How Long Will a Scared Cat Hide?

how long will a scared cat hide

One of the most common behaviors which cats, as well as other animals, may exhibit, is that they hide when they are scared. Hiding in a spot that feels safe and secure is perfectly normal when an animal like a cat feels scared; they’re hiding from something or someone.

If you notice your cat hiding, it could be due to a number of reasons, but fear is usually at the top of the list. So, how long will a scared cat hide? What’s scaring your cat? They’re all questions we will be discussing.

How Long do Scared Cats Hide?

Quite honestly, this is a completely a subjective question which does not have one simple answer. There is no set time frame as to how long a scared cat is going to hide. Something you can be sure of is that a scared cat will hide for however long it feels scared. It’s not going to come out until it feels secure again.

A cat could hide for as little as a few minutes, until an immediate threat passes, such as a threatening dog. A cat may hide for a couple of hours if it hears noises that frighten it, such as if you are watching a loud movie.

A cat that is scared of a person living in the same home may be in hiding more than it is out and about in the house, or in other words, it hides all of the time.

Now, what is important to note is that how long the cat hides is not as important as why it is hiding in the first place. If you can figure out why the cat is scared and why it is hiding, then you can work to solve the issue and prevent this from occurring in the future.

Other Signs of Fear

What’s also important to note is that just because a cat is hiding, it does not necessarily mean it is afraid, or even really hiding at all. Sometimes cats just like to have some privacy and be alone. They aren’t actually hiding in this case, just getting a break from you and from life in general.

If you can’t find your cat right away, the first thought you have should not be that it is hiding. After all, cats are fairly curious creatures and they might just be out exploring.

That said, if you can’t find your cat on a regular basis, and you suspect that it is hiding, there are also other indications of fear in cats to be familiar with. If you notice the following signs or behaviors, especially in conjunction with hiding, then you’ve got a scared cat on your hands.

  • Running away
  • Forms of aggression
  • Freezing in place
  • Losing control of bowels/bladder
  • Releasing the anal glands
  • Not using the litterbox

Things that Scare Cats – Why They Hide?

Now that you have figured out that your cat is indeed scared and hiding, it’s time to figure out what caused the fear. If you can figure out why the cat is afraid and hiding, you can then work to solve the issue and stop the hiding from happening.

After all, you want your cat to be comfortable and feel safe in your home. So, what are the main causes of fear in cats, specifically inside of your home?

A new environment may cause a cat to hide. If you just brought your cat home for the first time and it goes off to hide somewhere, this is normal. Give it a few days for the cat to relax.

A cat may feel threatened by other people in the home. If this is the case, give the cat some time to get accustomed to the new person. If the person is there just for a visit, the problem should resolve itself once the person leaves.

Cats and dogs are sworn enemies, as has been made obvious by the hit movies, Cats vs. Dogs. Jokes aside, dogs usually aren’t the friendliest towards cats, and this can cause a cat to hide. As long as the dog is friendly, the cat should grow accustomed to it after a certain period of time.

Cats are not always huge fans of little kids, especially seeing as kids usually love to harass pets. If you have a kid that never leaves the cat alone, it may not be hiding out of fear, just out of pure annoyance.

Loud noises can also cause fear in cats, especially repetitive loud noises. If you’re watching an action movie on full volume and the cat is hiding, the gunshots, yelling, and car chases are probably to blame.


For the most part, a scared cat just needs time to adjust to new places, new people, and new animals. If your cat continues to hide, you may need to take extra steps to make it feel more comfortable in your home.

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