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Why Does My Cat Sleep Under My Bed? (9 Reasons)

If you are a proud cat owner and wondering why your cat is hiding and sleeping under your bed, it could be a simple case that you have not offered a suitable cat bed for her (click here for my best cat beds). If not, there could be a few other reasons…

Why does my cat sleep under my bed? It’s either because she is anxious, scared, seeking comfort, hiding for safety, pregnant (more on this later), or unhappy with changes in her environment. As there is a wide selection of reasons here you need to evaluate your cat to see what matches their behavior.

Now that you know why this might be happening, let me break down the seven reasons why your cat could be hiding under your bed, what you should NOT do if they are, and the best way to deal with it, keep reading…

9 reasons why your cat sleeps under your bed

As discussed earlier, there are numerous reasons why your cat is sleeping under your bed.  For that reason, I have compiled a list of 7 potential reasons why your cat is doing this so you can understand why is happening.

01. Comfort.

A cat looking defensive on a bed.

A cat on a bed.

One thing to understand about your cat, they need to sleep a lot, which I am sure you will agree.  In particular, you can expect your cat to sleep up to 18 hours of the day. This is typically broken up into small, frequent naps (or cat naps, as they are known).

For that reason, they are always looking for a nice comfortable, quiet and dark spot where they can relax and catch up on this sleep they need. This might be why you may catch her relaxing on your finest leather couch (Click here to see my best solution to protect your couch). This is one of the reasons, many cat owners invest in cat beds or stackable cat cubes (Click here to see why I rated this one as the best).

Also, this is why under your bed is a very attractive option for them. And, maybe one of the reasons why your cat is doing this.

02. Hiding from hot weather

Depending on where you live your cat could be hiding under the bed simply because of the temperature.

In some countries, it’s exceptionally hot in different areas of the house, especially if there’s no air-conditioning throughout the property.

Therefore, your cat could be clever enough to learn that underneath your bed is one of the coolest spots to hang out and hide from the direct sunlight.

03. Anxiety or stress

It doesn’t take much for your cat to feel stressed out or unhappy. Even basic things like a boisterous toddler that is running around could make them feel a little bit stressed and anxious, are you with me?

So, you may find out that your cat is retreating to hide underneath the bed to keep away from some of these stressful situations.

04. Health problems

Cats act a bit weird when they are feeling sick or in pain. For us humans, we typically like to communicate our problems by talking or by showing some obvious body language.

As you can understand cats do not have this luxury. They have a weird reaction, which is to effectively hide or mask up the pain. This is understood to be a safety measure that has followed them instinctively from living in the wild.

The idea is, they do not want to show any weak vulnerabilities to their predators, because they stand a much greater chance of being attacked.

Obviously, in the domestic environment, this is not an issue. But instinct is hard to avoid, it just happens. Therefore, you could see your cat under the bed hiding to cover up a health issue.

05. Changes in the environment.

Cats do not like changes. They like things to say static. This is so they know where things are and make them feel comfortable.

Remember, they view your house is their territory. And, when things change it makes them feel uncomfortable and out of control. Even basic things like rearranging your furniture can throw them off. Therefore, your cat may retreat to hiding under the bed to hide away from some of these situations.

06. Pregnancy

Believe it or not, pregnancy can also be an issue for them to run off hiding under your bed. The reason for this is what is known as “nesting”.

This is where your cat starts to prepare things for the upcoming birth of a new kitten. This is similar in humans, but not the same symptoms that you may see. Therefore, your cat may be just preparing for things and this may not be a cause for alarm.

07. Safety

one of the more obvious reasons why your cat may be hiding underneath the bed is for their safety. In reality, when we look into the reasons why they’re hiding, it may not be such an issue to us. But, we are different.

To be honest, this can be something as simple as a loud bang,  for example. You know, maybe if you have a fireworks night that particular night. Or, it could be the intrusion of another animal that is causing them to be fearful.

08. Afraid of visitors

One common reason for this behavior is fear of visitors. If you have a household that is quite busy, for example, many visitors coming in and out, it can unsettle your cat and make it hide or sleep under your bed.

This is made worse if they are unfamiliar guests. The new scent, and voices are enough for your cat to consider hiding away, or seeking a quiet hideout to get some sleep.

09. Another pet or child

Cats can be scared of other pets or children. This is made worse if they are new additions. For example, you get a new pet dog and it is running all over the house, which was previously quiet.

Or, you have a newborn baby making noise and demanding all of your attention. These may seem like small things to you, but for your cat, it could be enough to make them run to hide.

Why do cats like to hide?

As we discussed earlier there are numerous reasons why your cat is hiding under your bed. However, in general, why do cats enjoy hiding?

They enjoy hiding because they (could they need more light? click here) enjoy some time on their own. They also like to feel comfortable as much as possible. Like us humans, they are programmed to avoid pain and seek pleasure.

If you have not provided an obvious comfortable area, such as a cat bed (Click here for my best cat bed) for example, then they may seek out areas like under your bed to find a suitable alternative.

The dangers of hiding

In general, hiding is harmless. However, there are some situations when it can be dangerous. Apart from the fact that you may be tearing your hair out wondering where your cat is.

There can be some real issues such as them hiding behind an electrical device which could potentially be a shock hazard. Or hiding behind a parked car, etc.

The point is, they could be in the face of danger but not clever enough to understand this. This is the reason why it’s a good idea to always monitor your cat just to make sure they are not doing something silly which can put them in some danger.

What you should NOT do if your cat is hiding underneath the bed

If your cat is hiding under the bed and you want to change this (click here for my best 3 cat caves as another option for her to sleep and play) there are some things that you should just NOT do.

Physically removing or coaxing her out

As tempting as it is, you should not try to put your hands under the bed (Click here if your cat is peeing on it) and move them. It is far better to let them come out on their own time.

The same goes for trying to coax them out of their hiding spots only to remove & relocate them to an area that you would prefer.

Both of these actions will just make your cat feel unhappy and make her grow to not trust you.

It may be a bit annoying at first but if you are patient with it you can get her to stop doing this by just being patient and offering her positive reinforcement for doing things that you prefer her to do.

Trust me, this will make them more likely to do what you want in the future.

What things should you do?

We talked a little bit about what you should not do but there are a few things that you could do that are good quick wins that will help you and the relationship with your cat.

Treating your cat

Treating your cat as much as possible when they do positive things is the best way to guide her.

There are other direct things that you can do. Such as offering pheromone collars (Click here for my best options) which can help them feel comfortable and happy in areas which you would prefer them to be in. For example in their cat bed (Click here to see why I love this squishy cat bed).

Positive reinforcement & Quality time

Also, general praise of your cat to make her feel more confident and happy will help a lot. As well as this you should also be spending a lot more quality one-on-one time with your cat. This will make her feel happier in your house.

Make your home relaxing for it

Another way to deal with this is to make your home more relaxing for your cat. This could be as simple as offering it a quiet room where it knows there will be no noise or other pets.

This can also be improved by adding a pheromone diffuser. These are known to improve a cat’s moods and may help to keep it happy in this private area.

Should I block access under the bed?

Ideally, you should not block access under your bed to prevent your cat. However, in some situations, it may be the only option.

Chances are your cat will find another location to hide, and this time it may be less favorable. Instead, it’s better to boost its confidence to make it not want or feel the need to hide there.

Is it normal for a cat to sleep under the bed?

Yes. It is quite common for cats to sleep under a bed. However, it should be a concern if it is hiding in fear. So, you will need to evaluate your cat’s behavior to establish if this is the case.

If it’s just getting some sleep there and will happily come out when it sees you, then, chances are, it’s not an issue. Otherwise, it’s worth looking into it.

Should I let my cat hide under the bed?

If your cat is not in pain, or anxious, then yes it is fine to let them hide under your bed. But, if it’s inconvenient for you, or the cat looks distressed, then it is not.

It may take a little while to understand why it has chosen to hide there before you can make a call about it.

How long will a new cat hide under a bed?

A new cat can hide under a bed for several days. This is because it may take some time for it to acclimatize to its new environment.

This can also be a lot less, depending on its circumstances, or where you got it from. For example, if it’s a rescue cat, then it may take longer because of its previous trauma.

Related questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to cats and beds. If you have some extra questions please feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Do cats become more affectionate with time?

Yes, If you have a kitten that has grown up around humans, in time, they will become more susceptible and comfortable around humans. Therefore they will naturally become affectionate (Click here to see why your cat won’t sit in your lap anymore).

However, if you have a feral cat that has had little, to no, contact with humans it is unlikely that they will become more affectionate. They’re more likely to become more fearful and hostile towards humans.

Q: Do cats miss their owners?

In general, yes, people do believe that cats miss them. And in my opinion, it seems obvious at times.  However, there are recent studies that show that cats do not need their owners as much as dogs do.

Lindsey Browlingdon