Why Does My Cat Like Sleeping Under Blankets? (The Feline Comfort Mystery)

why does my cat like sleeping under blankets

I have found my cat sleeping in the weirdest places before. He has slept on my shoe, in my shoe rack, in my drawer and most recently, in my flower pot. Truth be told, for a cat, there isn’t a place too weird for a cat nap.

Another popular place that some cats love to sleep is under the blanket, duvet or bed covers. But why do some cats sleep under the covers?

Cats like to sleep under the covers or blankets because of the way it makes them feel. It is a good location for them to get warm and comfy. Some cats tend to hide under the covers when they are feeling stressed. It is safe for adult cats to sleep under the covers as long as they can find their way out.

There are in fact many reasons why your cat sleeps under the covers so peacefully. Let’s take a look at all of them.

Feels Like Summer

The one big reason that most cats like to seek refuge under blankets or covers is for additional warmth.

Your cat’s natural body temperature is higher than yours. It averages around 100-102.5 F. A human’s body temperature is 97-99 F.

This means that your cat needs more heat just to maintain its normal body temperature. And there is no better place to get warm and toasty than under the blanket.

Some cats will do this during the colder months of the year while others do it pretty much all year round.

Don’t be surprised to find your cat nuzzling its head in your hand for that extra warmth.

Your Cat Is A Snuggle Bug

cat snuggle with owner

If you have never cuddled up with a cat before, you are missing out on one of the greatest pleasures in life.

Having a warm, soft and furry little furball all curled up next to you under the sheets is cathartic.

And the constant purring from your cat is like a soothing lullaby that can put you to sleep.

Your cat likes going under the cover when it is your bedtime so that it can spend time with you. There are cats that even like to nuzzle into their owner’s armpit to sleep.

Furthermore, the whole bed smells of you which even makes it more enticing for your cat.

Plus you make a good human heater when it starts to get colder at night.

It Feels Safer Down Below

cat hiding under blanket

Some cats prefer to sleep under the blanket because it makes them feel safe. There are cats that are as tough as nails and there are some like my cat who is pretty much a ‘scaredy cat’.

If you have a cat that tends to get scared easily, things like loud noises, new odors from a new family member or other cats can make it anxious.

The best place for your cat to seek shelter would be under the blanket where there’s your smell and your cat’s all in one place.

Although cats tend to be more sensitive than dogs, your cat’s anxiety could be triggered by post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

This happens when the cat has experienced something traumatic in the past like an accident or getting abused.

They can get triggered when hearing, smelling or seeing something that reminds them of that particularly painful experience.

Many cats with PTSD are usually more highly strung than cats with just normal anxiety. This often leads to other behavioral problems in the long run.

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from PTSD, you should seek veterinary advice to try and normalize your cat with behavioral therapy.

The Cat Just Likes It

There is a very popular personality test for humans called ‘Myers & Briggs’. It subdivides a human’s personality into 16 different types along the ‘extrovert to introvert’ spectrum.

Thankfully for cats, it doesn’t have to get too complicated.

Jackson Galaxy who is a well-known feline behaviorist, believes that are three main cat personalities.

Bush Dwellers

Bush dwelling cats are those that tend to be more timid in nature. They like to hide in places to remain unseen and for shelter.

Their favorite hiding places are boxes, under the furniture or under the blanket.

Tree Dwellers

Cats who are tree dwellers are quite the opposite of the bush dweller. They are more confident in nature and prefer to have a vantage view of what’s happening around them.

These cats prefer to rest on top of bookshelves, a cat tree or a kitchen cabinet.

Beach Dwellers

Last but not least, we have beach dwellers. These cats are the feline version of an outdoorsman.

They love being in nature and have no qualms about getting wet in a river or going for hikes.

When your cat burrows under the blanket, that’s just your cat bring a bush dweller. He enjoys the safety and security of being under a shelter.

Leave Me Alone

cat sleep under cover

Your cat isn’t the only cat out there that has unpredictable mood swings.

For all cat owners out there, you know how emotionally sensitive our cats can be at times.

They can be doing roomies all around the house in the morning and turn into anti-social grouches shortly after.

Your cat might be sleeping under the blanket to try and get some alone time.

I see this happening to my cat when he has not gotten enough sleep, had a visit to the vet or spent a large amount of energy trying to escape from being showered.

He will go find somewhere obscure to spend the next few hours in.

Your Cat Might Be Unwell

You might think that your cat has been sleeping under the covers to get more alone time. But there’s also a possibility that your cat could be sick or feeling unwell.

Here are some other symptoms of a sick cat:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hiding the whole day
  • Fever

The biggest giveaway for me when my cat is sick is always the lack of appetite. Your pet’s appetite is a reliable barometer of its well-being.

If your cat has been hiding under the covers and has some of the above symptoms, please bring it to the vet right away.

You Got A Curious Cat

Cats are curious animals and enjoy investigating new things. If you have just adopted a new cat, it could be curious to know what is that thing that you have been hiding under.

It’s Playtime

Being under the cover or blanket doesn’t usually mean that it is time for bed. It can be quite the opposite for some cats who see hiding under the blanket as playtime.

Try poking and prodding at the blanket that your cat is hiding under and it will frustrate it to no end trying to catch your finger.

Will My Cat Suffocate Under The Covers?

Most cats are smart and agile enough to escape from under the blanket when it gets too stuffy or warm.

There is usually enough air for them as our cats breathe less heavily compared to us given their smaller lung capacity.

Just make sure to not tuck the blanket or covers too tightly which can prevent your cat from getting out when needed.

Put A Box Under The Blanket

If you are really afraid that your cat isn’t able to get enough air when it’s under the cover, place a small box on your bed and cover it with the blanket.

In this way, there will be a bigger air pocket for breathability.

Why Do Cats Not Like Being Under Blankets?

Some cats just don’t like being under the blanket as they find it too restrictive.

If your cat is a tree or beach dweller, it will want to have a view of what’s going on. Being stuck under the blanket isn’t going to help.

If your cat is like mine who loves the cold, it will find being under the blanket too warm.

Even when I try to cover half my cat’s body with my blanket, he will just push it off with his paws.

What You Should Not Do?

There are a couple of things that you should not do if you have a cat that loves going under the cover.

Do Not Jump On The Bed

Jumping or throwing your entire body weight on the bed without first checking if your cat is underneath the sheets is a bad mistake.

It can lead to some serious injury if you land square on your poor sleeping cat.

Don’t Put Kitten On Your Bed

It would be best to not let kittens sleep on your bed or under the cover. It is very easy for you to roll over and suffocate them during the night without even realizing it.

Some kittens are just too small and weak to push themselves out from under the blanket if they can’t breathe.

A better alternative would be to put your kitten on a cat bed and place it on our bed. This will keep the kitten safe throughout the night.

Don’t Use A Weighted Blanket

There has been a lot of talk about the benefits of using a weighted blanket for a better night’s sleep.

A weighted blanket can weigh between 5-30 lbs which is very heavy even for an adult cat to crawl out from.

Should You Let Your Cat Sleep Under The Covers?

There are many cats that can sleep under the covers without putting their own lives in danger. Just make sure that your cat always has a way to get out from under if need be.

Your cat’s safety comes first.

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