One of the most frustrating things for cat owners is when their cats decide to take up residence under a shed, deck, or other outdoor structure.
It can be difficult enough to coax them out with treats and other cat-friendly offerings, but what do you do if they just refuse to come out?
I’m going to cover some ways that have worked for others in the past.
I’ll also share other tips that should work whether your kitty is an outdoor stray or he simply prefers hiding outside.
Why Does a Cat Hide Under a Shed?
The reasons why cats start to hide under an outdoor structure vary, and depend on the cat’s personality and disposition.
Some cats may do it simply because they’re bored, while others may have been attacked by another animal or even a human.
If your kitty was abused by another animal, they may hide under your shed to get away from them.
Some people have also found that their cats are avoiding their neighbors who feed them treats or try to play with them.
How to Get a Cat Out From Under a Shed?
It’s important first to figure out why your cat is hiding under your shed.
I’ve included a list of common reasons off the top of my head, but be aware that every cat will have his or her own unique reason for hiding beneath such structures.
Some things to consider:
Before you go inside the shed and try to coax your cat out, check around the outside for any signs of activity.
Make sure that the area is safe and that there are no uninvited guests nearby.
If you’ve increased your cat’s level of security, they may be suspicious to come out after you.
Check for predators and other animals that could pose a threat to your cat if they were to venture out from under the shed.
Once you’re satisfied that it’s safe, you can try to entice your kitty out with treats and toys.
The specific item(s) you use should be determined by what makes your cat happy – not necessarily all cats like the same things!
It can help to get down on their level so they feel more at ease speaking with you face-to-face.
If your cat still doesn’t come out, try using some catnip.
You can rub it on your hands or feet before approaching the area, or even tie a little around a toy and dip the end of it into some catnip.
If they still persist, try to gently herd the cat out from under the structure by firmly pushing their rear (scruffing) while you coax them out with treats and catnip.
If they do happen to have an injury of some sort, be careful not to cause further injury.
Cats can be very stubborn at times, so it may take several attempts before you can get your kitty to come out from under the shed.
If your cat is stubborn and unwilling to come out, you might need to employ a few other tactics, such as:
9 Ways To Get Your Cat Out From Under The Shed
1. Try to coax the cat out with a food lure :
If your cat has been under a shed or other structure for only a short time, you may be able to entice it to leave.
The first thing you want to do is remove anything that might scare the animal, like children or loud noises.
Next, place a large bowl of food or treats close to the hole and sit back and wait.
Make sure that there’s no chance of anything scaring the cat while it is eating — keep kids and pets away from the area.
2. Try to encourage the cat’s curiosity by making a noise and moving things around :
If you’d like to encourage the cat to come out on its own, you should make a lot of noise as well as moving things around.
Making a lot of noise can be achieved by stomping your feet and clapping your hands.
You should also move anything that could be hiding the animal, such as a large table or piece of furniture.
3. Start at one end of the shed and use an extending pole with a lure at the end to try and reach the cat on one side of the shed
If you are unable to coax your cat out, you may try reaching it on another side of the structure.
An easy way to do this would be to use a long pole.
You want to attach a string, ribbon, or other long piece of material at one end, and a tasty treat at the other.
The idea behind using this type of pole is that you are trying to get the cat curious enough to come closer so that it can reach and eat its treat.
Once the cat is close enough, you can then easily pull the animal out.
4. If you’re able to capture your cat, secure your arms around it and try to pick it up gently :
If your cat comes out using a food or lure luring him out of his hiding place, you should be able to pick him up relatively easily.
Use a large towel or blanket to cover any sharp claws he might have and then scoop your arms under his belly and over his back.
Make sure that you’ve got a good hold on the animal and are able to control his movements, and then pick him up carefully.
The second part of this step is to make sure that you don’t hurt your cat when trying to move it.
5. Try and pet or speak softly to the animal, but be cautious as cats can instinctively become defensive when they feel trapped
It’s best to stay as calm as possible when trying to coax your cat out of hiding.
If you’re not sure if it’s interested in coming out, try speaking softly.
If it seems like it would be okay with you touching its body, pick the animal up and carry it to a new location where you can now find him.
You should also avoid sudden movements, as this will cause your cat to panic and run away.
6. Keep trying until you’re able to get close enough for a successful “catch”.
Once you have hold of them, avoid sudden movements as this will make them panic
Even if your cat is in a good mood and seems to want to come out, you should still be careful.
Cats can get very defensive and fearful when they feel trapped, so take your time.
One way you can make the whole process smoother is by sliding an object under the area that your cat has been hiding in.
You can then carefully position the item so that it is blocking part of the hole, making it difficult for your cat to run back into hiding.
7. If the cat isn’t interested in food it may be scared by the noises you are making and may try to escape.
If this is the case, remain quiet, and try to catch them with a snag pole or net
If your cat isn’t interested in food or you have already tried enticing it out a few times, it may just be scared.
In this case, you should remain as quiet as possible.
If you’re not able to calm your cat’s fears by staying quiet and being gentle with him/her, you may need to use a snag pole or net.
Your goal is to snag the animal around one of its legs or paws so that he can’t escape and get away from you.
8. If you have tried all of the above steps and still cannot get your cat out, you can try a humane cat trap
As with any other feline relocation, getting your cat trapped is a last resort option.
If the animal appears to be in poor health, call a vet to have it checked out before moving it.
Also, be sure to follow instructions from your humane trap’s manufacturer.
If you do need to use this method, then there are different types of traps that work best for cats.
9. Once it is removed, be sure to seal up all holes left by the cat’s egress.
If not, there is a chance that they will return.
If you have had a cat that has been trapped in a hiding place, make sure to seal up all of the cat’s holes in the structure.
In addition, if the structure has been damaged by the cats claws and may need to be repaired.
After you’ve figured out why your cat is hiding under a shed, you should be able to come up with a game plan to get them out.
It may take multiple tries, but keep at it and I’m sure your kitty will eventually come around.