Last Updated: 3 months ago

Gilroy the cat made his pet human worry enough to write a letter to The Mercury News recently when he suddenly changed his favorite nap spot.

According to his human, ever since he had a urinary tract infection, Gilroy became very choosy with his sleeping area, as he refuses to sleep now in his nap spot.

Other pet humans may have experienced or noticed the same thing with their cats.

Read on to find out what makes a cat change sleeping spots all of the sudden, and is it something to worry about if YOUR feline does it!

What’s with the change of heart?

Why cats change their sleeping spots

Cats are accustomed to certain practices and habits, including having the same resting spot. This may cause some pet humans to worry about that “sudden change of heart”.

While many pet humans may notice their cats having a special spot meant for sleeping, cats may actually have several favored sleeping spots.

Cats may suddenly change their sleeping spots for a number of reasons. Much of this is due to their instinct to protect themselves

This place is mine!

Just like other animals, cats do tend to claim a certain territory as theirs.

For cats, the scent is what they use in order to mark their territory as theirs. Staying in a particular spot for long hours enables them to leave their own scent behind this marking that place as their own.

Marking their territory means much more than showing who’s the boss though. Cats mark their territory in order to feel more secure about their surroundings. This brings us to issues of …


Cats are known to be hunters, especially to mice and rats. They too though can play the role of the hunted.

Changing sleeping places gives them the advantage of surprise. Just like in the wild, cats sleep in different places so they can be difficult to find. Think of the hunter knowing the feeling of the hunted and what it means to survive.

I want my “me time”!

Cat sleeping on the couch

Cats like to sleep. They also like peace and quiet. (Who doesn’t?)

When cats change sleeping places, it may also be a need for some privacy. This may be especially noticeable in homes with energetic children or in homes with many pets.

It may also be for this reason that cats like staying in high places where they cannot be easily reached. It’s most probably their way of getting the rest they need…which is actually most of the day.

Don’t forget to check our guide on cat sleeping positions meaning.

Not cold. Not hot. Just right.

Cats are not good at regulating their own body temperature. They are quite sensitive to changes in temperature.

Changing sleeping spots helps them find that sweet spot when it comes to temperature.

During winter, if temperatures become too cold, a cat may suffer from hypothermia. In order to avoid this, your cat may look for a warm, comfortable spot to lie down on.

During hot summer months, cats may feel very uncomfortable and may experience any of the following:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Pale gums

In order to cope, your cat may try to look for a cooler spot. If you notice any of these signs, make sure that you transfer your feline to where he can cool down.

The Ouchies

Your cat may look for a new sleeping pot when he feels any discomfort.

Conditions such as arthritis in older cats may cause them extreme discomfort, hence the constant change in sleeping spots.

Try to observe your cat since beyond discomfort, your cat may actually be getting sick. Changing sleeping spots may mean not only the need to be secure but also the need to feel comfortable.

Memories from the corner of his mind…

…that aren’t pleasant. Any negative experience your cat may have had may instinctively teach him to avoid a particular spot.

Any disturbing noise or presence will make him want to avoid that particular corner of the home.

Cats change sleeping spots in order to feel secure. Just like any other animal, humans included, cats pretty much want what everyone else does and that is the need to feel comfortable in a place they call “home”.


In the case of Gilroy the cat, he was actually trying to tell his humans that something was wrong.

So if your feline friend swaps nap spots AND seems out of sorts in other ways, contact your vet.

Nine times out of ten, though, it’s not really something to worry about. Cats are just plain finicky!

Has your cat ever suddenly changed nap spots? What do you think was behind it? Share below!

Orange cat sleeping with text about why does a cat change sleep spots
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.