I can’t tell how many pet owners have asked me, “why does my cat lay on the floor?”
Everyone assumes it’s a bad thing because it doesn’t look comfortable.
But it doesn’t automatically mean there’s something wrong.
I’ll break it all down to help you understand why your cat likes lying on the floor.
Why Does My Cat Lay on the Floor?
Several things could be behind a cat’s preference for sleeping on the floor. But honestly, most of them aren’t anything to worry about and are perfectly natural.
I’ll discuss various reasons below to help make your concerns disappear. Let’s figure out what’s causing your cat to sleep on the floor.
1. Cooling Off
One of the main reasons is that floors are cooler than a bed filled with blankets and pillows. It’s why this issue becomes a lot more common during those summer months.
In fact, it’s a common sight in my household. I live in a very humid, tropical area that doesn’t lend itself well to cooling down a cat’s body temperature.
My cat often counters against the heat by heading to the living room or bathroom floor. I can’t take it too personally, as I’d do the same in his position.
So if your furry friend has ditched the bed for a cool floor during hot summer months, it’s normal. They’re just trying to keep their body heat down and themselves comfortable.
READ MORE: Why is My Cat Not Sleeping With Me Anymore?
2. Aren’t Used to Sleeping on Beds
Some cats will forgo sleeping on beds because it’s not natural for them. In other words, it’s not something that they’re used to doing.
It’s also common for cats to rebel against pet owners changing their beds. My cat didn’t sleep on his new bed for months because he didn’t like the change.
As the ASPCA states, “cats tend to prefer consistency over change.”  Cats are creatures of habit, and it’s an instinct that extends to whether they sleep on a bed or not.
But over time, cats will stop being stubborn and accept the new bed as their own. It just requires a little patience and encouragement on your part.
I’ll discuss a few encouragement techniques later.
3. You Move Too Much
Cats aren’t fans of constant movement during their napping sessions. I can’t blame it, as any movement tends to wake me up since I’m a light sleeper. As a result, they choose the floor to sleep on over our comfortable beds.
If you’re wondering, “why is my cat laying on the floor all of a sudden” movement could be the issue. I’d recommend doing your best to keep the movement to a minimum. 
4. Your Cat Loves To Sleep On Hard Places
Some felines will prefer sleeping on a floor because they like its harder surface. It’s a common preference among cats as most of them enjoy sleeping on counters, floors, and similar areas.
I’ve even found a few of my cats wouldn’t use a cat bed unless I took out the cushion. Some cat owners also add something to harden the bed’s surface to entice their felines.
5. The Floor Makes Your Cat Feel Safe
Safety is another reason why a cat would like to sleep or lie on the floor. It’s not uncommon for a cat to feel a lot more secure and safe on the floor over beds.
The feeling often develops from a bad experience on beds. For instance, a cat that falls from a bed or is bullied by another cat over the bed will avoid it altogether.
Cats have strong memories allowing them to associate objects and areas with bad/good experiences. Therefore, a cat who feels unsafe on a bed will opt to sleep or relax somewhere else.
It’s up to their owners to make those areas safe for them again. Positive reinforcement or treats can go a long way in speeding up the process.
6. Your Cat DoEsn’t Trust You
Sleeping on your bed is a sign of trust from your cat. If this same cat’s suddenly sleeping on the floor, something has happened to disrupt your trusting relationship.
Of course, this issue usually occurs accidentally. One of the more common causes is sudden sleep movement or scaring them during a sleeping session.
A cat owner rolling onto them is another common way of creating a trust issue. Again, it’s accidental, but a cat isn’t going to understand.
Instead, they only feel the pain coming from the incident and look to another sleeping area. Most cats will eventually forgive their owners and return to sleeping on the bed.
7. Suffering from Lung Problems
A cat sleeping on the floor can also be concerning. If you notice a cat lying with chin on floor surfaces, this could be a sign of a medical condition.
It becomes very concerning when accompanied by necks and heads stretched to their maximum extent. Vets suggest that it’s possible a lung issue  could be what’s causing them to assume the position.
The position allows a cat to cope with pain within its lungs. It’ll also help them breathe better when dealing with these issues.
It’s essential to note that cats in pain will also showcase other signs . So keep an eye out for the following body language and personality changes if your cat’s lying down with its chin on the floor:
- Change in appetite
- Scarce grooming
- Wary of being petted or touched
- Only sleeps in a single spot
- Louder and more frequent vocal communication
- Slower body movement
READ MORE: Why is my cat suddenly scared of my room?
Should I Stop My Cat Lying On Floor?
It’s never a good idea to remove a cat from where they feel comfortable. You won’t be doing them or yourself any favors by forcing them to relocate.
If possible, I would recommend trusting your cat and letting them remain on the floor. Your cat knows what it’s doing and chooses the area for a reason.
Honestly, any attempt to move them will be unsuccessful. Your cat will likely return right to the floor after being placed in the new area.
In the past, I’ve tried to remove my cat from lying on the carpet. I was tired of him ripping it apart with his nails, but it proved to be a frustrating exercise.
He just kept returning within five minutes of putting him in the new area. It was a pointless exercise, and I ended up giving up altogether.
If a cat feels comfortable within an area, it will find a way to get there. So it’s best to let them and find a way to live with it.
I didn’t even mention the consequences of trying to remove a cat from their preferred area. A moody cat will have no problem with unleashing its claws and lashing out.
How to Encourage Them to Sleep Elsewhere
But I understand there are situations where a cat sleeping on the floor isn’t ideal. The experience with my cat ripping apart the carpet would be one.
Luckily, there are tricks to make other areas appealing to them. These methods will help encourage them to adventure elsewhere for their sleeping sessions.
Place Catnip On Their Bed
Catnip is one of the best positive reinforcement tools a cat owner can use. Your furry friend will go wild for the stuff and adventure where you place it.
If you put it on their cat bed, they will associate the bed with a happy experience. I used it with my cat, and it helped save my carpet for a short period.
Anyone who isn’t overly familiar with catnip should check out the video below. It’ll walk you through everything about it and the effects it has on cats.
Use Your Scent
If catnip doesn’t work or is too expensive, try using your scent. Place a used shirt or shorts on the cat’s bed to provide them with something familiar.
The scent will make your cat feel safer on its bed. It tends to be very effective with cats who have been with you for several years or have been around since kitten age.
Set Your Cat’s Bed On The Right Spot
Lastly, I’d suggest placing a cat bed in your kitty’s favorite sleeping spots. If your cat loves sleeping in a specific area on the floor, put the bed there.
It’s a relatively simple solution, but it has done wonders for me. Try placing the bed in a sunlit area, too, as cats love getting a little sun when sleeping.
Is Sleeping on the Floor Comfortable for Cats?
Cats are notorious for their love of sleep. According to PetMd, “cats sleep an average of fifteen hours a day.” 
Due to this, sleeping is a massive deal for them, and they like being comfortable. They will seek out whatever area feels most comfy for naps.
In some cases, this sleeping spot will be on the floor. It’s not going to seem cozy to you or me, but they will have no qualms sleeping on a cold bedroom floor.
Your cat’s comfort isn’t something that needs much consideration. Cats are independent creatures, which know exactly how to find a solid sleeping spot on their own.
They don’t need us to help out or force them into what we see as cozy. So don’t be overly discouraged when your cat chooses to sleep on a cold floor over the $200 cat bed.
What does it mean when a cat lays down in of you?
A cat lying down in front of you can mean various things, including that they trust and love you. If the cat shows its tummy and flops around, it’s a true sign of them feeling safe and comfortable.
Why does my cat sit on the floor and stare at me?
Your cat sitting on the floor and staring at you usually signals they think it’s feeding time or playtime. Pet owners often see this behavior in dogs, as well.
Why does my cat lay in the middle of the floor?
A cat lays in the middle of the floor because it feels comfortable there. So it’s best to let them relax and sleep there unless there are other noticeable concerning signs. Otherwise, you’re only going to do more harm than good.
I hope these discussions answered everything about a cat’s floor sleeping habits. If you have a leftover question or two, let me know in the comment section.
Feel free to share any of your techniques to stop this behavior, as well. I’m always looking for ways to get my cat to use his expensive cat beds regularly.
- 1. Aggression Between Cats in Your Household [Internet]. ASPCA. 2015 [cited 2021 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-between-cats-your-household
- 2. HealthyWomen Editors. How to Stop Tossing and Turning All Night Long [Internet]. HealthyWomen. HealthyWomen; 2015 [cited 2021 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.healthywomen.org/your-wellness/how-stop-tossing-and-turning-all-night-long
- 3. Kuehn NF. Introduction to Lung and Airway Disorders of Cats [Internet]. Merck Veterinary Manual. Merck Veterinary Manual; 2018 [cited 2021 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.merckvetmanual.com/cat-owners/lung-and-airway-disorders-of-cats/introduction-to-lung-and-airway-disorders-of-cats
- 4. How Do I Know if My Cat is in Pain? [Internet]. vca_corporate. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 7]. Available from: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/how-do-i-know-if-my-cat-is-in-pain
- 5. PetMD Editorial. Why Do Cats Sleep So Much? [Internet]. Petmd.com. PetMD; 2011 [cited 2021 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/evr_ct_why_do_cats_sleep_so_much
- 6. Why is my cat always lying in front of me? [Internet]. Quora. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.quora.com/Why-is-my-cat-always-lying-in-front-of-me
- 7. MS S. Why Does My Cat Stare at Me? [Internet]. Petmd.com. PetMD; 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.petmd.com/news/view/why-does-my-cat-stare-me-38021
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My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed. Learn more about Benhere
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