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Why Do Cats Like Going Under Covers and Blankets?

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It’s not uncommon to find cats spending time in weird places. Whether that’s inside their favorite cardboard box or the perfectly placed piece of crinkly paper on the floor, we usually see them out and about. But some cats prefer to find slightly more subtle hiding places…like under the covers!

But why do cats like going under covers or blankets?

While the specific reason will vary between cats, most cats like to hide under the covers because it’s warm and feels safe. For other cats, they may to get under the blankets simply because that’s where you are! Finally, some felines hide under covers to initiate playtime!

Those aren’t all the reasons but they are the most common ones. We’ve got 7 total possible reasons why your cat loves to bunker down under the blankets.

Let’s get started!

1. Kitty See, Kitty Do

Our cats are usually pretty darn interested in what we’re doing. Whether that’s peeking into the shower to see what’s going on trying to attack your hair while it’s being brushed, cat’s are constantly intrigued by all the weird things we humans do during the day.

There’s no reason why getting under the covers should be any different. Cat’s are also extremely curious and if you’ve seen a cat in front of a closed door you’ll know they aren’t big fans of being left out. So there’s a good chance your cat just wants to know what’s going on under there!

2. Hiding Is Fun!

Cats like to squeeze themselves into all kinds of small spaces. Whether that’s the latest box from Amazon, under the bed, or like one of my favorite felines behind the fridge! These spaces not only make them feel comfortable, but cats also seem to have finding the newest, weirdest, and trickiest hiding space.

Maybe it’s all in my head, but I’m convinced that when you find a cat in their most secret spot they always look at you with a face that says, what took you long?

So it should be no surprise cats would like to hide under the covers now and again. In fact, going under the covers is the perfect addition to your cat’s hiding place rotation!

3. It’s Warm

To figure out why cats like going under covers it might be worth asking, why do WE like going undercovers? Most of the time, it’s for warmth!

While cats are well adapted to cold weather, that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy some warmth.  There are honestly endless photo collections of cats finding weird or unusual places to hang out just because it’s warm. Here’s one of my favorites:

cat looking for warmth under covers
Source: Pinterest

4. It’s Calming

Some cats will choose to go under the covers when they’re feeling a little anxious, nervous, or scared.

Different cats are sensitive to different situations and while some cats may be essentially “bomb-proof” others may get anxiety if you simply change your schedule. But even the most even-keeled cats will get anxiety with major changes like a new pet or moving to a new house. In those cases, your cat might like to get under the covers a bit more than usual.

Not only is it safe, warm, and hidden but there have been numerous studies on the calming effects of a pressure wrap on cats and dogs. Comparable to swaddling a baby, applying gentle and even pressure to your cat or dog’s torso has been shown to reduce anxiety.

The most popular tool for this the ThunderShirt which you can see on Amazon. It’s essentially a little vest that fits around your cat’s back and sides to keep them calm. This link from Chewy also has a lot more information on how it works.

But your household covers and blankets may have the same effect which could explain why your cat likes going under there. Even if your cat isn’t showing any particular signs of stress or anxiety, they may still enjoy going under the covers just to relax!

5. It’s Matches Your Cat’s Style

Cats are naturally territorial and your cat’s wild relatives typically control a small area of land all their own. Within this land, each cat has a different style that they prefer. Jackson Galaxy, the famous cat behaviorist with an awesome last name, wrote a post going into detail on the three types of dwelling styles that cats have.

First, you have the tree dwellers which are the cats that like out anywhere off the ground. These high-flying felines feel safe when they can see the world from elevated vantage point. That could be on top of a table, chair, or even the fridge. If you’ve got one of these cats, you might want to consider investing in a cat tree and you check out all our favorites here.

Then there are the beach dwellers. These kitties prefer to hang out on the ground and stay out in the open.

Finally, we have the bush dwellers and these are the cats that like to go under covers and blankets! According to Galaxy, the bush dwellers are the “cats waiting under the coffee table or behind a plant. They are often waiting to hunt or to pounce and prefer to have all four feet on the ground.”

So your cat’s preference for going under the covers might just be a reflection of their own style.

6. Your Cat Wants To Play

Cats love a good surprise…but usually only if they’re the one delivering the surprise! Hiding under the covers giving you a couple of well-timed paw pats probably sounds like a great time for your cat!

There’s also a good chance you’ve seen a cat attack your feet as they wiggle on the blankets. Your cat might like going under the covers just to see what the heck is moving around under there and get a better chance to play!

While I think cats creating their own blanket fort is a pretty cute way to play, my absolute favorite is the feline flop which you can read more about here.

7. Your Cat Isn’t Feeling Well

When cats are feeling ill, their natural instinct may be to hide. This would have kept your cat’s wild ancestors safer and give them a chance to recover.

Just because your cat likes going under the covers doesn’t mean they’re ill but if you see a normally outgoing cat suddenly start hiding under covers and acting lethargic you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Is It OK For A Cat To Sleep Under Covers?

If your cat has a habit of crawling under the covers you might wonder if it’s safe. Could your kitty suffocate if they fall asleep under there?

While it’s generally okay for cats (or dogs) to go under covers and it’s probably not best for them to sleep under there for long periods or do it while you’re not around. While the risk is low, it’s always better to play it safe.

As Dr. Fox tells the Washington Post, “Although an animal that begins to experience oxygen deprivation will eventually get out from under the covers, I consider it unhealthy for an animal to keep breathing the same air in a limited space for any length of time.”

Why Does My Cat Hate Being Under The Covers?

Some cats may not like how being under the covers can dull their senses. While they can still hear what’s going on, it’s not the same as being out in the open and in most cases, they can’t see anything. They may also not like the feeling of rebreathing some of the same air if they’re under the blankets for any length of time.

Closing Thoughts

It’s amazing how truly unique cats are and while this is one of the many reasons why we love them so much it can also make it difficult to figure out why they do the things they do! We’ve laid out 7 reasons why your cat might like going under covers and blankets but while some cats love it others hate it!

What do you think? Does your cat love hiding under the covers?