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April 2024

Why Do Cats Frequently Change Their Sleeping Areas

Friday, April 9, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

I have two cats and they choose special sleeping areas. Most of the time we can predict where they are before we even walk into our home but sometimes they fool us. Recently our cat Millie is now sleeping in my radio studio. Before that she was usually tucked away in the back bedroom. Atlantis was usually on our couch or sleeping on the ottoman until we noticed that she now prefers the floor in front of the fireplace. So why do cats change the sleeping areas? There are many reasons. Senior Cat Wellness .com answers this question.

Cats spend up to 16 hours a day sleeping. The older the cat, the more time it will spend resting. While cats do have preferred sleeping spots, they like to vary where they rest. This is a feline survival instinct developed in the wild that has carried forward to life as domesticated house cats.

Applied Animal Behavior Science surveyed 1,177 cats and discovered that most felines had 5 preferred sleeping areas. Wild cats regularly move their nests and colonies to avoid detection from predators. Cats also sleep in different locations to claim territory, enjoy privacy, moderate their body temperature, or react to stressful experiences.

You may find that your cat sleeps in some strange places, but these are areas that your cat trusts. It could be that the area is quiet because people do not frequent it, or it’s quieter because it’s at the rear of the house.

Why Do Cats Change Sleeping Spots?

It is common for cats to sleep in different places in the home. The optimal sleeping area for felines will meet the following criteria:

  • Small, enclosed space
  • Warm (without being hot) and devoid of drafts
  • Quiet and private
  • Previously claimed territory
  • Far enough from litter and food to avoid direct smells

Cats frequently change their sleeping location as a matter of survival. Felines can’t afford to become too predictable. If they sleep in the same place all the time, predators will know exactly where to look.

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