HomeCatsCat BehaviourWhy Does My Cat Sleep Under the Covers? 

Why Does My Cat Sleep Under the Covers? 

Cats are notorious for being able to fall asleep just about anywhere, at just about any time of day or night. The internet is full of images and videos of them sleeping in the oddest and tiniest possible places. 

One such place is of course under the covers on our very own bed. Why do cats like to sleep there? Isn’t it too hot and stifling? How do they breathe under the covers anyway? 

Why Does My Cat Sleep Under the Covers? 

Cats sleep under the covers because it’s cozy and warm there, and they feel safe. It’s usually also quite close to our feet, where it smells like their favorite human. Or, if we’re not there, they just like the alone time.

Cats prefer to sleep at the foot of the bed. This also happens to be the location they will gravitate towards under the covers. They of course may also snag the space between your outstretched legs. 

Sleeping under the covers is simply cozy and snug. And since our cats love their comfort, they will seek it out wherever they are able to find it. 

It’s Warm and Cozy There 

Let’s just admit that the bed is the best spot in the house. It’s warm and cozy, there are plenty of smells in there, and there are also different implements to snuggle up in. There are the covers, there’s the blanket, and there are usually a couple of pillows as well. 

Unless it’s a very hot day (but sometimes even then!), cats will simply love to burrow themselves under the covers and enjoy a nice long warm nap. 

They Want to Feel Safe 

Hiding under the covers is something humans do as children too. It feels safer there, when you are hidden from sight and feel protected under your own self-made tent. 

Cats adopt a similar attitude. When they want to feel safe and eliminate as many threats as possible, they will seek out the comfort of the covers, where they will be less noticeable, and where they can enjoy some uninterrupted zzzs. 

They Want to Be Near You 

Cats also admittedly love the company of their humans. Luckily, humans tend to be so kind as not to move, even when they desperately need to go to the bathroom, when a cat happens to lay on them. 

Snuggling up to you under the covers is simply your cat’s way of telling you they like you and that they want to be near you. They may be relying on your size and agility for protection as well, and prefer to leave fending any attackers off in your capable hands.

They Want to Be Alone 

Cats will want to be alone at times too. This is especially true in larger households with plenty of other pets or children that tend to be busy and loud. 

The dark, quiet space under the covers is thus perfect for hiding out and finding some peace. 

If your cat(s) tend to do this, make sure you check they aren’t hiding somewhere before you sit down. 

They Are Not Feeling Well 

Cats will also seek out solitary spaces when they are not feeling well. This does not have to mean they are seriously ill though. They may just have a bit of an upset stomach from a hairball, or they may have a cold. 

If your cat does not usually sleep under the covers, but has suddenly started to do so, you want to keep a closer eye on them. Monitor their appetite and their litter box, and see how they are behaving. If they seem off, a trip to the vet is indicated. 

If you know your cat is ill or recovering, make sure they have easy access to the bed and that they can climb under the covers on their own. One of our cats used to sit next to the blanket and wait for me to turn it into a tent every night after dinner, while Sasha, our current cat, spent practically two entire days under the duvet after she was neutered. 

They Want to Know What’s Under There 

As we all know, curiosity killed the cat, so it’s no real wonder they want to know what’s under the covers. If you are in bed too, they will likely climb in just to see what has changed since the last time they were under there. 

They also don’t really like to be left out, so they will join you just to feel like a part of the group. 

They Like the Dark 

Since cats have excellent night vision, they don’t mind spending some time in the dark. Also, since they like to sleep during the day, when the sun is out, they will purposefully seek out a dark space for better sleep. This may be a box or a cupboard, or their favorite spot under the covers.

They Want to Play 

Cats who want to play will also often burrow their way under the covers before falling asleep there. This can be particularly distracting when you are trying to make the bed. Some cats love to join you in this activity and roll around a bit before they curl up into a ball of catness and fall asleep.

Is It OK for My Cat to Sleep Under the Covers?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine for your cat to sleep under the covers. You can even go the extra mile and provide light covers and an easy access to them. 

The one thing you need to be careful of is not to sit on the cat, or to put something on them by accident. You also don’t want to scare them awake, as this is something they particularly hate. 


Since cats feel vulnerable while asleep, they will likely stop sleeping under the covers if you keep waking them up in a frightening manner, or if you keep squishing them. 

Give your cat some space when they have snuggled up under the covers, and try not to disturb them. 

Is It Normal For a Cat to Sleep Under the Covers?

Yes, it’s perfectly normal for a cat to sleep under the covers, so you don’t need to worry about them when they do this.

If you can’t sleep well when your cat climbs under the covers next to you, find a way to encourage them to sleep elsewhere, without traumatizing their relationship with the bed. 

Also, don’t worry about them getting too hot or not being able to breathe: they will climb out when they need some air, and likely just flop down next to the bed and continue their nap.

Can Cats Breathe Under Covers?

Yes, cats can breathe under the covers just fine, especially if they have climbed in themselves. You can lift the covers up a bit from time to time, just to let fresh air in, if your cat is not bothered by it.

Cats can sleep anywhere, and if they choose to climb under the covers, let them. They will get out when they need to, or will just make an air hole for themselves.

Your concern should be not waking them up by making a loud noise or a sudden movement, or accidentally sitting on them.

Why Do Cats Hide Under Covers?

Cats will hide under the covers when they feel stressed or afraid, and are looking for a safe place. This is not the same as sleeping under the covers.

When cats choose to sleep under the covers, they feel safe and snug. When they choose to hide there, they are stressed and anxious, or they feel there is a threat nearby. 

Try to identify what it is that has alarmed your cat. Maybe there was a loud bang, or maybe they were spooked by something else. If your cat is on the jittery side, don’t be alarmed if they run for cover from time to time. 

Also, don’t try to drag the cat out. Let them venture out into public when they feel ready to do so, and try to eliminate what you have identified as the cause for their concern. If you don’t see what it is, just stay calm and relaxed, and give your cat some space. While cats don’t hold grudges, they will appreciate it if you just let them do what they feel like doing. 

Wrapping It Up 

Cats have numerous interesting and outright funny habits. The more time you spend around them, the more you will learn to love and appreciate all of their quirks.  

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