How To Get a Cat Out of Hiding? 5 Tips to Help you Out.

Ever wonder how to get a cat out of hiding and why it can be so difficult? Our feline family members sometimes abandon their rulers-of-the-kingdom personas when thunder rolls in, fireworks explode overheard, or when we simply break out our vacuums. Whatever the trigger, cats often seek refuge when they feel afraid or threatened in some way. Sometimes, they hide in places where humans cannot reach them and might even stay hidden for hours until they feel secure enough to come back out.

Cats are rather sensitive to loud noises and unfamiliar stimuli. One of my cats will spend hours under the bed if there is a thunderstorm booming outside. As a former stray, he could have been traumatized by being left outside during a particularly brutal storm season. Although we cannot sometimes understand why cats hide, we can find ways to make them feel safe enough to come back out.

The following is just one method for how to get a cat out of hiding. Remember, each cat has a different personality and has had diverse experiences in their lives that might cause them to feel afraid or threatened. You might find yourself needing to tailor some of these steps to fit your cat's unique personality or figure out an entirely new way to get a cat out of hiding.

Items You Will Need to Lure a Cat Out

If you want to find out how to get as cat out of hiding, you will first need to gather some of the kitty's favorite toys and/or treats. What are some items that they normally positively respond to? If you are unsure of what to use, try a few items from the following list:

  • One container of catnip
  • One bag of cat treats
  • One or two of the cat's favorite toys
  • An opened can of soft cat food (or a bowl of dry cat food if the cat prefers dry formula)
  • An opened can of tuna
  • A bowl for the soft food and tuna
  • A bowl of water
  • A spoon or fork for mixing tuna into a bowl of soft food

If the cat does not belong to you, cat treats and cat food might work best. Especially if you are attempting to lure a stray cat out of hiding. If the cat seems feral, you will likely have to set a humane trap as a last resort.

If the cat is yours but has gotten outside and is hiding somewhere near your home. Try placing a favorite blanket or item of your clothing close to the door. Add some cat treats and/or cat food on the item for good measure. Cats are notoriously attracted to familiar smells and food, so these are both good tools for how to get a cat out of hiding.

Steps For Getting a Cat Out of Hiding (Without Getting Mauled)


Before you attempt to get your cat out of hiding, be aware that the cat is feeling frightened and/or threatened. Sticking your arm in and trying to grab the cat might result in you getting bitten or scratched. Any sudden body movements could further terrify the cat. Keep movements slow and steady as you work through the following steps for how to get a cat out of hiding:

1. Get Eye-Level With the Cat
how to get a cat out of hiding eye level

After gathering up all the required materials, slowly stoop down to where the cat is hiding. Do your best to get eye-level with them. A cat might feel less scared or threatened if they perceive you as being closer in size to them. Also, make sure you speak in a calm voice, using the cat's name while you are encouraging them to come out of hiding.

Don't linger for more than a few minutes. If the cat is unwilling to come out, leave a few treats or toys, get up, and walk away, keeping an eye on the cat's hiding place from a distance.

2. Introduce the Cat's Favorite Toy
how to get a new cat out of hiding with toy

Once you are down on the cat's level, introduce one of their favorite toys. Place it down on the ground in front of you and see if the cat is interested in the toy. Wait about thirty seconds to see if the cat is intrigued, then try encouraging them to play with the toy. If they seem disinterested in this particular toy, try engaging them with another favorite toy, following the same method as with the first toy.

3. Offer Up Some Treats
cat getting treats

A good method for how to get a cat out of hiding is to set out some treats. Many cats will respond to even the mere noise of a bag of cat treats being shaken. Gently shake the bag where your cat will be able to hear it. Then, slowly stoop down and offer some treats to the cat by placing a small handful of treats close to where the cat is hiding. Some cats will try to steal the treats without coming out of hiding, so be sure to leave a short trail of treats that leads out of the hiding spot.

4. Sprinkle Some Catnip
luring out with catnip

If treats don't work, using catnip is another method to try for how to get a cat out of hiding. Shake the container or bag of catnip first to see if the cat is interested. After that, sprinkle some catnip near the opening of their hiding spot.

5. Set Out Food and Water
get a cat out of hiding with cat food

If the previous methods for how to get a cat out of hiding don't work, try setting out a bowl of soft cat food (or dry food, if your cat will not eat soft food).

Mixing some canned tuna in with the soft food can better coax the cat out. Even though it smells terrible, this is a popular way for how to get a cat out of hiding. Since cats respond extremely well to strong scents.

Also, providing a bowl of water is helpful for how to get a cat out of hiding since cats require plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Remember to Remain Calm and Have Patience

There are many little tricks for how to get a cat out of hiding. While the steps listed above are generic and work for many cats, some cats might not respond to any of these stimuli. When you're trying to figure out how to get a cat out of hiding, consider what you know about that cat's personality. Always default to items you know they enjoy, remain calm and non-threatening, and remain patient. The cat will come out when they feel secure enough to do so. I always try to let my cats know that they are safe and loved, especially when they are afraid of something. Reinforce this with your kitty as much as possible.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? If you found this tutorial helpful or would like to know more, leave a comment in the "Comments" section. Also, be sure to share this article with other cat-lovers!


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: