Cat stylist: find out what are cats doing when they hide in the closet

Creating an outfit for tomorrow’s day at work, assembling fluffy accessories that will look good with your new jacket, or maybe hiding all your favorite t-shirts that you can never find? Whatever happens, we know one thing for sure – cats like playing stylists and hiding in the closet, spending a lot of time out of their day there. But what are they actually doing when they nap in the closet and why are your clothes drawing so much of the cat’s attention? Get ready for a few fun facts, fabCat. 

In search of the best cat hideaway 

Every fabCat Carer has at least one experience of looking for a cat around the house and feeling like it’s impossible to find them. While we panic, wondering if the cat snuck out through an open window or in between our legs when we opened the door for the delivery guy, the cat turns up sleeping in the darkest corner under the bed, behind the couch, or… buried under a pile of clothes in the closet.  Obviously, not all cats are fans of finding the craziest, unavailable hiding spots, but for many felines hiding is a natural behavior that’s rooted deeply in their wild nature. 

Cats are not just predators. In nature, they’re both predators and prey, so their hunting instincts are just as strong as their abilities to find the best hideaway around. At home, our couch cats don’t need to hide from other predators and when they look for a hiding spot, it usually has nothing to do with danger – in most cases, cats are looking for a good hiding space to have a comfy, quiet nap time. Cats could be hiding in our closets, under the beds, and in the deepest, darkest corners of the house for: 

  • warmth and comfort – obviously, hooman clothes are the best,  
  • safety – a tight, dark hideaway gives a sense of security, allowing the cat to sleep peacefully, without having to be on high alert all the time, 
  • in fear – cats can hide in a dark, quiet spot when they’re really scared. The reason could be any loud noises (like fireworks or the vacuum cleaner), guests (when your cat doesn’t like strangers), as well as situations which your cat has negative memories with (e.g. seeing your backpack being packed might remind them of going to the vet).  
  • in stress – we don’t need to convince anyone about how sensitive cats are. And as creatures that are very attached to their territory, routine, and repetitive everyday life, some cats might get stressed by even the smallest changes to their environment, looking for a safe hideaway to find balance after a stressful event.  
  • in pain or sickness – cats don’t like showing their weakness which means that any health issues or pain might make the cat look for a quiet and safe hideaway where they can suffer far away from any potential danger. If your cat is usually open and sociable but suddenly starts to hide, it might be a big warning sign you shouldn’t ignore. 

Cat stylist: why do cats hide in our clothes?

A closet full of Hooman’s clothes seems to be one of the most popular hideaway spots for cats who regularly look for more quiet, secluded napping spots. And as it turns out, this choice is not a random one – a closet full of soft clothes that smell of the cat’s Carer has many perks to it.  

A scent goldmine. Scents play a vital role in a cat’s life and besides the classic territory marking through rubbing against things and scratching, cats build up their sense of safety and security by combining their own scent with the scent of the hoomans they live with. By hiding out in the closet, among clothes, cats can easily transfer scents – both by getting the hooman’s scent on them and leaving their own fur behind to mark the hoomans. The only better aroma goldmine would be a dirty clothes basket, but getting into one is not always easy.  

A warm nook. Regardless of how much fur the cat has, their age, or their size, cats generally love warm and cozy spaces. And a wardrobe gives a whole lot of possibilities in that regard – with clothes neatly folded on the shelves or piling up on the bottom of the closet, a cat can use a stack of t-shirts as a comfy bed or burry themself in a cave of jumpers and hoodies, spending hours napping before anyone discovers where the cat is. 

A safe haven. The closet is one of the few spaces at home that doesn’t have too much going on during the day. We usually open it in the morning to get dressed and that’s it. There are no children walking into the wardrobe, no guests sitting around, and no delivery guys bringing packages. It’s truly a perfect hideaway, whether you’re hiding from the light, another cat, a hooman who tries to take us to the vet, or outdoor noises when people decide to celebrate the New Year with fireworks. 

How to meet the needs of a cat stylist?

Cat naps in the wardrobe usually come with one major issue: all clothes will get covered with fur which, especially with dark clothes, might not be your favorite sight to see in the morning. But if your cat does like hiding in the closet, there are ways you can cater to their needs and, at least partially, avoid having to remove fur from all your clothes every morning! 

  • create a comfy cat bed inside the wardrobe. If you sacrifice one of your t-shirts, a soft blanket, and some space in the closet, you might just give your cat a comfy cat bed where they can hide as they please. Cover your clothes with the blanket, put your old t-shirt in the new “bed” to transfer your scent and you’re set! Make sure that the space you create is as organic as possible, gives your cat a sense of security, but at the same time is available enough for you to take out the cat if you need to. 
  • put the MIA cat house inside or beside the closet. This idea requires some more space, but if you do have free space at the bottom of your closet, putting the MIA cat house inside could just give your cat what they’re looking for – a secluded, dark, warm, and comfy hideaway. MIA was designed to be your cat’s private M1 🙂  

More about safe hiding spots for (not only) shy cats on our blog – check it out here:

When should we worry about our cat’s need to hide? 

As you know, fabCats, there’s never a 100% certainty about anything when it comes to cats and even the seemingly normal behavior could be concerning at certain times. When it comes to the cat’s need to hide, what should be especially worrying is when a sociable cat starts to find more and more secluded, quiet hideaways and avoids hooman contact. This behavior is a clear signal that something’s wrong – a sudden change in a cat’s routine is an indicator that the cat might be trying to hide their pain. If your cat has always been a fan of dark places for naptime, they probably just like peace and quiet. But if they were never like this and you suddenly can’t find them only to discover the cat in the closet after a few hours of frantic search, something could be up and it’d be good to check it out with the vet. 

Do your cats, fabCats, roleplay as cat stylists, and make sure you always walk out of the house wearing the best accessory – the cat fluff? Let’s talk more about cats’ napping habits in the comments below or on our Facebook profile → Join in! 

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