Cats have different needs within your house than for example a dog. Just a litter box, a food and drinking bowl is not enough. Today I would like to explain why cats like to hide.
Cats see the world through the eyes of both a predator (the hunter) as well as a prey (the hunted). It is for both the hunter as the hunted essential to know how to hide.
As a hunter you do not want to be seen or detected by the prey, so you want to stay as hidden as possible to strike at the very last moment in a perfect, swift and silent move. When you are not detected, you will have the highest chance of taking down your prey.
This goes as well for human hunters trying to hunt down an animal for their meat – they put camouflage clothing on and stay low in the forest or tall grass to stay hidden from the prey.
Hunted / Prey
A cat can also become prey to larger animals or specific animals that take cats. As prey, you want to stay low or hidden and away from eventual hunters. If you happen to have kittens, you want them to stay safe from hunters as well and hide them too.
Storing & Sleep
When your cat wants to sleep, they would also tuck themselves in on a safe location. When they got babies, they want to keep them safe too. When you catch some prey (food) cats can also store this away safely from sight or give it to their kittens in hiding.
So it isn’t only about hunting that cats want to hide, but it is directly related to it – keeping you safe for outside dangers – keeping your kittens safe – or keeping your food away from others.
Your average indoor cat has still this main instinct in them and will use this for all the dangerous situations. If they do not like the situation, the vibe, the change in environment or a certain person entering the room, they will try to hide or get higher up.
Other times you will see them during play being the hunter hunting or being hunted. They do this in a flock together with other cats or with a toy. You can help them train that instinct by using various stick toys.
Bush Dweller vs Tree Dweller
If your cat loves to stay hidden within a plant or a bush, you got a bush dweller. No seriously, if your cat loves it low such as behind your sofa, rocking chair or table, they are still a bush dweller. Bush dwellers are cats that hide from a lower position. They generally do not want to climb up high and perch from the top down, but will dwell in a lower hiding place.
When cats go into a box, a bag, between sofa pillows or hide within a cat tunnel, they are doing exactly the same – hiding from reality, keeping themselves from being hunted or hunting at something from a safe distance.
Tree Dwellers, on the other hand, are cats that like to sit up on the highest top, perching down on what is happening below. These cats like to have a greater overview and while being at the highest level, there won’t be anyone higher than them. But perhaps it is also a place those down below will not easily look. Those below will neither reach very easily and are easily detected.
Some cats, however, believe that when their head is stuck underneath a sofa or cupboard, they aren’t visible anymore, even though their tail is sticking out from underneath – a very funny sight!
Does your cat hide? Leave a comment in the comment section below.