Behavioral problems

Why does my Cat Hide from Everyone but Me?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: December 10, 2017
Why does my Cat Hide from Everyone but Me?

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Cats are animals that love to hide, especially in boxes, although they do not always do it for fun or in search of tranquility. There are some situations that will annoy your cat, even causing them stress, such as the arrival of strangers in your home.

Knowing why cats hide when people visit will not always be possible, especially if the cat has been adopted, but there are ways to help them manage fear, stress and even encourage them to meet new people. You just have to remember to always respect their emotional well-being in the process. In this AnimalWised article we will explain why your cat is hiding from everyone but you and we will offer some guidelines that you can apply yourself. Let's start!

You may also be interested in: Why Does My Cat Attack Me?


  1. Why do cats run and hide?
  2. What to do when your cat hides and won't come out
  3. How to tempt a cat out from hiding

Why do cats run and hide?

Even though they are relatively sociable, all cats are sometimes hiding in search of peace and tranquility. That is why we always recommend that your cat has a safe area to go to when they need shelter, a private place where they won't be disturbed.

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

  • Socialization: every kitten must go through a critical period of socialization, which begins around one month of life and ends when they reach three months. At this stage the kitten relates to their mother and siblings, learning to relate to other felines, but they must also learn how to have a relationship with humans, with other animals and ultimately with everything that the environment should offer them. If at this stage we have neglected to introduce them to people, we run the risk that the cat will distrust and perceive humans as a danger.
  • Trauma: a trauma can cause the cat to become afraid of people and can occur by details almost imperceptible to us. Cats can also develop fear towards a single person, a collective or towards all humans.
  • Stress: Moving house or the arrival of a baby are two big changes that can make our best friend suffer from stress. If there has been a change in your cat's daily life, examine them to see if they are showing any symptoms of stress.
  • Two cats: if you live with two cats, we recommend you to make sure that there is no problem of coexistence between the two and that both have their own resources (toys, feeder, drinking fountain, litterbox ...). You should be concerned if 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 may be an example, but there are also mental or hormonal diseases that could be the cause of a strange behavior.

In order to know why your cat is hiding, you must observe what body language they are displaying at all times, even when there are no other people present. That will help us to really understand what our cat's personality is like and what are those things that they like, dislike or fear. We may also notice a possible disease, the presence of parasites or discomfort, details that could make you hide. We might discover that our cat is afraid of rustling, a male voice or loud noises, for example. Discover sounds that cats hate on AnimalWised.

Why does my Cat Hide from Everyone but Me? - Why do cats run and hide?

What to do when your cat hides and won't come out

When our cat is hiding we must empathize with them and understand that we should not disturb them. On the contrary, we should offer a nest and walkways (like shelves) so they can take refuge, lowering their stress levels and improving their mood. Of course, sometimes they will prefer to climb into closets, get into a drawer or hide under the bed.

Act normally and try not to make noises that can frighten them or constantly call their name to come. The goal is for the cat to go out on their own because they feel safe in your home.

How to tempt a cat out from hiding

Reviewing the 5 freedoms of animal welfare will be fundamental before commencing the socialization of our cat with people. Remember that in some cases it can be a long process, you must have patience.

The goal will be to get our cat to associate people with something good and for this we give you some tips:

  • Whenever visitors arrive to your home, leave some pâté or homemade food in their trough, something that is irresistible to them.
  • If they come out of their hiding place when they approach your safety zone you can award them directly with a piece of cooked chicken, for example.
  • Check out the option of purchasing synthetic pheromones for cats, a product that secretes soothing substances, which will help them feel better. We recommend you to look for those that have scientific studies that support its effectiveness.
  • Improve the welfare of your cat by taking care of their health, feeding, playing with them and making sure they don't feel alone. This will help improve your bond, making them feel secure when you are present.
  • Mentally stimulate your feline with intelligence toys or food-dispensing toys, through this type of activities your cat is much more predisposed to do new things and will be more adventurous.

Following these tips you will observe that your cat becomes more active and curious, so it will be easier to reinforce their positive behaviors.

When they approach the room, sniff one of the guests or allow you to caress them in the presence of others, you can reward them in many ways. It is not only about offering a tasty prize: a caress or a word in sharp tone can satisfy them and make them feel loved and appreciated.

At the beginning of this process we can reinforce only a few things, because it will be inhibited, but with the passage of days it will be easier to observe the appearance of new behaviors. As we have explained, this is a long process , but if you do not force your best friend into it and they eventually gain confidence, chances are that they will stop when people come to visit your home.

In more serious cases, for example when the cat suffers a phobia or a syndrome of sensory deprivation, it will be necessary to go to a specialist in feline psychology.

Why does my Cat Hide from Everyone but Me? - How to tempt a cat out from hiding

If you want to read similar articles to Why does my Cat Hide from Everyone but Me?, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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Why does my Cat Hide from Everyone but Me?