Why Do Cats Change Sleeping Spots? – As the title suggests today we’ll be discussing your cat’s sleeping locations and why cats will relocate to new spots every so often and what it all means? I know you are curious to know Why Do Cats Change Sleeping Spots? This blog covers all necessary topics related to this.

It’s important to note that feline spend roughly 16 hours per day sleeping. This means the location has to be important if so much of that 24-hour window is dedicated to the same act.

Safety and comfort are just two of the core items of importance for any feline when it comes to sleep. Generally speaking, most cats have around five locations for various reasons. Cats in the wild often move around to keep themselves shielded from predators. This natural instinct can also carry over to the family cat.

The search for territory and privacy is very important. While some sleep locations will not make much sense to you at least on the surface nothing is ever accidental even those random and at times humorous locations are all done for a reason.

Why Do Cats Change Sleeping Spots?

Why Do Cats Change Sleeping Spots?

In a word the answer is instinct. They’re looking for the perfect sleeping area to fix a list of important criteria. When choosing a location either within the home or outdoors cats are looking for the following:

A small enclosed space, a warm location not too hot not too cold, Somewhere private and quiet a location that hasn’t been previously claimed this is key and finally domestic cats that reside indoors look for locations that are far away from both the food bowl and the litter box as a means to avoid direct smells.

In order to meet the aforementioned criteria, your cat will move around. Not every night or even every week but your cat will definitely change it up.

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If you’ve had your cat for years there’s a good chance that you’ve seen just about everything. When it comes to sleep locations cats never want to be predictable. This is done for their safety even if they’re already in a loving and safe home environment.

Reasons Behind Cats Change Their Sleeping Spots?

Claiming Territory

Cats only sleep in a territory they have claimed. This is done With the help of scratching or marking the smell. To confirm this statement, the cat will sleep in this area.

Putting in a space for a long time will make the cat smell more intense.


Now, the 2nd one is safety because cats know what it’s like to be the hunter and the hunted they’re able to seek out sleep locations for both protection from predators and stalking areas when they are in search of prey, it’s all about instinct.

While a domestic cat your indoor furry friend has no need to hunt and no predators to fear the instincts are still very much in place.

Domesticated cats experience no such risk. Similarly, domestic cats will periodically change their sleeping positions. No matter how comfortable the environment of the home is, 1000s of years of intuition cannot be undone.


Cats seek it at all times when they’re in sleep mode. This goes for felines in the wild as well as your little buddy on the sofa. Cats also change their sleeping area due to privacy.

A little bit of things can irritate a cat more than disturbing its sleep. If your feline believes that their masters and other pets know where to find them, their safety will be reduced.

Have You Ever Found Your Cat At The Top Of A Bookcase? How about in a box or a closet shelf? This is likely due to being bothered in the past. This becomes the cause in a feline sleeping in a different hiding place. Many cats choose to claim that they are in a higher position as a sleeping area.

The top of a closet is popular. If a feline cannot access this then may settle for a cat tree.

Temperature Regulation

Changes in sleep location often coincide with the weather inside and outside where your cat sleeps during the hot summer months can differ from where your cat naps in the middle of December.

You may find that your cat changes its sleeping location according to the seasons. This is so the cat can regulate its body temperature.

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Cats run a standard body temperature between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Being warmer or colder than this makes a cat uncomfortable. All breeds differ but a room temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit keeps most cats happy.

Also, Read How Do Sick Cats Sleep? What Unwell Cat sleeping positions mean?

How Cats Maneuver Sleep Habits During Cold And Hot Temperatures?

Why Do Cats Change Sleeping Spots?

In Cold Temperatures

In the winter months, a cat will gravitate toward natural sources of warmth. This could include artificial heat sources, such as radiators or fires if these are not available, cats will doze by a window. This allows the cat to warm itself by indirect sunlight.

How Your Cat Deals With Those Hot Temperatures?

Cats are naturally better equipped to handle cold rather than hot because cats only have small sweat glands on their paws with heat escaping through the ears.

Your cat gets too hot it can’t have a tough time regulating its body temperature. Panting and increasing heart rate, restless behavior and frequent pacing lethargy and discoloration of the gums are all signs that your cat is overheating.

Have you ever seen your cat relax or nap on your cool kitchen floor during those hot summer months? This is done with the intent to cool down.

Helpful Tip In The Summer

“As a helpful tip in the summer months offers your cat a cooling pad. You will likely find that your cat dozes on this. This reduces the risk of dehydration, heat stroke and other issues associated with high body temperature.”

Can Painful Cat Change Sleep Locations?

Why Do Cats Change Sleeping Spots?

Pain or the desired goal of pain management could be the reason as to why your cat is changing sleep locations especially if the changes are being made rather frequently.

It’s rare for cats to reveal their plan as their natural instincts tell them to hide it this helps to keep them safe from predators. This is why it can be difficult at times to know if your cat is unwell or in pain because cats are designed to mask it.

Your cat is being diagnosed with a pain ailment arthritis, for example, consider doing the below point as the means to relieve your cat’s pain and anxiety:

  • Set your cat up with one primary bed this should be low to the ground in a quiet area. If the cat knows it will be comfortable in one location it will move around less. This reduces the risk of pain.
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Make sure the primary bed is soft easily accessible has plenty of blankets is a positive source of warmth and provides easy access to food, water and that all-important litter box.

let’s now transition and discuss the subtopic of negative experiences

Past History

Another reason that your cat will decide to change sleeping locations could involve Past history. This is why it’s important not to tamper with your cat sleeping areas, beyond standard maintenance of the course and or make specific spots a point of negativity.

Cats remember frightening or traumatic events if a cat is bullied by a neighbourhood feline, it will avoid particular streets in the future. The same also applies to the home.

Your cat will recall something frightening and attributed to a location.

Changes To Home Layout

Have you moved some furniture around in your living room perhaps change the flooring or something simpler such as moving a chair just 20 feet to the left?

It really doesn’t take much to change your cat’s entire world. Cats are creatures of routine, they like things to say exactly the same especially the layout of a home. This may make changing sleeping positions seem counterproductive but it makes sense to a cat. This change is something that the cat can control.

If you have remodeled your home or moved furniture around, the cat will need an adjustment period. This will cause stress initially the cat needs to relearn its terrain and decide where it’s most comfortable.


The final reason that we’ll cover today in respect to your cat changing its sleep location involves sickness, this is similar to the aforementioned section dedicated to pain management.

If your cat is done well, your pet can feel compelled to take on different behavioral traits where they sleep is one. If your cat has a minor illness it may start sleeping in different locations. A cat with a urinary tract infection for example will stay close to a litter tray. This means the cat may reject its usual bed. Watch for any changes to your cat’s behavior it may reveal a health ailment.

Why Do Cats Change Sleeping Spots? – YouTube Video


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