Why Do Cats Hide Stuff?

Why Do Cats Hide Stuff?

by Kourtney
(Dayton, Ohio, U.S.)

Tabby cat hunting - photo added by Michael and by

Tabby cat hunting - photo added by Michael and by "cats in gloves" (Flickr CC)

My cat is always hiding stuff under rugs! Especially change. I once found almost $1.50 just in change! Also my ponytail holders and other small things. I was wondering why some cats do that?


Hi Kourtney... Thanks for asking, "why do cats hide stuff?!" All our answers to domestic cat behavior have to come from two sources:

-- Wild cat behavior - this is entirely natural behavior provided people aren't impacting too much on that behavior and;

-- Our behavior in relation to the cat - the cat is reactive and we impose a lot of conditions on a domestic cat. They live in our world and react to what we do and create for them.

When does a wild cat hide things? Time and again we read that the wild cat will hide prey. This is not always the case but it happens frequently.

The cougar in the north and south America covers its prey with twigs and leaves etc.. It makes a pretty professional job out of it.

My initial answer without researching it, is that your cat is acting out, through play, the catching and hiding of prey.

OK, it doesn't take much to catch change or a ponytail holder but they are nice little objects to poke and prod, especially the ponytail holder, which is probably quite a nice cat toy actually.

It might not simply be hiding "prey" to protect it from other predators. There may be an element of play in the hiding process, too.

My cat pushes pens under desks or into inaccessible places and then prods them and tries to recover them. This seems to be making a challenge, to be creating the kind of conditions that a cat would find in the wild when chasing a rodent for example. Small prey would go to ground and hide. The cat is re-creating that instinctively.

As cats in the USA are often indoor cats the need for a domestic cat to find its own entertainment heightens and the obligation on us is greater to entertain it, which is always a form of hunting and stalking prey.

Cat Chew Toy

How To Make Cat Toys

How To Entertain A Cat

Michael Avatar

Why Do Cats Hide Stuff? to Why Do Cats

Comments for
Why Do Cats Hide Stuff?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 05, 2012
how to recover the toy? NEW
by: Anonymous

I brought a cat toy (with a rod). How to recover the toy?

Actually it's my neighbor cat, he sometimes goes to my house (in front of my door), I played with him outside. He allow me to touch him.

Twice he shown me his belly. The first time I wasn't sure, but the second time i tried to touch his belly, he scratch me >_< and I bleed. So I go back to my house to wash the wound and put bandage on it. When I go back to outside of the house, the "toy" is gone. I think he hide it.
***How can I recover it?***

(I don't think any "human" would take it. And it's a quite street)

Jan 21, 2010
Cats Hide Stuff
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

I concur about the prey instinct in cats. They all share that most wonderful inherent trait.

Sadie also hides stuff. She's got a small rubber pimple ball that bounces crazily across the floor when she bats it. She'll do that for awhile, then bat it under her chaise lounge chair to retrieve later. She also bats around bits of paper. When she tires of that game, she'll pick it up in her mouth and carry it to the chair, then bat it underneath. It's ever so much fun to watch!

Playtime with Sadie also includes running like mad through the house, jumping into the bathtub, then peeking over the edge to see if I'm looking. If I wiggle my fingers near the edge, she bats at those too!

Not to worry - enjoy your cat's natural hiding instinct. Who knows? Maybe she'll let you borrow some coins when you're broke, LOL!

Jan 18, 2010
Thanks Ruth
by: Michael

Ruth, it is nice to get a second opinion for a fellow cat lover! Thanks for popping by.

Michael Avatar

Jan 18, 2010
Cats hiding stuff
by: Ruth

Michael is right, it all goes back to behaviour in the wild.
One of our cats loves playing 'hide the ball'
We play rolling it to each other for a while then he bats it under an armchair or the couch, then lies down on his side to reach under while looking at me as if to say 'Watch me' And with a great deal of rolling about and dramatic reaching he eventually 'hunts' the ball out and runs madly around with it lol He also covers any food up that he's left on his saucer, like cats in the wild do to make sure they have something to eat later if they can't catch any more prey.
I think it's wonderful that some domestic cats keep these wild instincts,it shows we haven't taken over their lives completely !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , by Michael Broad. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please try and upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks. Comment rules: (1) respect others (2) threatening, harassing, bullying, insulting and being rude to others is forbidden (3) advocating cat cruelty is forbidden (4) trolls (I know who they are) must use real name and upload a photo of themselves. Enforcement: (1) inappropriate comments are deleted before publication and (2) commenters who demonstrate a desire to flout the rules are banned. Failure to comply with (4) results in non-publication. Lastly, please avoid adding links because spam software regards comments with links as spam and holds them in the spam folder. I delete the spam folder contents daily.