and do not make eye contact as that could be perceived as a threat. If your cat catches you looking directly at it, blink slowly and turn your gaze away. Yawning slowly will also send the message that all is well. Do not move quickly or make any loud noises. Also do not stay in an unnatural state of stillness, as they will sense something is off. Stay calm and be patient. Patience is key with cats. They begin to build relationships on their own terms and in their own time, when they feel safe enough to do so.
Cats are very independent, so it is best and least traumatic for your cat if you can get them to think coming out from their hiding spot is their own idea. Try using a toy. Sometimes just putting a catnip mouse near the hiding spot will be enough to rev up their hunting instinct and get them to come out. You can also try using a more interactive toy, such as a feather toy that you can use to entice them to come out and play. Their natural instinct to hunt will likely be triggered and before long you may see them darting out from their hiding spot to pounce on their “prey”.
If you live in Abington or the surrounding area and need a cat sitter, give us a call at 610-716-7716 or book online at www.dawnthepetnanny.org. You can also “like” us on facebook at www.facebook.com/dawnthepetnanny.