Where do cats like to sleep? How to create their new favourite sleeping place.
While most cats don’t seem to have a problem with snoozing, often fitting in an impressive 16 hours a day, some still need a little help finding the purrfect conditions for nodding off. To make sure your moggy is getting plenty of sleep, here are some tips for making your home a cat-friendly snoozing paradise.
1. Provide plenty of options
Cats like to regularly switch between different sleeping locations to protect themselves from fleas and other parasites, so it’s best to provide them with a few different beds situated around the house. If you have more than one cat, makes sure each moggy has a few different beds they can call their own. Cats are solitary and so typically they don’t like to share, unless they are a bonded pair.
2. Give them some height
Cats feel safest when they are somewhere up high as this keeps them away from any potential dangers at ground level and means they have a good vantage point to see their surroundings. Having elevated sleeping areas, such as beds on shelves, the tops of wardrobes or the backs of sofas is a good idea, but make sure they are still easily accessible, especially if your cat is old or ill.
3. Keep it cosy
Make sure your cat’s beds are away from any draughty areas but also not too close to any heat sources – the temperature should be not too cold or too warm but just right. Soft, fleecy beds provide the most comfort and if they have tall sides that your cat can hide behind, such as a carboard box, that’s even better.
4. Do not disturb
Position your cat’s sleeping spots away from any noisy appliances (such as washing machines) and busy areas of the home (such as the hallway). A quiet corner of a bedroom or living room is ideal, and once your cat is snoozing, make sure you leave them alone to avoid startling them awake.
5. Keep their scent
When washing your cat’s bedding, avoid washing all of their beds at the same time. Cats rely heavily on smell to understand the world around them so leave at least one bed with a reassuring scent behind to help them feel safe. Then, when they’ve moved on to sleep in a clean bed, you can wash the dirty one.
6. Space it out
Cats like to sleep away from where they eat, drink and toilet, so make sure there is plenty of space between their food bowl, water bowl, litter tray and beds. You can however place their scratch post close to their favourite bed, as they often like to have a stretch and scratch just after they’ve woken up.
Do cats dream?
If you’ve ever watched your cat sleeping and seen their whiskers, ears or tail start to twitch, you may have wondered if this is a sign that they’re dreaming. While we can’t be sure if our moggies do dream, research into other animals shows that it is quite likely.
While studying the brain activity of rats, researchers at The Centre for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that the exact same pattern of neurons fired in the memory area of the rats’ brains while they were asleep as had fired while they were running around a maze searching for food when they were awake. This led them to conclude that the rats were reliving the maze experiment in their dreams.
So if rats dream about their previous experiences, then maybe our feline friends do too. More research would be needed for us to know for sure though.
Find out more about cats’ sleeping habits.