Where the hell is she
December 23, 2011 1:12 PM   Subscribe

I am all packed for Christmas and I can't find my effing cat. I know she's in the house. Where could she be hiding?

My cat has found a new hiding place in the house. I have seriously looked in every spot that I can think of. Any suggestions as to odd places she could be hiding are greatly appreciated.
posted by duvatney to Pets & Animals (49 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a box spring on your bed with the liner underneath that she could tear open and then crawl up inside? My little guys have done that with every one they've come across.
posted by empyrean at 1:15 PM on December 23, 2011 [9 favorites]

Behind the water heater ? (ours always hides there)
posted by agregoire at 1:15 PM on December 23, 2011

My cat does the same thing empyrean mentioned.
posted by Sassyfras at 1:16 PM on December 23, 2011

No box springs, sadly. Good suggestion.
posted by duvatney at 1:17 PM on December 23, 2011

My friend's cat managed to hop in the broiler in the 1.5 seconds his back was turned.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:18 PM on December 23, 2011

Air ducts or beams in the attic/garage.
posted by devymetal at 1:19 PM on December 23, 2011

You have any canned food or treats that your cat absolutely loves? Maybe even just tuna? Open one up, even if you end up having to just toss it once you find the cat.
posted by Grither at 1:19 PM on December 23, 2011

Washing machine or dryer?

Do you have catnip to try to attract her?
posted by jeather at 1:20 PM on December 23, 2011

Sleeping in the hamper, laundry basket or under pile of clothes?
posted by devymetal at 1:20 PM on December 23, 2011

I'm assuming you've done all the usual tricks to lure her out -- rattling treat/food bags, opening cans of cat food, etc?

My cats can almost usually be found in the back of closets, in kitchen cupboards left ajar, or on top of the kitchen cupboards up near the ceiling (out of my line of sight). I also once found one of them hiding in an empty suitcase.
posted by cgg at 1:20 PM on December 23, 2011

And sorry if that's too obvious and you've tried it already, I know when I'm stressed I'll overlook the most obvious solutions.
posted by Grither at 1:20 PM on December 23, 2011

My cats love crawling around in the ceiling. Do you have a tiled ceiling anywhere? Mine's in my basement.
posted by LogicalDash at 1:21 PM on December 23, 2011

She is not coming out for treats. She knows better. Will check the kitchen cabinets! (Already checked behind the books in the bookcases.)
posted by duvatney at 1:22 PM on December 23, 2011

We couldn't find our cat once and she was in the refrigerator. Sitting in the door next to the ketchup looking furious.
posted by artychoke at 1:22 PM on December 23, 2011 [181 favorites]

Like box springs, upholstered furniture sometimes has a liner on the bottom that is easily torn and then the little beasts can climb up inside. Also, on top of stuff that is underneath something else. i.e. we just found one of our cats on top of a suitcase that was under the bed, where there was just enough space for him to squeeze in. A first look under the bed didn't reveal him because we just saw the suitcase.
posted by otolith at 1:23 PM on December 23, 2011

If you have a dining table and chairs, check the chairs, especially if they're tucked under the table ...

I would also suggest closets.

But refrigerator trumps dining set / closet every time.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 1:24 PM on December 23, 2011

Is your bed suspiciously lumpy? That's where mine always disappear to - under the blankets.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:24 PM on December 23, 2011

When packing and the drawers were open she would crawl through and hid in a closed drawer.
posted by saradarlin at 1:24 PM on December 23, 2011

- back of closet
- top of closet
- behind stove
- top of fridge, between fridge and upper cabinet
- under bathtub
- in a box
- in cabinets
- in bed, under covers
- behind fridge
- in a suitcase
- behind or under sofa
- inside body of sofa (if liner is ripped, like empyrean's suggestion)

In general, if I can't find my cats, looking either a) higher or b) deeper usually works.
posted by Adridne at 1:25 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

My cats hide in the back of the closet, behind the long hangy clothing.
posted by bondcliff at 1:26 PM on December 23, 2011

Also, remember the technique of "clearing" a room and then shutting the door to that room to prevent kitty from running in there after you think it has been thoroughly searched.
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:30 PM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

When you say "packed" do you mean like with a suitcase. Cat's in the suitcase. Mine does it. BEASTS!
posted by marylynn at 1:32 PM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

I agree with closet. Do you have a shelf? I once had a cat who would hide in the basement, on top of a room we had built down there, because the main heating duct from the furnace was over said room. Same cat got shut in a dresser once, because he was curled up amongst baby blankets, and I kicked the drawer shut. That was an agonizing 24 hours before I figured it out. Think: warm, dark, away from noise.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:33 PM on December 23, 2011

One of mine hides on a ledge up in our fireplace's chimney. She's figured out how to stay up there even when the damper is closed, I'm not sure how, I think magic is involved.
posted by jamaro at 1:33 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

(goes to check the fireplace)
posted by duvatney at 1:34 PM on December 23, 2011

Per metafilter regulations, the cat will not appear until her photograph is posted in this thread.

Also, good luck!
posted by cyndigo at 1:35 PM on December 23, 2011 [15 favorites]

And for next time (or anyone else who is moving): we put our cats in carriers before the movers came and I sat with them in the car while things were being moved out. "Meow-meow, it's okay," etc.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:36 PM on December 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

Have you checked under all the blankets? This happened to me, and my cat was just hiding warm and cosy under the blankets on an unused bed.
posted by verbyournouns at 1:36 PM on December 23, 2011

Behind the tv
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:37 PM on December 23, 2011

Sitting in the window behind the blinds or curtains?
posted by devymetal at 1:37 PM on December 23, 2011

At the animal shelter I work/volunteer at, I am consistently amazed at the smallness of space cats can squeeze into/under. I would not exclude under your fridge/stove/major appliances, for example, if you've got even a couple inches of clearance.

Also probably too obvious, but you are shining a flashlight into these places/gently poking a yardstick into ones you can't reach, right?
posted by vegartanipla at 1:39 PM on December 23, 2011

FOUND HER! YES! She was nestled inside a chair that had ripped upholstery underneath. I never would have thought of it on my own. Thanks, Metafilter!

Also, here she is. She's the fat one. I couldn't fathom how such a fat cat had found a place to hide.
posted by duvatney at 1:40 PM on December 23, 2011 [77 favorites]

If you have been packing clothes she may have crawled behind the dresser drawers and gotten stuck back there.
posted by apricot at 1:41 PM on December 23, 2011

Oops! Forgot to preview!

Yay! What a cutie.
posted by apricot at 1:42 PM on December 23, 2011

I absolutely cannot frikkin believe that MetaFilter was able to help with this.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:48 PM on December 23, 2011 [40 favorites]

Metafilter can help with anything! :D
posted by duvatney at 1:49 PM on December 23, 2011 [23 favorites]

Whenever I can't find mine it turns out she was curled up on something dark in the closet staring at me from in plain sight. She blends in well.

One trick I've used is using a flashlight to shine in the places she might be. She remains invisible but her eyes reflect back and she's always watching.
posted by obfusciatrist at 1:49 PM on December 23, 2011

Found Cat is CUTE. Merry Christmas!
posted by kate blank at 2:14 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

I absolutely cannot frikkin believe that MetaFilter was able to help with this.

Have you seen my keys?

I used to do some intercity commuting with a cat. The trick is to put them into the carrier before all the activity which unsettles them. Say, right at the end of feeding.
My current cat is not like this. He has a "supervisor" personality and would follow me everywhere while I was packing, to make sure I'm doin it rite.
posted by dhartung at 2:22 PM on December 23, 2011 [10 favorites]

Finding a cat and the keys is nothing, what about food up your nose?
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:58 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Adridne: "... - under bathtub...."

The bathtub of a house I once lived in had a bad drain, and someone left the access panel to the back/underside of the tub enclosure ajar. Our nearly-25-pound cat, who was terrified of strangers, snuck in when the plumbers came to replace the trap & drain... and when we figured out where he was and tried to get him out, he only retreated to the far end of the space. He didn't come out until they started taking out the ceiling underneath him--at which point he ran up the length of the workman's arm, jumped over his head, and down the other arm to get out through the panel.

When it was time to move at the end of our lease, the other cat hid in the same damn spot and didn't come out for three days.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 3:06 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

For future reference, my roommate's cat once was hiding on this ledge that sticks out about 8 inches behind the couch. The blanket over the couch covered him, and he didn't move or peep even when the couch was moved. It took 3 hours to find him.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:40 PM on December 23, 2011

I once folded my cat up inside the couch hide-a-way bed for two days. She never let out a mewl, and seemed quite content to have been in there.

Glad you found her!
posted by matty at 6:58 PM on December 23, 2011 [8 favorites]

Poor cat - doing its best to outwit a human, the odds are already stacked against it, then you go and activate electronic communications and network the brains of 100,000 humans against a single kitty brain... the cat didn't stand a chance! :)
posted by -harlequin- at 7:49 PM on December 23, 2011 [8 favorites]

Judging by the number of favorites, I think I should put a bit more about crazy refrigerator cat. She loved to fetch, but only pennies and mints, which led to a visitor saying, "Um, why has your cat brought me a pile of candy and money?" She once burned her whiskers off trying to bite a lit candle. She used to squeeze out of the window, climb up the screen and hang there squished up against the glass. She chewed through the phone cord. But the best story was when people kept complaining that we weren't getting their phone messages. The mystery was solved when I stayed home from work sick and let the machine pick up a call. The cat ran into the room, pounced on the machine and pounded on it until the voices stopped and it turned off. Weirdest cat ever.
posted by artychoke at 9:11 PM on December 23, 2011 [159 favorites]

The bathtub cat reminds me of a story Neil Gaiman told in the wake of one of his cat's passing.

I managed to sour my own cat's love of a new hiding place entirely by accident -- my parents were in town, and I was going to meet them at their hotel, have breakfast, and then bring them by to show off my newish apartment. I didn't notice while I was getting ready that my cat slipped into the closet - he dug hiding on the shelf where I had all my shoes and pocketbooks. I hadn't seen him, though, as I was too busy doing a last-minute apartment-clean sweep, which included decluttering things -- and shutting the closet door. When I was done, I went off to meet the parents, and brought them back home two hours later. I was concerned when Zach didn't come to meet us at the door the way he always did, and started wandering through the apartment, alarmed, calling for him. Mom, meanwhile, was marveling at the apartment, and she went to my room to see the walk-in closet I'd been raving about -- and as soon as she opened the door, Zach ran out and ran over to me with a look on his face like, "Whatever it was I did, I'M SORRY!" He NEVER hid in the closet again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:15 AM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also for future reference: sometimes bathroom cabinets have a little tiny gap between the cabinet base and the cabinet floor. You can't see it because the base and doors of said cabinet overhang by a couple of inches. There's a couple or four inches clearance under the cabinet interior floor and the actual floor under the cabinet. I'm not explaining this well... basically the construction is a larger box sitting on a little box, with a little gap concealed between the two boxes. A small cat can squeeze into this. I only found the kitten because she started purring... if I hadn't eventually heard her, invisible but audible near the floor level, I'd have been ripping the air ducts apart.
posted by theplotchickens at 4:14 PM on December 28, 2011

Now that Daisy has gotten me sidebar-ed, she deserves even more time in the spotlight.

Here she is being extra pretty. Here she is being extra fat.
posted by duvatney at 4:06 PM on December 29, 2011 [5 favorites]

We couldn't find our cat once and she was in the refrigerator. Sitting in the door next to the ketchup looking furious.

And who could blame her? Cats belong in the crisper. They stay fresh longer that way.
posted by scalefree at 10:04 PM on December 29, 2011 [14 favorites]

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