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Home > Cats > Why Does My Cat Sleep Under My Bed? 9 Vet-Approved Reasons

Why Does My Cat Sleep Under My Bed? 9 Vet-Approved Reasons

Ginger kitten sleeping under the bed

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

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

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If your cat seems to gravitate to sleeping under your bed from time to time, you might wonder what the attraction is. There are so many more comfortable places where your cat could take an afternoon nap — like the expensive cat bed that you just picked up!

There are several reasons that cats sometimes prefer sleeping under rather than on your bed, so we’ll discuss the whys here, along with the best ways to deal with it.

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The 9 Like Reasons Why Your Cat Sleeps Under Your Bed

1. Anxiety

When stressed out, cats tend to find small, dark spaces to hide. They also like to get up as high as possible, but when they are particularly scared, they’ll aim for closets and under furniture.

This is particularly true if something has upset their usual routine. Changes in the household or anything perceived as a threat can result in a cat hiding from trouble.

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2. Guests

If your cat is shy of new people, they might be hiding out until they leave. Guests arrive with all kinds of new smells (potentially including other animals) and noises, which could drive your cat to hang out under your bed.


3. Naps

Most cats will sleep an average of 15 to 16 hours daily, and some can even sleep up to 20 hours a day! So, they want a nice spot to nap in. One of these spots could be under your bed — it’s cozy and dark, and it guarantees that they will be left alone.

cat sleeping on a pillow
Image Credit By: Darkmoon_Art, Pixabay

4. Temperature

Being under the bed could just be more of a comfortable spot. It might be one of the cooler locations in the summer, particularly during a heat wave, and it can also be one of the warmer areas during the cold winter months.


5. Injury or Health Problem

When an animal is sick or in pain, they try to hide that there’s a problem for as long as possible. So, when your cat is showing signs of discomfort or illness, things have progressed to the point that it is probably quite serious.

The other thing that animals do under these circumstances is hide, as they instinctively look to protect themselves. While cats are mainly predators, they are also prey, so they don’t want to broadcast that they are vulnerable. Under the bed will feel like a safe place for them to recuperate.

sick cat with IV
Image Credit By: Vladimir Gudvin, Shutterstock

6. Household Changes

Cats might hide under the bed because things are changing in the home. Maybe you’re moving or going on a trip, and there’s packing being done. Perhaps a new roommate or family member has moved in. Even something as simple as changing the layout of a room can send some cats into hiding.

Cats like things to stay the same and don’t appreciate changes to their routine. Something new being added, like furniture, brings in new and unfamiliar scents, which can drive cats to hide in a familiar place. If they go under the bed frequently, it probably smells like your cat under your bed, which can add an extra level of comfort.


7. Pregnancy

If your cat is pregnant, she might be hiding under your bed while she is going through a nesting phase. This typically occurs about a day or two before she goes into labor.

A pregnant cat will look for a safe and peaceful area where she can have her kittens. This could be in a closet, behind your couch, or under your bed.

a pregnant Donskoy Sphinx cat is sleeping
Image Credit By: Azovsky, Shutterstock

8. Safe Haven

Sudden loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks can drive your cat into hiding under your bed. If you have young children, cats might avoid these noisy little beings by being out of sight under the bed.


9. New Pet

The addition of a new pet could also cause your cat to hide. Whether it’s a dog that is too rambunctious or another cat, your current cat might be seeking sanctuary.

a cat hiding under the bed
Image By: zossia, Shutterstock

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Helping Your Cat

How you can help your cat depends on the reasons that they are hiding in the first place.

As a general rule, some cats might spend most of their day sleeping under your bed, which is quite normal. You should only be worried if your cat is normally social and friendly but suddenly starts to hide. This is when it might be stress or a medical problem.

Making Introductions

One of the most common driving forces behind a cat hiding is someone new in the household. You can try a few things to make the situation easier for your cat, particularly if the visitor is staying for the long term.

For someone who is just visiting briefly, you can have them sit on the floor near the bed. They can use treats or toys to entice your cat out, but all of this needs to be done on your cat’s terms. Don’t pull your cat out and force the encounter.

When someone is staying for a while or permanently, ask them for an article of clothing that they have just worn or give them a towel or blanket with which they can rub themselves. Leave it on the floor overnight so your cat can familiarize themselves with the new scent. Time and patience are essential with a cat that is in hiding.

Ginger tabby cat hiding under the bed
Image Credit: Konstantin Aksenov, Shutterstock

Making a Safe Space

Another common reason that cats go into hiding is during a move or a significant change, such as renovations. You’ll need to pack and unpack as quickly as possible to give your cat time to adjust to the new environment.

Set up a place for your cat that will feel familiar. Place them in a quiet room that’s out of the way of the activity. You can also try setting a cardboard box upside down with a hole cut in one of the sides. Your cat can come and go as they please and will feel safer in the box on their terms.

Take Your Cat to the Vet

If your cat hiding under the bed isn’t normal behavior, you might need to take them to see the vet. Check to see how much your cat is eating and drinking and how often they use the litter box. Changes in these areas can also indicate a medical problem.

Look for any other outward signs of illness, such as diarrhea or excess discharge from their nose or eyes, or any sign of an injury. Any symptoms of a medical issue or even behavioral changes should be discussed with your vet.

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Conclusion

If your cat seems to enjoy napping under your bed and is not in distress, there’s nothing wrong with letting them sleep there. Remember not to force them out or scold them, as that could just reinforce the behavior.

Set up cat-friendly areas in the house that will enable them to escape from anything that might be stressful in the home, such as cat trees, shelves, or anything that enables them to get up high and away. Give your cat time, be patient, and let them come to you when they’re ready.


Featured Image Credit: super-mapio, Pixabay

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