Why cats like to relax and sleep up high

Cats are known for being notoriously fussy creatures. They demand attention when it suits them, but reject snuggling with their owner when it doesn’t. They are picky eaters, can appear aloof and indifferent to their owners and seem pretty happy to go it alone most of the time.

This fussy attitude often even extends to their sleeping habits, and many owners have gone out and spent a considerable amount of their hard-earned cash to provide a large, plush and expensive cat bed, only to find that their pampered pussy refuses to sleep in it. But is she just being fussy, or is there an ulterior motive for this behaviour?

According to animal behaviour experts, most cats prefer to sleep and hang out in places with good vantage points. It comes from their instinct to protect their themselves, and a high position for sleeping or resting gives them an aerial advantage for spotting any potential dangers around them. Much of this instinct comes from their ancestry. Early cats were hunters that lived in the wild, and their climbing ability meant that they had somewhere to retreat to away from larger predators, plus the capability of attacking smaller prey high up in the branches. Therefore, climbing and being up high was natural, and this has been passed down to the cats that we keep as pets today.

Your cat may prefer small, enclosed spaces too, particularly when asleep. Again this comes from the need to feel protected. Many cats love to sleep in cardboard boxes that are enclosed on all sides as this means that they only have one point of entry to keep a sleepy eye on, reducing their vulnerability.

Once your cat does find the perfect place to sleep, she may be happy there for a while. However, in many cases you may find that she will switch spots after a few months. The exact reason for this can only be speculated – after all if you have found the perfect spot, why move? – but experts suggest that it comes from the fact that cats are extraordinarily clean creatures who severely dislike dirt and dust. Therefore, if the area in which they sleep becomes too dirty or the scent changes, your cat will probably start looking for somewhere else to sleep.

Cats sleep – a lot. In fact, most cats will sleep anything up to 16 hours per day, so make sure that your feline friend has somewhere where she feels safe and comfortable to relax and nap.

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