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Home > Cats > Cat Suddenly Sleeping in Odd Places? 5 Vet-Approved Reasons Why

Cat Suddenly Sleeping in Odd Places? 5 Vet-Approved Reasons Why

cat sleeping on a patio

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Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Anyone who owns cats knows they love their beauty rest. Cats can sleep an average of 15 hours a day—that’s a lot of sleeping!1 Additionally, some cats will adjust their sleeping patterns to their humans so they can receive snuggles and cuddles when their humans are around.

Cats certainly have their favorite spots where they like to sleep. Maybe the windowsill in the living room is your cat’s favorite spot, or perhaps atop the cat tree is where your cat feels safe to sleep. But what if your cat suddenly starts sleeping in odd places? Should you worry? Is it normal? If you’ve ever wondered why the changes in sleeping places occur, you’ll find the reasons here. We’ll list five possible reasons why your cat is suddenly sleeping in odd places.


The 5 Reasons Why Your Cat is  Sleeping in Odd Places

 1. Temperature

Weather plays a role in where your cat wants to sleep. In the winter months, your cat may seek out a warm spot to chill and sleep, such as on the windowsill or a spot where the sun shines on the floor. In the summertime, your cat will want a cool place to cuddle up and take a cat nap (pun intended). It really depends on the climate at the moment, so if you’ve suddenly noticed your cat sleeping in an unusual spot, take note of the weather that day. Odds are, you’ll find this scenario to be true.

cat sleeping on blanket with paws over face
Photo Credit By: Julie G, Unsplash

2. Change in Routine/Environment

Your cat may find other sleeping arrangements if there has been a change in its normal routine or environment. For example, if you’ve just moved into a new home, your cat will need to acclimate to the new surroundings and seek out a comfy spot to sleep. It may take a while, leading to your cat sleeping in odd places. Hey, a cat needs to find its comfy place to nap, too!

The environment could change, such as if you’ve added a new pet to the household. Your cat may want to sleep far, far away from the new pet to feel safe and protected. Wild cats move and change their environment often to keep predators and pesky insects and fleas at bay, and domesticated cats still carry this instinct.

3. Safety

A cat feeling safe in its environment is essential to its overall health and well-being. Your cat may suddenly stop sleeping on the windowsill if something scares your cat, such as a bird hitting the window or some other type of unforeseen noise.

Increased foot traffic or some other distracting noise may also prompt your cat to seek other sleeping accommodations. For example, when kids are out of school for the summer, that particular spot in the once quiet hallway may now be filled with kids rumbling around the area, getting ready for school in the fall. Cats like peace and quiet while sleeping, which makes them feel safe.

cat hiding behind the curtain
Photo Credit By: llaszlo, Shutterstock

4. Stress/Anxiety

Several issues can cause your cat stress and anxiety, causing your cat to find other places to sleep. Has construction started up nearby? Is there constant banging and other loud noises? If so, your cat will start sleeping in odd places to escape the noise. A new, crying baby may cause stress and anxiety for your cat, especially if your cat has never heard such a noise.

A new scent can cause stress, such as a new fragrance plug-in or incense. Cats feel safe and secure when they can smell their own scent. They have scent glands on the paws and cheeks, and they can become stressed if all they smell is the new fragrance wafting throughout the home.

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5. Physical Discomfort/Pain

Cats are masters of disguising when they are in pain. That one chair in the sun may now cause discomfort, causing your cat to sleep elsewhere. If your cat is aging and has developed arthritis, it may sleep in a more cushioned spot for comfort. If your cat is sick, it may retreat to an area that’s hard for you to access, such as high up in a closet or underneath your bed. Keep an eye out for abnormal posture, aggressiveness, over-grooming, excessive vocalization, and overall change in daily habits. Most importantly, if you suspect your cat is sick, a trip to the vet is necessary.

Calico cat sleeping under the bed
Photo Credit: Pixels Studio, Shutterstock



As you can see, your cat may start sleeping in odd places for several reasons. If you feel your cat is not in pain or distress, there’s no cause for alarm, but your veterinarian should rule that out first. If your cat is healthy, take note of the weather or a change in the environment because such changes could cause your cat to sleep in odd places. In the end, if it’s an acceptable place for your cat to snooze, let your cat be.

Featured Image Credit: YvonneHuijbens, Pixabay

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