Why Does My Cat Sleep Under the Bed? (4 Reasons and Solutions)

By Phil / June 8, 2019
Why Does My Cat Sleep Under the Bed

I had my fair share of cats sleeping under my bed over the years. Sometimes it was sporadic, sometimes it felt like they were just mixing up where they slept. But other times it was very obvious there was a reason behind this behavior.

Beds provide the perfect place for cats to hide, feel secure, and isolate themselves from the activity in the rest of the home.

If you’re trying to decode this behavior in your cat, there are four main reasons why most cats will suddenly start sleeping under a bed. These are:

4 Reasons Why Cats Sleep and Hide Under Beds

They Are Scared and Hiding from Something or Someone

They Are Scared and Hiding from Something/Someone

This is one of the reasons why my cats have hidden and slept under beds before. We also have a sausage dog, and although they get on well for the most part (or maybe is better to call this co-existing), sometimes my dog gets a little too playful.

My cats are too old to play or put up with my dog running circles around them. They get way too annoyed by her trying to play with them. I wish they didn’t get scared, but sometimes they do. This is when they retreat to hiding behind some boxes I have under my bed.

If I see this happening I take the dog away and redirect her playful attention so she leaves them alone. I know my cats will come out when they are ready or want something to eat. They will usually end up taking a snooze under the bed so I leave them to it.

They Are Feeling Stressed or Anxious

Much like when cats are scared, if they are feeling stressed or anxious they may choose to hide under a bed. It’s less of a reaction to an event scaring them, and more of a way they find comfort and somewhere they can feel safe.

I talked about when we moved home once and one of my cats was really stressed. She wasn’t sleeping well. Was starting to lose fur along her back. And, she spent a lot of time curled up near the wall at the furthest point under my bed.

We managed to resolve the issue by using melatonin supplements for cats as I explained. It was nice to resolve the issue and know that was the reason she was retreating to the back of my bed.

There May Be a Medical Reason

Cats often behave strangely when they are in pain or have some kind of medical issue causing them distress. It’s very common for them to isolate themselves, rather than make a big deal out of it like you and I probably would.

If your cat is sleeping under your bed and you can rule out both of the reasons I’ve already mentioned, it’s possible there is some medical issue that you can’t see. A trip to the vet is the best course of action to find out either way.

They Are in Pain and Want to Be Alone

As I just mentioned, pain and medical issues is a known reason for cats to sleep under beds. This is more so to point out that you may be aware that your cat is hurt rather than an unknown issue.

When cats are hurt they like to be left alone. Well at least in my experience all of my cats have behaved like this. As long as you’re very aware of what the issue is and know they don’t need to go to a vet, it’s best to wait it out.

Give them something comfy to sleep on. Bring them food and water if they really want to just be left alone under your bed, and just look after them the best you can. They will come out when they’re good and ready and start looking for that fussing again.

How to Stop Your Cat Sleeping Under Your Bed

How to Stop Your Cat Sleeping Under Your Bed

If you want to stop your cat sleeping under your bed there are a few things you can do to try and change this behavior.

I have to point out first however, you should explore all the reasons above first. If you can figure out the reason why they’ve started sleeping under your bed, it’s going to be a lot easier to resolve.

For example;

If they sleep under your bed due to fear – It’s not nice to think your cat is scared enough in their own home to have to sleep under a bed. Find out what’s scaring them and do something about it asap.

If it’s stress or anxiety related – Same as the last point. Find out what is causing them to be stressed and find a solution. A happy kitty will be more social and spend less time under the bed.

If it’s due to a medical reason – The trip to the vet will reveal if this is the most probable cause. They’ll also help you resolve the issue.

If it’s due to pain/injury – You might have to wait it out until they are fully healed.

If you are as sure as you can be that your cat is sleeping under the bed for no other reason than it’s just what they want to do, and you want to change this habit, I suggest trying one or more of the following:

Spend more time playing with them – It’s likely they are in need of more mental stimulation and socialization. Just 30 mins or so with some interactive toys, or if you’re feeling lazy (I won’t judge you) you can use an automatic laser pointer.

Block Their Access – This isn’t ideal, and it will make you feel bad when you see their face as they suddenly find boxes or something blocking their path to their favorite spot under the bed. But it’s one way to stop them hiding out under there.

Related: How to cat proof a box spring in a few simple steps.

Coax Them out / Remove Them – Cat’s can be stubborn. No one knows that better than me. I’ve had to train, retrain, and change some behaviors of numerous cats over the years, it’s not easy.

But if you keep removing them from under the bed they will soon learn that it’s more effort than it’s worth going under there and find somewhere else quiet where they don’t get moved on.

TL;DR – In Summary

If you’re looking for answers to; why does my cat sleep under the bed? Then it’s likely down to one of the following:

  • Your cat is scared of something and hiding
  • They are feeling anxious or stressed and find comfort under the bed
  • There might be a medical reason you need to investigate
  • They might be in pain and want to be somewhere quiet and alone

I can’t guarantee you can get your cat to sleep where you want. I don’t think anyone can, cats are solitary creatures for the most part when finding somewhere to sleep.

Just read these posts explaining why cats sleep on your clothes or on your pillow! and you’ll see my point.

But I did give you some tips to help stop them from sleeping under your bed if it’s making you a bit uneasy for any reason.

Have you had to deal with his issue of your cat(s) sleeping under your bed? Did you get to the bottom of why they were doing this? I’d love to hear about it, just leave me a note below. Thanks.

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