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How Do Cats Choose Where to Sleep?

Updated: August 9, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

You’ve just got your new cat, bought all kinds of cat supplies and made every possible arrangement for your furry little friend to feel at home and welcome and have his own little comfy bed to sleep in. A few days later you’re all sad because he decided to ignore all your efforts and chose another spot to make his own improvisation of a bed. And that from your best shirt. Or maybe he loves to cuddle right next to you in your own bed. Sounds familiar? Now you might wonder how cats choose where to sleep.

First, you need to know that you’re not the only one. Cats do choose to sleep in the most awkward and bizarre places, but how they come up with that nobody seems to know. So how do they make that choice?

How Cats Choose Where To Sleep

While it may seem easy to choose and entice your feline friend to sleep where you want him to, well, it’s not that simple, as there are quite a few things to take into consideration.

First, you need to be aware that cats are crepuscular creatures, which means that they will take lots of naps during the day but they will be active at night, mostly at dawn and dusk, so you might end up with him on top of you trying to get you to play a little bit. And then, be sure to let him have access to the litter box, if you don’t want him to meow all night for you to open the door so he can go take care of his needs in peace.

Weather and Time of Year

Cats are known to be seasonal sleepers. They will move their sleep spot every couple of months. One reason for that is the weather. During winter time, they might love to snuggle up on top of something warm like a radiator or stove, while in the summer you will find them almost surely stretched out on a cool tile floor.

Safety Considerations

In addition to the season, you should also think about the fact that cats – like most other animals, and us as well – want to feel safe when they sleep.

That’s why they prefer high ground when sleeping, so anything fluffy and comfy like your cashmere blouse on top of a chair will do.

Even more, many people have noticed that cats prefer cardboard boxes, and that – from a safety point of view – means the cat is protected from five sides out of six, so he would only need to keep an eye on the sixth and only exposed side.


One other important thing is that cats love cleanliness. They love to clean themselves and they love the place they sleep in to be clean. So if a cat used to sleep somewhere and after a while he decides to change it, it’s because that spot is now soiled and he needs something fresh.

While these are some general cues as to how do cats choose where to sleep, they may not apply all the time. We all know that our little feline friends can be very picky at times, don’t we?

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