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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11613
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My cat is hiding under the bed. This is not normal behavior

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My cat is hiding under the bed. This is not normal behavior for her. She is always under foot and right next to us. I am wondering if this just needs to run its course. She did have a bad week. On 6/16 (evening) she got stuck in a plastic bag...crawled in to chill, then when she tried to get out she put her head in the loop and took off with the bag around her. She was obviously terrified that night. I got her calmed down. The next day my husband accidentally kicked her (underfoot as usual) then she ran off under the bed. The next day we left for a trip and she had a pet nanny for the next 2 days. We did not leave the AC on (she has a full basement to hang out in) and it was HOT in our house (apparently the Nanny did not turn the AC on.) We came home 6/20 to find that she had diarrhea and was vomiting. I stayed home with her that day and she had a big hairball, more diarrhea. Was eating and drinking. Vet said to take away her food that night and bring her in the next day. I took her to the vet, they knocked her out took blood and urine, checked her fluids, she was perfectly hydrated and test came back fine. She is eating, drinking and using the litter like normal but has still taken to hiding under the bed in the mornings. Do she just need some time to recover or is there something else I should be looking for?
Hello,I am sorry to hear Pickle is having some trouble. I would love to help I just have a few questions so I can better assist you. Please understand I try to ask all relevant questions at one time, however your reply may prompt a few more. Since I am unable to see your pet I must rely on information.

Poor girl it does sound like she had a bad week

Is Pickle only coming out from under the bed to eat and drink or is she only hiding in the morning?

Is she eating her normal amount?

Is she interacting with you at all?

Is she used to you going away for a few days?

Is she showing any signs of injury like limping having trouble moving etc?

Are her stools back to normal?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Is Pickle only coming out from under the bed to eat and drink or is she only hiding in the morning? She may be hiding all day, she comes out after work and is hanging out in the living room like normal, looking out the window, etc. Normally she is RIGHT THERE wherever we are. She is usually in the same room with us at all times.

Is she eating her normal amount? Yes, maybe a little more (we gave her a few extra pieces of dry food to try to get her digestive system back in order. Normally she gets 1/4 C dry food (auto feeder) at 6 am and 430 pm, then 1/3 can wet food before bed (once a week mix in hair ball goo). She gets Hills Prescription c/d dry and wet as she is prone to UTI. Had a bladder stone surgery at 1.5 years, another UTI cleared by meds earlier this year when we got new living room furniture. Her litter box is scooped and wiped down each night. (more on food in litter section)

Is she interacting with you at all? Yes, but not as much of being constantly next to us at all times as before.

Is she used to you going away for a few days? We go away about 3-4 times a year for a few days. Always have the same pet nanny. She comes in once a day to give the wet food, fresh water, scoop the litter and play a little laser pointer.

Is she showing any signs of injury like limping having trouble moving etc? Nope.

Are her stools back to normal? Yes. Wednesday she had severe watery diarrhea. She went about 7 times in one hour then not at all (vet said to take away her food at that point, left her with water, she was drinking). Took her to the vet the next day (Thursday) he said we could give her dry food only in small amounts. Started giving her about 10 pieces of food at a time and some medicine for the diarrhea (we only gave her 2 of these). She ate and drank normally. More urine in the box than normal but i put out about 10 bowls of water all over the house so she would not get dehydrated. No poop Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. She was eating only dry food. Sunday a small poop. Monday LOTS of poop. All normal. Resumed giving her the wet food on the normal schedule on Monday night.
Thank you very much for all of the detailed information.

It is possible that this is due to stress. Cats do not handle stress very well and will often hide more then normal.
If this continues one thing I would double check with your vet is whether they checked the thyroid levels. Cats are prone to Hyperthyroidism and this can cause some increase in urination, diarrhea, change in behavior as well as some other things such as increased appetite, dull hair coat just to name a few. Should the diarrhea return I would also consider getting a fecal done just to rule out things like parasites.

I would try to see if you can do some things to decrease anxiety and see if this helps.
I would suggest getting at least one Feliway diffuser ( plug in ). These release cat calming pheromones that work very well. You can also try a Feliway collar or your vet may carry the new collar called NurtureCALM Click here

Composure treats also work well for cats.
Click here
Some experts will also recommend Rescue Remedy and you are welcome to try this but in all honesty we have found this to have little to no effect on cats.
Click here
If she enjoys the laser I would try to get her to play with that a few times per day as this too will help reduce any anxiety.

I would give her a few more days and try the Feliway and hopefully this will help and she will be back to her old self in no time.

I hope this helps, please reply back if you have additional questions

We are testing a new rating system is you have any problem with it please let me know. If you need additional information or clarification an anything please hit the Reply button and I will be happy to continue helping. If your questions have been answered please rate my answer to end our conversation. If you rate a 1 or 2 I will not be compensated for my time. If your intention is to press "I expected more" or " Helped A little" please STOP and reply back to me so I can try to assist you further.

Candy
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Normally I could set my watch by her actions, she is SO regimented. Literally if I forgot to set my alarm it would be OK because I know that she will scratch at the corner of the bed at precisely 6:20 am. (We call her the fuzzy alarm) and then she will go to her bowl where you have to pet her then she will eat. Next she will sit on the base of the fan until I come over to dry my hair then she will walk back and forth in front of me while I dry my hair for some pets...etc. And now she is not doing that it is kind of a concern. How long would be a reasonable amount of time for her to get back on schedule/normal. I think she was obviously traumatized because of all those things (bag, kick, heat, nanny, etc) happening at once.
In some cases when under a lot of stress such as poor Pickles has gone through it can take a few weeks for them to completely return to normal.

The fact that she is eating is a really good sign. Often we use this to judge the overall well being of a cat as most cats that are sick or in pain will not eat. That is not to say that all cats will stop eating and with things like hyperthyroidism it is normally the opposite and they eat more. This does occur more in cats over the age of 8 but can also happen in younger cats.
I think getting stuck in the bag and then being kicked by accident may be making her more cautious them normal. Often when this happens the poor kitty does not realize that this was accidental and they will hide away. I would just give her lots of love and maybe some special treats and really try to engage her in play several times per day .

If you are still seeing this behavior after the next 7-10 days then I would have her re evaluated by the vet and check the thyroid and perhaps a quick x ray to be sure there are no new bladder stones or other unseen problems.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I will keep a close eye on her. She really wants food all the time so I will keep the thyroid in mind. I am a hypochondriac for my cat apparently.

Thanks!
You are very welcome and no you are not a hypochondriac just a concerned friend and I really wish we had more pet owners like you. She is very lucky to have a friend like you and your husband.

Please keep me posted on how she is doing
Candy R. and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Pickle is doing much better. We bought her a special little bed that we put in our room to lure here out from under the bed. (She has other stuff in our room but she is a sucker for new fluffy things). She likes it alot and slept in there all day for the first few days now she only sleeps in it at night after snuggle time. She spent a few more mornings hiding under the bed but we made sure to have some extra play time with her and I came home for some visits during my lunch hour. She seems to be back to normal, medically, and "emotionally"(?).
Thanks for putting my mind at ease.
Yay I am so happy to hear Pickle( such a cool name) is back to normal and loving her soft fluffy bed. Thank you so much for the update. GIve her a pet from me.