Why Do Cats Sleep On The Floor? (Decoding Feline Behavior)

I can find my cat sleeping in the most ridiculous of places at times. There were a couple of times when I found him sleeping on my shoe rack, behind my television and inside my sliding kitchen cabinet.

And when he’s discovered, he looks irritated that I just woke him up from the most amazing dream.

There is one place that he really loves to sleep on and that is the floor.

But why do cats sleep on the floor?

Some cats might find sleeping on the floor more comfortable than other surfaces in the house. The floor also feels cooler to cats which they enjoy on a warm day. Some cats enjoy sleeping out in the open on the floor while some might go to a more private area.

Let’s check out the reasons in detail and conclude if such a sleeping behavior poses a problem.

Why Does My Cat Sleep On The Floor Instead Of Its Bed?

Cats are known to be rather unpredictable with their actions and cat owners can find it hard to put a finger on the things they do at times.

Here are some possible reasons that can explain your cat sleeping on the floor.

Your Cat Is Feeling Warm

Most cats will seek out a cooler sleeping area to rest when they are feeling warm.

Your cat lying on the cool floor could indicate that the temperature at home is too high and it is trying to cool off.

The last thing your cat wants to do is to lay down in a warm and woolly cat bed.

This can happen rather frequently during the summer months or if you live in a country that is warm all year round.

Cats tend to regulate their body heat by sweating through their paw pads and via their ears by controlling the amount of blood flow.

I can notice a change in my cat’s behavior when the weather is getting too hot. He will drink more water, pee less and be less willing to play.

Most of the time, he will just be lying spread-eagle under the fan on the floor. You might also find your cat sleeping in the bathtub, bathroom floor or sink where it’s also cooler.

If you notice such changes in your cat and you are sweating buckets at home too, there’s a good chance you need to on the a/c or ventilate the house better.

Your Cat Doesn’t Like Its Cat Bed

You could have just spent weeks researching the best cat bed to buy for your cat and it prefers sleeping on the floor most of the time.

If you have recently changed your cat’s bed or your cat has never slept in one before, there’s a strong possibility that your cat is in disagreement with the choice you made.

I’ve lost count of the number of things I’ve bought and thought that my cat would love only to have them collect dust.

If your cat has never slept in a cat bed before, it might feel intimidated by the new one. Or if you are getting a replacement, it still prefers the old cat bed.

You will need to give your cat some time to get used to it.

Cats do not like change and are creatures of habit.

You can help your cat get used to its new bed by placing it next to its old one or by placing some catnip in it.

Rubbing a towel on your cat and using it as a bedsheet in the new cat bed can also help your cat adapt to it faster.

Rotating Sleeping Places

Cats in the wild will make it a point to change their sleeping spots regularly. This is to prevent any predators from locking in on their scent left at the sleeping place.

Even stray or feral mother cats will relocate their kittens to a new nest if she senses danger.

It is quite common for them to hide their kittens under a car or engine compartment while they look for a more suitable spot.

Even though our indoor cats are domesticated and aren’t in any danger, they still do what comes instinctively to them.

Your cat could be using the floor as its new sleeping spot for its own protection.

Your Cat Doesn’t Like Sleeping With You

If your cat has started sleeping on the floor under your bed instead of on your bed, it could be due to your sleeping patterns.

Cats sleep a good part of the day due to their natural body clock.

They are usually more awake in the early morning and evenings when it is time to hunt or wake you up for food.

Even when cats sleep with their owners in bed, they are not in deep sleep.

If you are someone that moves a lot, snores or talks a lot while sleeping, it can be very disruptive for your cat as they are light sleepers.

Your cat has finally decided that enough is enough and would prefer sleeping on the floor now.

Your Cat Is Getting Older

Older cats can start to experience tightness and pain in their joints. This can be due to joint inflammation from arthritis.

If your cat’s usual sleeping area has always been on the shelf or somewhere where it needs to jump up or down to get to, it might be too inconvenient for your cat to do so now due to its age.

Your Cat Prefers Sleeping On Hard Surfaces

Sleeping on the floor could just be a personal preference of the cat. I myself dislike sleeping on soft mattresses and prefer one with little give.

Your cat probably feels the same when it comes to choosing its sleeping spots. It just likes surfaces that are cool and hard like the floor.

Maybe it just feels more comfortable for your cat than sleeping on a cat bed or mattress that feels like gooey dough.

The floor might seem like an uncomfortable sleeping spot for pet owners but not to your cat.

Some cats prefer sleeping on the bathroom floor because it feels cold and hard.

Your Cat Feels Safer On The Floor

More often than not, it is usually a case of ‘once bitten, twice shy’ for many cats.

If your cat has had a bad experience in its usual sleeping spot, it will feel safer sleeping on the floor.

This could happen when a cat owner has multiple cats and they fought over a cat bed. Or the more submissive cat got bullied into giving up the bed.

This cat won’t be too keen to return to its bed anytime soon for fear of getting attacked again. It will start sleeping in a safer place from now on such as outside your bedroom door or bathroom.

Your Cat isn’t Feeling Too Well

Every time when my cat isn’t feeling well, there is something that I will always notice. My cat will change up its sleeping spot during that period.

It will be an abrupt change of sleeping spot that I’ve never noticed before.

With that being said, it is not a cause for concern when cats lay on the floor.

Cat owners should also look out for other symptoms like:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Stomach upset
  • Lack of energy
  • Drinking more water than usual

These are common telltale signs from your cat if it isn’t feeling well. Please bring your cat to the vet ASAP for a proper checkup to find out what is wrong with your cat.

Should I Stop My Cat From Sleeping On The Floor?

There shouldn’t be any real cause of concern if your cat likes to sleep on the floor. What is more important is that your cat is comfortable sleeping on such a surface and is in good health.

By trying to remove your cat from its newfound favorite sleeping area, you are just going to make your cat upset and risk getting a warning scratch or bite.

It could be just your cat’s preference to sleep on hard surfaces. If it is not on the floor, then it will be on the kitten counter or table.

My cats love sleeping on my dining and coffee table more than the $100 cat bed that I bought for him.

How To Stop Your Cat From Sleeping On The Floor?

The only time when I had to make sure that my cat wasn’t sleeping on the floor was when my cat was sleeping in floor areas with high human traffic.

This isn’t an issue in the daytime but when it is dark late at night, it is easy to trip or accidentally step on my cat on the way to the toilet or kitchen.

Here are some methods that worked for me.

Use A Night Light

Night lights are great for illuminating the floor area at night as they only light up when it detects motion.

I will place a few along the way to the toilet or kitchen so that I can see where I’m going and won’t get into an accident with my cat.

Spray Vinegar On The Floor

vinegar spray for cats

Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell and vinegar is a great deterrent for them. Just mix some vinegar in your kitchen with water in a spray bottle.

Before going to bed at night, make sure to spray the floor areas that you don’t want your cat to lie on.

Just don’t spray in on areas where you can smell it strongly.

You don’t have to worry about the smell sticking on the floor as it dissipates once it dries up. And vinegar is also a great disinfectant for cleaning surfaces.

Use Catnip

If your cat has a strong weakness for catnip, you can use this to your advantage. Sprinkle some catnip on the floor areas where you prefer your cat to be.

Your cat will tend to gravitate to the catnip and abandon his usual sleeping area on the floor.


Sleeping on the floor is actually a very common thing for most cats and not something that cats owners need to be concerned about.

As long as it is not due to an underlying medical condition or poses any danger of an accident happening, feel free to join your cat for a short nap on the floor as well.

For all you know, you might like it better than your own bed.

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