Why Has My Cat Started Sleeping Outside

Why Has My Cat Started Sleeping Outside? 5 Hidden Facts

Cats are one of the few animals that get a lot of sleep. When I say “a lot,” I really mean “a lot.” I so badly want to be a cat!

It makes sense for your cat to start sleeping outside. It could be because of the time of year or the weather, or just because it can’t be controlled. Just because your cat has started sleeping outside out of the blue, it doesn’t hate you.

A kitten or young cat sleeps about 16 hours a day on average. Wait until you hear how much a cat can sleep when it gets older.

If you guessed 20, you were right! About 20 of the 24 hours of a cat’s day are spent sleeping or snoozing.

Their wild evolutionary tendencies have made them more likely to sleep. Wild cats had two main things to do when they were awake: hunt for food and eat it.

And because they needed energy to look for food and hunt, they would rest when they weren’t eating.

Is My Cat Sleeping All The Time?

Well, sort of.

Even though it looks like your cat is always sleeping, it is probably just snoozing. Snoozing is a lot like putting your phone on “power saver” mode. Your cat is sleeping to save energy. It is awake enough to wake up in a second.

Why Your Cat Has Started Sleeping Outside

Even though changes in how you sleep may seem sudden, they are not always a cause for concern.

It is normal for cats to change when and where they sleep many times over the course of their lives.

Now, it’s important to know that there hasn’t been a lot of in-depth research or study done on how cats sleep.

Why Has My Cat Started Sleeping Outside

But a lot of the data and information on the internet comes from observations and first-hand experiences.

So, even though these aren’t the results of an experiment, the possibilities and smart guesses are.

Let’s take a look at these five strange reasons:

1. Seasonal Changes

Is it summer already? Or have you already started turning the cooler off? Or did you finally get that extra-warm blanket out of the closet?

Well, whatever changes have happened, if they’ve made the room too hot for your cat to sleep in, he or she may have moved outside where it’s cooler.

2. Evolutionary Instinct

One fact about cats that not many people know is that they have not been as tamed as their furry friends, the doggos.

Cats in the wild would always be on the move and change where they sleep so they wouldn’t be seen by a predator. As a way to protect themselves, they kept doing what they always did.

Also, in the wild, moving around often kept fleas and other parasites away, which was a big help because they were annoying and could spread disease.

So, the ancestors of your cat moved around and changed where they slept to avoid being eaten by predators. It also helped them stay healthy in a place where cleanliness wasn’t exactly a luxury.

3. Pain-related sleep changes

This is a little bit scary. People often say that cats “suffer in silence” because they don’t show obvious signs of pain. So, their sleep patterns can sometimes be a subtle sign of more serious problems.

But this isn’t always the case. It’s important to remember that a change in where your cat sleeps isn’t always a bad sign. Changes in body language can sometimes go along with signs of stress.

So, if your cat starts sleeping outside instead of where it used to, just watch its body language for any strange signs or symptoms at first.

If everything else is pretty normal, like how much they eat and when they poop and pee, you don’t need to worry.

4. Fear-based changes

Has your heater started to make that annoying buzzing sound? Or did you get a new roomie? Well, no matter what it is, cats don’t like to change where they sleep because they are territorial.

So, until they get used to the new roommate or you figure out what’s wrong with the heater, your cat won’t sleep with you inside.

Your cat doesn’t dislike you, but it doesn’t like being annoyed.

5. Just like that

Cats are oddballs. Each cat is unique and has its own set of cute and sometimes very strange habits.

So, maybe your cat doesn’t like the new cushion, or maybe he or she loves the new plant outside, or maybe there’s no reason at all and your cat just wants to sleep there because it’s part of his or her territory!

Where PLace cats Sleep Outside

Janet Cutler, who has a Ph.D. in animal behaviour and is our Certified Cat Behaviorist, gave us six examples of places cats like to sleep outside:

1. Sleeping in a box (or something else with five closed sides that looks like a box) (or other similar shaped items with 5 sides covered). Most cats like to sleep in boxes, especially ones that are about the same size as the cat.

2. Around and under cars: It’s not unusual to find an outdoor cat sleeping under a car, in the wheel well, or on the hood of a car that had just been running in very cold weather.

3. Inside open structures. Cats may like to sleep in any place that is open and safe, especially if it has other animals that don’t bother them. Straw or hay, which is often found in barns, can be used to make a warm place to sleep.

4. On chairs, benches, and other places where you can sit. Many cats like to sleep outside on the seats and backs of chairs and benches.

5. Under things like furniture, buildings, or other things.

6. Taking a nap in the sun. A lot of cats like to lie in the sun, especially when it’s cooler and they feel pretty safe.

Do outdoor cats sleep in the same place every night?

If your cat likes to sleep outside and does so as often as possible, they probably have a spot outside where they sleep at night.

It’s probably somewhere small and well-hidden from predators, as well as from people and pets in the house. It’s also probably close to their home, where they can find food and water.

Katenna, a cat behaviourist, says, “Once a cat finds a place that has proven to be safe more than once, it is likely to go back there again and again.”

If the cat needs a safe place outside for a long time, it will prefer a place near fresh water and a food source, like trash, where the trash itself may be a food source or where small birds or rodents are likely to be.

How do cats set up their sleeping area?

Before falling asleep, you may have noticed that your cat kneads and pats the blankets under them and circles.

This is because their natural instincts tell them to prepare their sleeping space. Before cats were domesticated, they usually slept outside, and today’s cats still act the same way.

Your cat will clean up their favourite sleeping spot by getting rid of sticks, thorny bushes, and other junk. Then, they will knead the grass with their paws to make the perfect soft cushion to sleep on.

Does my cat like sleeping outside?

When there are other pets in the house that wake them up at night, some cats prefer to find a quiet place to sleep outside.

Cats may also want to sleep outside when a baby or loud guests make the house less peaceful and quiet than usual.

Your cat may try sleeping outside just to see how it feels, but then decide that’s where they want to sleep from now on.

Or, they could sleep outside, have a great time, and decide that’s where they want to sleep from now on. It may not be clear how your cat will react to sleeping outside and if they really like it.

Will my indoor cat be alright sleeping outside at night?

Even if your indoor cat sleeps outside, you don’t need to worry too much. An indoor cat that has never been outside is more likely to get hurt than an indoor/outdoor cat, but most cats will be able to stay safe and close to home.

“If a house cat got out, it would probably stay close to home rather than wander far from safety and food,” says Katenna.

This way, the cat will be safe and ready to go back inside when the first person comes home in the morning.

What dangers do cats face outdoors overnight?

Your cat may face some dangers if you let them sleep outside at night, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let them.

Most of the time, your cat will only face dangers from predators like stray dogs or mean racoons, or from the weather and environment.

There’s no reason why your cat can’t spend the night outside as long as it has a dry, warm place to hide from other animals.

What are some precautions I can take to make sure my cat is safe when sleeping outside?

If you notice that your cat prefers to sleep outside, there are a few things you can do to keep them safe.

You can build them a completely safe space outside, or you can install a cat door so they can get back inside for safety or warmth even when you’re asleep.

Last, cats that live inside should spend as much time as possible inside.

Can my cat stay outside when its cold?

Cats’ fur helps keep them warm, but they can still get sick if they are left in the wrong outdoor environment.

Why Has My Cat Started Sleeping Outside

Your cat shouldn’t stay outside when the temperature drops below freezing. If you have to, lock the cat door and keep an eye on the doors as people come and go to keep them inside where it’s warm.

Being dry is just as important as being warm. If your cat insists on sleeping outside, make sure they have a dry place to do so.

You don’t want them to get sick because they got cold and wet and couldn’t get back inside.

At what age can my cat spend the night outside?

Before a cat is six months old, it shouldn’t be left outside alone. Cats should stay inside until they are fixed and fully vaccinated, which should take between 4 and 6 months.

Once you let your cat walk outside alone, you should wait a while before letting it stay out overnight.

What can I do to encourage my cats to sleep at home?

If you are extremely concerned about your cats’ safety, or if you live in a rural area where predators are more common, you should keep your cat sleeping inside at home.

There are some ways that you can encourage your cat to change their sleeping habits and use a cat bed or other sleeping area that you set up for them.

Make sure the area is small, quiet, and private, with easy access to food, water, and the litterbox.

However, don’t put their sleeping area in the same place as their litterbox, because they won’t want to sleep where they defecate.

Instead, use a cat bed and some of their favourite toys to lure them to the new sleeping area.


Cats don’t always have a good reason for what they do.

Don’t worry, though.

You’re not the only one who loves to make up stories about what, why, and how our fluffy little kitten babies do what they do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK for cats to sleep outside?

Cats do well in cold weather, but when it gets below freezing, they can get hypothermia and frostbite.

When it’s cold, cats will look for a warm place to burrow down. Building an outdoor shelter for a cat can be a cheap and fun project for the whole family.

What does my cat do outside at night?

Cats are more likely to explore new areas now that there are fewer people and cars on the road.

The lack of competing smells and sounds also makes it easier for cats to hunt. Your cat may spend the night at someone else’s house or look for food and water elsewhere.

How do cats stay warm outside?

Cut-to-size Mylar blankets may also help cats stay warm. Avoid using regular fabric blankets or towels, which absorb moisture and can make the inside of the shelter cold.

Raising the shelter off the ground on a pallet or another surface can also help insulate it. Shelters should be put in places that are out of the way.

Why has my cat started staying outside?

Most cats, if they had the choice, would rather be indoor/outdoor cats, roaming in nature when they want to be adventurous and coming inside when they want to be warm and safe.

Of course, he’ll want to see what’s outside the door if he’s confident and curious by nature. It’s natural for a cat to want to go outside.

What sense do cats use at night?

When it comes to cats’ ability to see in the dark, a study found that a big part of what makes them so good at night is that they can see ultraviolet light that humans can’t even see.

However, their day vision isn’t as good because they hunt mostly at night and in the evening.

Why does my cat meow outside my door at night?

If your cat is active, curious, and likes to play, it may be meowing at you at night to get your attention.

Cats will try many things to get your attention, like scratching at your bedroom door, pawing at you, bumping into you, dropping down in front of you, and, of course, meowing.

What is the best bedding for outdoor cats?


Straw is the best thing for an outdoor cat to sleep on. Straw is made from the dry stalks that are left over after harvesting, and it does a great job of keeping moisture away, so cats won’t get cold and wet when they sleep on it.

How long can an indoor cat survive outside?

2-5 years

What it’s like to be an indoor cat
Researchers at the University of California-Davis say that an indoor cat can live for 15–17 years, while an outdoor cat can only live for 2–5 years.

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