Here, kitty, kitty.
October 16, 2005 6:18 PM   Subscribe

My cat is hiding from me. I think.

Yesterday I brought home my first cat, an indoor adult Balinese. As all the books had told me to expect, she promptly went off and hid (in several different crannies throughout the day). She came out at night to explore, and after a while approached me and let me pet her and we did the whole bonding thing.

I saw her again this morning, but not since then (about ten hours). I've looked at all the hiding places she used yesterday, and all the new ones I could think of, and I don't see her anywhere. I've searched fairly diligently -- not in the sense of emptying out closets and ripping up carpet, but in the crawling-around-looking-lots-of-places sense.

I'm 99% certain she's still inside. There are no open windows, and the door has been open only a couple times since I last saw her and I was vigilant both times (and she doesn't seem to be exactly a speed demon anyway). I don't see how she could have gotten out, although that possibility worries me.

Should I just wait? Should I try to lure her out from wherever she is, and if so how? I should note that except for a few treats she took from me last night, she does not appear to have eaten, drunk, or used the litter box since coming home about thirty hours ago.

If she wants to hide, that's fine; I'm just a worried that she's not okay.
posted by bac to Pets & Animals (15 answers total)
I wouldn't worry just yet. Cats can hide well beyond the ability of your average human-type-person to diligently search for them. I'm willing to bet she'll chill out and, hence, come out.
posted by brundlefly at 6:24 PM on October 16, 2005

Look behind the fridge and in drawers and cabinets. Cats that are in new places are always freaked out. They can hide in places you wouldn't imagine they can fit into. The cat will emerge once it's comfortable.
posted by interrobang at 6:24 PM on October 16, 2005

When I brought my cat home she was in hiding mode for almost a week and she was tucked into some crevice I didn't even know existed between the bookshelf and the wall. Just make sure food and water and litter box are available to her, and I'd assume she's inside for the meantime.
posted by jessamyn at 6:36 PM on October 16, 2005

You may want to make sure that you leave a way for your cat to get out of her hiding spot whenever she is ready to emerge (leave closet (and all other) doors cracked open, etc.) I once lost my cat for a couple of hours after he crawled into my wardrobe to hide, and I closed him in.

But yeah, she is msot likely in as small a space as she can fit. Behind a dresser, under a couch, etc. good luck.
posted by misterbrandt at 6:38 PM on October 16, 2005

I'd double check anything that closes that the cat might not be able to open on her own--closets, drawers, cabinets, any closed doors, laundry hampers, boxes, etc. Cats like to sneak in to all sorts of places they shouldn't be and then get shut in and trapped by unsuspecting owners.

Otherwise, be patient and she'll come out. Putting out some nice stinky cat food might speed up the situation, though.
posted by divka at 6:45 PM on October 16, 2005

She's fine.

I don't know if you work or not, but it would be good to vacate the premises for a while to allow her to familiarize.

Once she's secure that there's nothing lurking in your place waiting to jump her, she'll be more confident in approaching you.

Pretty soon she'll be standing on you to wake you up and feed her at 6a.
posted by unixrat at 7:10 PM on October 16, 2005

Open a can of catfood.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:30 PM on October 16, 2005

Or better yet, tuna fish.
posted by Asparagirl at 7:40 PM on October 16, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. She turned up a few minutes ago from whatever transdimensional wormhole she'd been hiding in. The roast chicken I was eating at the time may or may not have been a factor.
posted by bac at 7:46 PM on October 16, 2005

posted by drezdn at 8:06 PM on October 16, 2005

Good news that she reappeared.

As has been said above, cats have a way of finding their way into closets and other mysterious hiding places -- when you have the doors open, etc. You think you are diligent ... but, nonetheless they seem to "spirit" their way into hidden places.

Last night I came home from a night out and was able to locate cat #1 (aka Priscilla), but not cat #2 (aka Muriel). I was convinced -- in my somewhat anebriated state -- that she slipped outside when friends and I left the house earlier in the evening -- after cocktails before dinner out elsewhere.

Later that evening upon my return I searched "high-and-low," but to no avail.

Next morning she appeared on her own.

I'm now a likely believer that cats have magical powers and are here on earth for our love ... and to "fuck with us." Enjoy all that she has to offer you.
posted by ericb at 8:24 PM on October 16, 2005

I was house-sitting, and one of the cats jumped up on top of a TV, which was atop a dresser kilted at 45° to the corner of the room. The cat jumped down into the gap behind and couldn't get out. Fortunately there was a second cat which came crying to me and got me looking for her -- it took over an hour, though!
posted by dhartung at 8:47 PM on October 16, 2005

Roast Chicken certainly did the trick. In my house, there is a very strict rule about chicken and cats:

Chicken MUST be shared with any cat present. Chicken remains MUST be put safely out of reach of cats, to assure their safety from the bones, and keep them from being naughty by digging into the garbage (creating a huge mess).

This is a rule for the maintenance of peace.
posted by Goofyy at 10:48 PM on October 16, 2005

Stay on the lookout for cats who get trapped in strange places when your back is turned. I had a very large cat (16 lbs!) who was the ultimate stealth cat. He has been shut in closets, kitchen cabinets and, once, in our filing cabinet. (He crawled into the open bottom drawer then made his way up into the top drawer from inside.) Sometimes he'd meow, sometimes he wouldn't. He was meowing when he was in the filing cabinet but we couldn't hear him in there. Luckily, I went back to the filing cabinet within 30 minutes for something and there he was.

Cats is tricky.
posted by jeanmari at 9:07 AM on October 17, 2005

Cats will also dig through the covering on box springs to get inside. I've known two who did this.
posted by lobakgo at 10:01 AM on October 17, 2005

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