Why Do Cats Sleep in Unusual Places?

kitten in the sink

Cats have a knack for snoozing in the most unexpected places. Sinks, closets, under pillows – you name it. But why? What drives our feline friends to these odd napping hideaways?

In this blog post, I will uncover the secrets behind your cat’s quirky nap preferences. From their love of hidden nooks to their preference for a single entrance, we’ll explore why cats opt for these peculiar sleeping spots. I’ll even share snapshots of my own cats caught in the act!

Curious about why your cat snuggles up in the oddest places for a nap? Let’s uncover the reasons behind this behavior together. Plus, don’t forget to catch the charming YouTube video starring Simon’s Cat – a purrfect ending to our feline exploration!

Cats Sleep in Unusual Places

Cats can choose to sleep in a lot of interesting places around the house. Cats can sleep anywhere they want. Usually, cats prefer a safe spot and the most comfortable place they can find. This spot often matches with the same hot spots that people enjoy.

Cats like it to feel that they are hiding away. Some cats sleep on or in washing machines, in cupboards, a sink, baskets, or on top of the computer. It does not look comfortable or safe, but it provides a great vantage point for your cat.

Sometimes, cats like to feel hidden. In this case, they will choose a place with only one entrance. Sometimes, cats want to feel hidden. In this case, they will choose a place with only one entrance. Many places cats prefer to sleep are designing to replicate cats’ environments in the wild. For example, this can be a box replacing a cave or a bookshelf that takes over a tree. These locations naturally bring safety to your cat when it’s most vulnerable.

Cats Are Master Nappers

Cats are known for their playful and unique behavior. People often find it fascinating to understand why cats act the way they do. Cats sleep more than humans do. They are most active during dawn and dusk, crucial hunting moments for their wild ancestors.

Between those times, they dedicate their hours to play and rest, especially indoor cats who don’t rely on hunting for food. When selecting their nap spots, cats subconsciously think about their surroundings as if they were still living in the wild.

Cats are masters of napping and even enjoy sleeping in spots that might not seem comfortable to us. Observing where your cat rests can give you insights into their instincts.

Imagine being in the wild, needing to stay alert to potential dangers – that’s the world in which your cat’s habits are rooted. Understanding these instincts can reshape how you perceive their behaviors. It’s like a genetic blueprint guiding their actions.

Due to their natural inclination to nap often, cats prefer where they rest. Your cat might choose a spot up high, like on a cupboard, because in the wild, an elevated perch would help them stay vigilant even when asleep.

Nature has taught them that picking a place where they can easily spot danger or escape quickly is a wise choice. This is why they might select spots with more than one way out.

Considering these insights, you’ll see that your cat’s behavior isn’t random – it’s deeply woven into their history and instincts.

cat is sleeping in a basket

Finding a Safe Hideaway

Cats have a preference for feeling hidden from time to time. When they choose a hiding spot, they often go for places with just one way in and out. It makes it easier for them to focus in one direction, keeping an eye out for anything unusual.

Cats don’t need to be constantly alert in spots where they feel enclosed. That is why they tend to cozy up in baskets or boxes. Being surrounded on three sides provides a sense of security, allowing them to relax. It’s like having a protective shield around them; they can sleep without worrying about anything except that one open side.

Sometimes, you might find your cat napping off in a strange place. This might not be convenient for humans, but your cat could select that spot based on instinct. Humans can’t fully grasp their reasoning since we aren’t cats. Remember, your cat’s choice of nap spot could be guided by a natural sense that’s hard for us to fathom.

Staying Cozy and Cool

Cats are talented at seeking out snug spots, like closets, sinks, or even perching on toilet seats. One reason they do this is to manage their body temperature. On chilly days, you might catch your cat finding a warm nook to curl up and sleep in.

It’s not uncommon to spot them burrowed under blankets, on high shelves, or in cupboards near heaters. Beds and blankets are particularly inviting, especially when they carry the comforting scent of their favorite people. Soft cushions and the familiar smell of their owners provide an extra nudge toward dreamland.

Boxes are a universal favorite among cats. Cardboard boxes, in particular, excel at retaining heat. The size and position of the box matter – it can create a cozy hideaway from chilly drafts, depending on how it’s placed. Smaller boxes offer that snug and warm feeling that cats adore, often prompting them to curl up in contentment.

In my household, my cats frequently take refuge in the bathroom sink. While it might seem puzzling, especially when they’re multiple, there’s a method to their madness. Sinks prove to be ideal spots to stay cool during scorching summer days. The porcelain surface of sinks helps keep them cool, creating a refreshing retreat.

Also, sinks usually provide a comfortable fit for cats, and their elevated position gives them a view of their surroundings. They can discreetly observe their domain, all while remaining relatively unnoticed by the bustling activity of the house.

Choosing Safe Spaces

Cats decide where they hang out based on their natural survival instincts. Each cat has its own unique personality and history that shapes their preferences for safe environments.

You might spot a cat nestled in a closet, under a bed, or even lounging on a couch. Cats also gravitate towards bookshelves, refrigerators, high-scratching posts, and cabinets. These spots are deliberately chosen because they’re away from other animals, babies, and household bustle. Cats find solace in these havens, feeling concealed yet able to observe their surroundings.

Confined spaces offer a sense of security for a few reasons. They provide a cozy nook where cats can feel untouchable, shielded by the solid sides of their chosen spot. It’s like wearing armor against potential threats. Typically, cats settle themselves within these spaces strategically.

Boxes are helpful for reducing stress in kittens and cats. They create a sense of safety, making them retreat to a box during tense times. A few years back, a study involving cats in the Netherlands highlighted the positive impact of boxes.

Cats that had access to boxes displayed lower stress levels. They acclimated to their environment more swiftly and showed greater curiosity toward interacting with people compared to cats without boxes to retreat to.

cat with paw on keyboard

Masters of Attention

Cats are good at getting noticed. They often position themselves in a way that makes people look at them. Cats that want attention are skilled at finding places that might annoy or bother their owners. You might see your cat lying on magazines or books, sitting right on the pages while you’re trying to read.

Alternatively, when you’re engrossed in your computer work, your cat might walk over and position themselves in front of the screen or even plop down on the keyboard. While it might not be the most comfortable spot for them, it’s the perfect attention-grabbing tactic.

But having a cat suddenly on your keyboard while typing can be a bit frustrating – it’s a clear call for your attention, resulting in a hello to distraction and a goodbye to coherent typing. I can vouch for this from personal experience.

Sometimes, unknowingly, we encourage this ”irritating” behavior by inadvertently giving our cats exactly what they’re after attention. We offer attention in various forms – petting, kissing, chatting, lifting, or placing them on the floor. It doesn’t take long for cats to realize that these actions get them what they want: attention from their cherished human.

Yet, amidst all the tricks, keeping safety in mind is crucial. Cats seeking warmth and security can sometimes end up in places that aren’t safe for them to nap. Tragic accidents can occur.

To safeguard your feline friends, make it a habit to inspect dryers before using them, check under adjustable or moving furniture, and ensure other areas that might pose risks are thoroughly checked.

Unusual Napping Spots: A Peek into Cats’ Curious Nap Choices

Let’s take a look at some of the surprising and quirky places that cats often choose for their naps:

Napping SpotReason Behind the Choice
SinkCoolness on warm days
BookshelfElevated lookout point
KeyboardSeeking your attention
Laundry basketComfortable enclosed space
Top of another catStrengthening social bonds
Dishwasher doorCozy warmth from residual heat
ShoeHidden and snug hiding spot
Under the duvetWarmth and snuggly comfort
High cupboardBetter view and a sense of security
Shower cabinSheltered and enclosed safety

    And, of course, there are a lot of unusual sleeping spots for cats. Each cat has its preference. Sometimes you think you know all the spots of your cat, and then it finds a new, unusual place.

    My Cats and Their Unusual Sleeping Places

    Sleeping on the table
    the cat is on top of the heating
    kitten in the sink
    cat is sleeping under the duvet

    Youtube Video Simons Cat

    This video, which is six minutes long, explains why cats nap in odd spots. The use of drawings makes it simple to grasp, and if you’re a cat owner, you’ll recognize familiar things. Sit back and enjoy the watch!


    In summary, cats have several reasons for sleeping in unexpected spots. They tend to go for cozy and secure places. At times, they like the idea of hiding away. Additionally, cats pick their hangout spots based on their instincts for safety and survival. They’re also experts at capturing attention, strategically positioning themselves for maximum effect.

    Maybe if your cat likes to sleep on a sofa, then I have found 20 sofas for cats that are perfect for your cat.

    I hope your cat has nice places where it can hide and feel safe. If you know someone that maybe wants to know why cats sleep in unusual places, feel free to share this post.

    By Marleen

    Marleen is a truly madly deeply cat lover and founder of That Is for My Cat. She wants to share her knowledge about cats with other people who like to know more about cats.