2001-Mon Nov 20 20:07:10 EST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Why cats choose to sleep where they do is a question for the ages. Cats are a law unto themselves. They’re a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, to quote Winston Churchill. He was talking about Russia but may well have been inspired by his cats, Tango and Nelson.
When your cat curls up in your bed, he'll get comfortable in his own way. I’ve heard of cats who snuggle in the crook of an owner’s knees or sprawl on their human's chest. Or he might prefer to settle himself like people, with his head on the pillow and his body beneath the covers. And forget trying to relocate him! He will move right back into place, even if that's not convenient for you.
Surprisingly enough, though, not all cats like to sleep on the bed. We can’t ask them why, of course, but I think there may be several reasons for it.
Cats like being up high. Their wild cousins hang out in trees so they can survey the surrounding landscape with an eye toward spying prey — and predators. Heck, even some lions like to lounge in trees. (Tanzania is one place that is famous for tree-climbing lions.)
Being up high at bedtime is probably an even stronger instinct, inherited from his long-ago wild ancestors. So it's possible that your cat may think the bed is not quite high enough to suit his need to view the world from above.
Cats developed in all kinds of landscapes. Where there were no trees, cats took refuge in caves or beneath rock ledges. If there’s a dark, cavelike area in your home — maybe you got your feline one of those kitty tents or have a piece of furniture that’s a nice size for sheltering a cat — he may prefer it to the bed.
Your cat's sleeping choices may just be personal. Some cats just don't feel the need to share our sleeping space, like Cuddles, who belongs to a woman I know. “Cuddles is too good to sleep with humans,” she says.
If you want your cat to sleep with you, there are a couple of things you can try. Before bedtime, place a heating pad turned to low in the spot where you want your cat to sleep. The warmth may attract him. But be sure to turn off the heating pad and remove it before you both turn in for the night.
Or take that cozy, tentlike bed that he loves and place it on your bed, wherever you want him to sleep (at the foot of the mattress, for example, or up near your head). That might get him up off the ground and give him a place to hide — while he shares some sleepy time with you. It's a win-win for your cat and for you.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.