Where Is My Cat Hiding?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, discusses her tips for finding cats in their hiding places.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: November 25, 2011, 3 a.m. EST

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Q: Any suggestions on how to discover my cat’s hiding places? He has a new one and I like to know where he is before I leave my house.

A: Every cat owner can relate to this question. Our kitties like to disappear at exactly the wrong times — like when we really need to find them. If you are a cat sitter like I am, this can be a big problem. Cats can get into mischief especially if they are bored so in addition to making sure all my little charges’ needs are met, I have to actually see them during each visit.

At one house call, the cat was so shy I just could not find him. I knew he was there because the litterbox was used and the food bowl empty, but the cat had one terrific hiding place. Desperate, I decided to sprinkle oatmeal flakes on the kitchen floor around his food bowl. I know this sounds crazy but my plan was to return in a few hours to see if any cat paw prints appeared. Sure enough, when I came back little paw prints encircled the bowl. I still laugh when I think about my CSI-style solution but I could breathe a lot easier afterward.

Cats play hide and seek for many reasons. If you bring out the cat carrier for example, most will flee the scene instantly. Others just want a cozy private spot. If you have checked every possible place, rethink where they might be able to nudge themselves into — and I do mean unusual places such as box springs, under clothes dryers (or in them!) and in dresser drawers.

The method I have had the most success with in locating an AWOL kitty is to shake a cat food treat bag. That magic sound tends to bring my guys in at a gallop. If that fails, I am afraid you will have to wait him out. But keep an eye on which direction he comes from when he reappears — at least you’ll have a start in locating his new “bolt hole.”

As always I welcome your comments and stories.

 Cat Calls book cover Good News! My new book, "Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter" with CAT FANCY editor Susan Logan is now available in stores and online. Please click here for more information.


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Reader Comments

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

12/15/2011 6:29:02 AM

Great articles. Yes cats can be houdini's. Love the oatmean solution!

Lena Marie    Lula, GA

12/5/2011 4:56:21 AM

Be very careful about boxes with handle holes. I just lost one 6mth old to him getting stuck while I was at work. He hung upside down and died of traumatic asphyiation. Being a Paramedic, a Vet tech and cat behavioral specilist, I should have known the danger. But cats are their own worse danger. Christmas brings hiding for Santa, just be aware your cats know where Santa hides things.I've worked with animals since 1981 and never had anything like this to happen. I can't sleep very well as the image keeps popping into my dreams. Don't let my nightmare become yours.

Mary Jane    Potomac, MD

12/4/2011 5:10:35 AM

One of my two cats loves her privacy, and I found her inside a closet with a sliding door. The door was open just a crack, but she was able to squeeze in and go to sleep!

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