Where Should Your Cat Sleep?

If you are thinking of adopting a cat, you're in the right place. We'll tell you about the ideal places to place cat beds and the characteristics of an attractive bed.
Where Should Your Cat Sleep?

Last update: 13 September, 2021

Cats are very different animals from dogs, so a bed at ground level won’t be very attractive to them. Although for many people this preference sounds like a bit of a whim, it’ll be very difficult to teach the cat to use its bed if you place it on the floor – no matter how comfortable, big or puffy it is! So, where should your cat sleep?

It’s important to understand that cats should have a bed that meets their needs, and, in this article, we’ll tell you where your cat should sleep. In addition, we’ll share with you some tips to choose an ideal bed for them, and, even more importantly, the favorite places for cats to rest.

Where should a cat sleep?

As an article from the San Francisco SPCA shelter explains, cats are twilight animals, that is, they become more active at dawn and dusk. It’s during these times that they can hunt more easily due to the characteristics of their vision. Although domestic kitties have no need to do so, their instincts will prevail.

If you have already adopted a cat, you’ll know what we’re talking about. In the same way, you may have noticed that the rest of the time cats usually sleep, and even more so if they’re kittens. In this case, “naps” can last up to 20 hours! Now, after understanding why cats sleep most of the day, it’s important to know where they should sleep if they’re kittens.

The answer is simple: it’ll depend on the owner. If the cat is very small, it’s normal for it to be allowed to sleep on a “human bed”, especially to provide safety after being separated from its mother and siblings. If the animal is vaccinated, dewormed, and has already passed its medical examination, it won’t pose any risk to humans.

If, or when, the owner decides that the cat isn’t going to sleep in their bed or bedroom, then it’s best to define their area before the kitten comes home. Thus, from the first night, the cat will begin to get used to its new conditions. The room should be ready for a bed, a litter tray, and feed and water.

If the new member of the family is very restless and meows at dawn, it’s the owner’s decision whether to let it into the room to sleep next to them.

A cat lying sleeping.

Where should an adult cat sleep?

Most of the time, the adult cat will sleep in the bed and the place that its owner has designated for it right from the start. Although many people think that it’s too difficult to train cats, the truth is that it’s more than possible. In fact, these felines are animals of routine, and over time you’ll notice that they tend to perform similar activities every day and at the same time.

However, taking into account that cats are also somewhat willful, humans can’t expect their pet to always sleep in the same place. Therefore, it’s good to have several beds or spaces for them to rest. The best place will be the one chosen by the cat itself, even if there isn’t a comfortable bed there.

You’ll notice that, apart from looking for comfort, the cat will want to be at ease and feel safe and calm. Even so, depending on the season it will change its place to sleep. For example, in summer it’ll look for cooler places, while in winter it’ll want warmer areas.

Choosing the right bed for cats depends more on the behavior of the feline than on aesthetics.

Tips for choosing a cat’s bed

Now that you know what cats’ favorite places to sleep are, it’s time to think about the bed. Although space is more important for cats, it doesn’t hurt to offer them a pleasant bed. The following parameters will be very useful to find that ideal bed:

  • Size: This is a key aspect, as the cat must fit in it no matter how old it is.
  • Material: This is important because it can make the cat feel either warm or cool. Considering the different seasons, it’s a good idea to have beds made of different materials.
  • Easy to clean: The bed should be washable, to enable you to clean it thoroughly whenever necessary and without damaging it.

In addition to all of this, make sure the bed is at a comfortable height for your cat. Conditioning the temperature of the house is also important so that your feline friend feels comfortable and wants to take refuge in the bed that you have bought for it.

Places for your cat’s bed

Yes, the cat’s bed should be high up, but where exactly? The first clue will be given by the pet, as it’ll look for places where it feels comfortable. Beyond its preferences, it’s usually recommended to provide for it in the following way:

  • Rest area: This area must be far away from where their litter tray is located. If you have the space, install different types of beds or hammocks that are at least 12 inches high from the ground. Make sure that the sun enters through the windows directly in that area.
  • Play area: This is a place where the cat will have scratching posts and tunnels at its disposal. There you can put a bed on top or ensure that the setup you use has “nests”. This will make it easier for the cat to rest after playing.

Cats are very clean animals and they won’t feel comfortable eating in the same place where they go to the toilet. In fact, experts don’t recommend that you even put the food near the water, as in the wild the cat must move to hunt or drink water (both resources aren’t usually in the same place).

The only time this recommendation can be ignored is when the cat is just a kitten. This will make it easier for it to learn to use its litter tray and feed continuously. Of course, once the feline learns basic behavior, you should distribute the areas appropriately.

Your cat's bed is not as important as its resting place.

So where should your cat sleep?

By way of a conclusion, there’s no single ideal bed for a cat, nor an ideal area for them to sleep. Everything will depend on the limits you establish at the beginning of the relationship and the cat’s own wishes.

For your part, as a good guardian, you should try to offer them several bed options, located in the areas that you know it likes, and where you’re willing to let it sleep without any restrictions.

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  • Gatos: comportamiento nocturno. San Francisco SPCA.