If you’re wondering, why does my cat sleep in the bathtub when they have a perfectly nice, warm bed? You’re not alone.
This is something that’s had cat owners scratching their heads over for years. It’s an interesting question because cats hate water and taking baths, but they love sleeping in empty baths.
If we take a dive into the psychology behind this behavior, there are actually a few rational reasons that can explain our furry friends’ fascination with the tub.
Take a read through the following explanations and let me know what you think:
5 Reasons Why Cats Love Sleeping in the Bathtub
Cats Love Bathrooms
You don’t have to look far to see loads of evidence proving that cats love bathrooms. If your cat isn’t fascinated by your bathroom, consider yourself lucky. I know most of my cats always have been, although they grow out of it as they age.
It’s mostly to do with the fact that bathrooms are different from other rooms in the house. The door is often closed, which piques the interest of curious cats. Then once inside, there’s more to explore than a rug and some furniture and I’ll explain in more detail in this post.
So, this accounts for one reason why you’ll find your cat sleeping in your bathtub. They entered the bathroom to explore and may have decided to take a nap.
They’re After Running Water
Something else most cat owners are well aware of is that cats love running water. It’s a behavior that’s innate to cats, most just can’t help but be attracted to the sound of running water. (Even toilet water, yuk!)
In the wild, running water would be the safest source of water. So, the sound and sight of running water stimulates their senses and drinking instincts. If your cat has ever seen so much as a drip coming out of the faucet on your bath, you can be sure they’ll be revisiting it.
They might be able to sense or smell that water has been running from the tap too. Either way, being in the bath in the hope of catching some running water is going to be enough for some cats to camp out there.
They Love the Smooth Feel of the Bathtub
Believe it or not, there’s often a reason behind where a cat chooses to sleep. I know, if you see them on your clean clothes or stretching out a box, it’s easy to assume they are just trying to annoy you.
But there’s more to it than that. Although, that’s not to say that your cat isn’t trying to annoy you….:)
When cats are feeling warm they will often sleep on floor tiles or near a breeze to lower their temperature a little. Bathtubs also provide a cool surface to sleep on, which might be the reason why your kitty is sleeping in there.
Some cats like the feel of the smooth surface in a tub too. I’ve seen a few videos of cats spinning around chasing their tails and sliding around. It looks like a lot of fun, actually.
It Makes for a Nice Quiet Space
How many times have you wondered where your cat is, only to find them sleeping somewhere out of the way where they won’t get bothered?
Sometimes, cats just want somewhere quiet to chill out and sleep where they won’t be bothered. Who can blame them? I think we all feel like that sometimes!
In my house, the spots where my cats have retreated to for some quiet alone time includes the washing basket, the sink, under a table, and in the tub. And, unless you have a bath or a shower scheduled, it’s a pretty good place to be left alone.
It Feels like a Secure Place to Sleep
The feeling of security is important to cats when they’re finding somewhere to sleep. This is why they’ll often find somewhere up high or a spot with good visibility around them.
The bathtub does a good job of meeting these needs. It’s a deep (to a cat), safe place to hide. They can’t see much over the sides, so it’s likely they feel very isolated and assume any other four-legged animals in the home won’t see them either.
Should You Be Concerned?
The first time you find your cat sleeping in your tub it will come as a surprise. But as I explained earlier, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Cats love bathrooms and sleeping in sinks, baths, and other odd places around the home.
If they are displaying a thirst for water from the faucet, however, they might be dehydrated. It’s worth checking how much they’ve been drinking from their bowl. I wrote a post about ways you can encourage your cat to drink from their bowl here if you need some help.
It may also be a sign that they need somewhere cool and quiet to sleep. If you don’t want them sleeping in your tub, try setting up some other locations in your home where they can get some peaceful shuteye.
How Do I Keep My Cat out of the Bathtub?
Cat’s can be persistent creatures. If you don’t want them sleeping in your tub, which I can fully understand, the first thing you need to do is restrict their access.
This means keeping the door closed when the bathroom is not being used. If they do manage to sneak in and you catch them, remove them and place them in a room far away from the bathroom.
It takes a little patience and you need to meet a cat head-on with the same persistence to change their habits. But it can be done.
If they keep returning to the tub and it’s annoying you evicting them so often, try putting something in the bath they won’t enjoy sharing it with. I’m not suggesting anything scary, maybe half a lemon as they hate citrus smells.
Or, fill the bottom with a little water. That’ll give them a shock and make them think twice in future about jumping in for a snooze.