Reasons Why Adopted Cat Won’t Come Out Of Hiding (And How To Help!)

Adopted cats are wonderful additions to any household, but there’s often an adjustment period that is common across all breeds. In a situation such as this, it becomes important to understand why an adopted cat won’t come out of hiding.

The reasons can vary and each cat is going to be unique with regards to coming into a new house.

Some will get into the thick of things immediately, while others are going to rush to hide under the bed in fear.

As a result, it’s important to stay patient, make appropriate adjustments, and focus on getting them to calm down as much as you can.

This detailed guide is going to illustrates reasons why an adopted cat won’t come out of hiding, how to help an adopted cat adjust, and why it’s important to take action gradually.

Best Cat Scratching Post for Adopted Cat (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

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Just like any cat, they will want to claw at things and enjoy their time throughout the day, which is possible with this high-end cat scratching post.

Set at a height of 32″ and made of woven sisal, this is the best cat scratching post for adopted cats at home.

Reasons Why Adopted Cat Won’t Come Out Of Hiding

Reason #1: New Territory

One of the reasons why an adopted cat won’t come out of hiding has to do with the layout of your house.

Your cat is being tossed into a brand-new environment and it’s going to take a bit of time to get used to. In situations such as these, your cat’s natural instincts will be to find a safe hiding spot, scout the area, and then start to loosen up.

There are many reasons that go through a cat’s mind as it hides and starts to spend time in a new territory.

The reasons include:

  • Understanding the Layout of Your Home
  • Getting Used to the Different Inhabitants (Including Other Pets)
  • Trying To Claim Spots Around the House

Your goal should be to assess what’s going on with your adopted cat, why it’s hiding, and then making sure things are made as easy-going as possible.

This can be done by adding a new cat scratching post to the playroom, setting up a good set of cat toys, or using high-end cat treats at home. It’s all about making them comfortable with the help of items that are going to play a big role in their day-to-day routine.

With time, the cat is going to begin to analyze the new territory and get used to it.

Don’t be afraid to let the cat focus on analyzing the territory because that is a part of their natural instinct in new environments. By letting them do this for a few days or weeks, you are going to have a better chance of earning their trust.

Adopted Cat Won't Come Out Of Hiding

Reason #2: Getting Used To Your Presence

To the surprise of many cat owners, your adopted cat is also going to assume you are a natural threat to its way of life.

The adopted cat doesn’t always know what it is dealing with and that is why it reverts to what comes naturally (i.e. hiding). By letting the cat relax, assess the house, and get used to your scent, it is a lot easier to build a strong bond.

It’s common to want instant gratification by bonding with an adopted cat but that’s doesn’t always happen.

There are many times an adopted cat won’t come out of hiding for several weeks because of you, others in the house, or pets.

Adopted cats need time to adjust to their surroundings and this includes the cat owner as well.

In most cases, the adopted cat will start to ease up after a few weeks.

As long as you are taking the time to give your pet good-quality cat food, set up a comfortable cat bed, and buy cat toys, the rest is going to work out in your favor.

The last thing you want to do is start forcing the issue!

This is when the cat is going to get apprehensive and not want to spend time near you. In a lot of cases, the cat will also start taking up a defensive posture and hissing at you.

Let the adopted cat be and let them come to you after a few weeks.

Reason #3: Overwhelmed by New Scents and Sights

When a cat enters a new property, they are going to be inundated with a lot of scents and sights. It can be a shocking experience for their senses.

Let’s assume you pick up your cat from the local pound and want to give them a better life. In general, the cat will have spent quite a bit of time at the facility and will have become used to those sights and smells.

This means you have to reintroduce them to a new area and this is going to take a while.

Experts Say...
Many cats will get overwhelmed by new sights and scents causing them to hesitate for a few weeks.

A lot of cat owners want things to move along at a brisk pace when that rarely happens.

Your cat should be protected in a situation such as this, especially if it tries to hide. The best way to do this is to set up a cat bed with a soothing scent (i.e. mother’s smell on a blanket). This is going to allow them to rest and find some familiarity.

It is essential to do this, so your cat doesn’t start to panic during those first few days and weeks.

Adopted Cat Won't Come Out Of Hiding

Reason #4: Trying to Find a Safe Spot at Home

When it comes to understanding why an adopted cat won’t come out of hiding, you have to focus on their perspective.

Just like the sights and scents, it’s also important for a cat to find a “safe” spot in this new house. Cats will want to mark their territory and find a spot that is going to be theirs. This can take a bit of time, especially if you have other pets roaming around at home.

If you start to notice this pattern, it’s okay to let the adopted cat mark its territory and find a safe spot at home.

The benefits of letting this happen include:

  • Creating a “Home” Within a Home
  • Creating a Sense of Familiarity (Sights and Scents)
  • Providing General Comfort

In fact, you can help the adopted cat find this safe spot at home.

The goal is to create a warm part of the house that is filled with stuff for the cat to interact with (i.e. scratching post, cat bed, cat toys) because this will entertain them. When they do take the time to come out, it is always nice for them to be welcomed by these items.

While these items don’t always work as intended, it is good to plan ahead.

You want to give yourself the best possible opportunity to win them over.

Reason #5: Anxious and Bored

As you look at different reasons for why an adopted cat won’t come out of hiding, it will generally come down to anxiety.

A cat’s natural reaction is to become anxious when they lose their sense of security. A new location with new people will become a lot for the cat to handle at first.

This is why you have to stay patient and let the adopted cat understand what’s going on and what the house has to offer. They will eventually begin to open up and spend time in the common area(s) of the house such as the living room.

There is real value in taking the time to invest in a good cat scratching post with an anxious cat.

The benefits include:

  • Building a Relationship With Your Adopted Cat
  • Giving the Cat Something to Do
  • Creating a Safe Pattern for the Cat to Follow

When your cat starts to lose a bit of its anxiety, the feeling can sometimes get replaced by boredom and that is something you can control.

There is no reason to assume a cat will stay happy after it has opened up to you. They need something to do at home and that can involve a cat scratching post or even a simple set of cat toys to play with.

Focus on this and the results will come as intended.

Final Thoughts

These are the reasons why an adopted cat won’t come out of hiding.

Remember, this is a natural occurrence and is nothing to worry about. As long as you take the time to buy a new cat scratching post, quality cat toys, and other accessories, the cat will eventually get comfortable with your presence.

It’s common to want your adopted cat to cuddle and play, but that’s not always going to happen.

Allow things to settle down and let them get used to the various sights/scents that are bombarding them. It will take a bit of time for them to get used to everything and that’s okay.

It’s also recommended to go through these articles as you help an adopted cat at home – best ways to get a cat to rest on your lap, solutions for dematting a cat, which rope to use for a good cat scratching post, and the right cat scratching post for adopted cats.