“Soon after my cat’s 15th birthday, she disappeared. In the days leading up to her disappearance, I knew something was off. I could tell she wasn’t feeling well. I had that feeling for a while, but it seemed to get worse recently. In fact, I had even made an appointment with the vet for the following week. I didn’t think it was an emergency because she was still eating and getting around okay. I thought we had time… She would sometimes go outside, but never for long stretches at a time. It was mostly just to take in a few hours of sunshine and fresh air. On that day, she walked out the door and never returned. To this day, I blame myself. I know she was an old cat, and I know she didn’t have much longer to live, but it hurts to think about her out there dying alone.” Everyone on our team at Homeoanimal hears stories like this one almost every day. Cats are likely to hide when they are near death, and many pet owners don’t understand what went wrong.
Why do sick cats hide?
Cats sometimes live in colonies, but they are not pack animals. As such, they instinctively do not rely on people or other animals. When they are vulnerable, they are likely to hide to keep themselves safe. If cats remain in a colony when they are sick, it’s more likely that the other cats will act aggressively than in a nurturing way. This is likely why cats hide. It is a survival instinct. You may notice your cat hiding under the bed or finding solace in a quiet room when he’s sick, but death is another thing entirely. We can’t say whether your cat knows death is on the horizon, but we can be sure that your cat will find the most remote hiding spot when she is feeling extremely ill.
Can this be prevented?
You probably cannot prevent your cat from hiding when he is sick, but you may be able to keep your cat from getting sick in the first place. Of course, cats don’t live forever. If your cat is old or has a debilitating condition, you may not have any options. Still, it is always prudent to take measures to keep your pets as healthy as possible. And if you notice sudden behavioral changes, take action before your cat hides. Sudden changes in mood or behavior can signal that something is wrong with your pet. Even if your cat is young, take this as a sign that his health could be in jeopardy.
When we hear about a cat who has disappeared it is almost always too late. Sometimes, though, we do hear from people who are concerned with their cat’s unusual behavior. At this point, we can help with custom designed homeopathic remedies. These can help treat most ailments and bring your cat back to a state of wellness and balance. Try this along with ensuring that your cat is eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting adequate exercise and stimulation. And if you notice your cat hiding anywhere in the house, be sure to address the situation. Take the cat to the vet right away to find out whether there is a medical issue.