Why do cats like to sleep in different places?

To be more precise the question should refer to domestic cats and how they pick a favourite spot in the home for a while and then choose a different one for no apparent reason because, on the face of it, it’s no better or worse. The tendency to do this varies between cats and circumstance. I’d bet that somebody will say that their cat has a favourite spot and hardly ever moves from it.

Domestic cats tend to move around and change their sleeping places
Domestic cats tend to move around and change their sleeping places
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As an underlying reason which applies in all answers and which comes to mind is the inherited survival instinct. They are thinking as if they were wild cats.

Maggie Roberts, 56, a divorced veterinarian from Linfield, West Sussex, England said that she has always lived with cats. She has a nice theory why cats like to sleep in different places: parasites.

She believes that by sleeping in different places they avoid a build-up of parasites in their resting place. This helps to keep them healthy.

Other behaviours which might help survival by moving resting and sleeping places are:

  • To adapt to changing circumstances. If it is cold they’ll find a warmer spot. If it is hot they’ll try somewhere cooler. There will be other reasons such as taking up a higher position if threatened or a hiding place if bullied.
  • There may be a natural instinct to move to change patterns of behaviour to avoid predators. This may be linked to the scent deposited at sleeping places which may attract predators.
  • Another reason might be because cats like change just like people. Domestic cats like variety in their diet. The same goes for sleeping places. Boredom might be a factor which, in part, drives this. Domestic cats don’t have to hunt for food and domestic cats live to hunt not hunt to live. It is what they are created to do. Remove the need for it and boredom can be an issue. Changing places to sleep helps with the boredom.

The bottom line is that sleeping in different places is an inherited and instinctive behavioural trait.

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