Why Is My Cat Laying On The Floor? He Is Stretched Right Out!

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Why is my cat laying on the floor? Some common reasons why your cat lies on the floor are as follows:

  • To Conserve Energy
  • Injury or Illness
  • To Eliminate or Reduce Stress or Anxiety
  • Coolness or Warmth

I know that a cat napping on the floor feels confident and safe in its surroundings.

Cats also have many different reasons for choosing to lie on the floor, and most reasons except for one, an underlying health condition is nothing to worry about.

why is my cay laying on the floor
It’s lovely and cool on the boards

I have been a cat mama for over 30 years. I have rescued over 40 cats throughout the years. The cats I rescued made their home with my family and me for the length of their lives.

Currently, I have six fur babies and have had many questions throughout the years about the habits and routines of cats.

What I have found is that cats do as they please. Every cat has the same habits, but each develops its own routine.

As I look at each of my six cats and reflect over the last 30 years, every cat I owned slept on the floor at one time or another and I never gave this a second thought. I believed that this was something the cat did for whatever reason. I never thought this to be wrong or good, so it never worried me. Common sense told me that the cat’s preference was to be on the floor at that time. 

Our Ragdoll, Sammie, was a cat that primarily slept on the hard floor. Once in a while, Sammie chose to sleep in one of our cats’ stands by the window. Sammie did not like cat beds or blankets, and if I thought he would be more comfortable on a cushy blanket, he would move. 

While some cats like Sammie like to lie on hard floors, our other cats must have a soft and warm blanket, cat bed, furniture, or cat stand.

black and white cat laying on the floor

Why A Cat May Sleep On The Floor – Illness

Throughout the years, we have dealt with various illnesses in our cats. While most of our cats lived to 19 or 20 years, we had a few that did not and passed away at a young age of three to nine years. These cats had cancer, heart failure, or kidney disease. 

I noticed when a cat was suffering from one of these illnesses or was in pain, it would hide and sleep, curled up on the floor under or behind furniture, or in a closet. When cats are ill, they usually do not bother to climb or jump on a piece of furniture and prefer to nap or rest on the floor. 

Cats will sleep where they feel secure. Sometimes this means the floor, and sometimes it means on a high cat stand or the top of our refrigerator.

We have had a couple of cats with lung cancer throughout the years. We noticed that the cat would lie on the floor with its chin resting on the floor. This position helped with breathing.

Take note of the position your cat sleeps, and if this concerns you, please do not hesitate to speak with your vet.

orange cat laying on the ground

This Is Why You See Cats Laying On The Floor

Here are some more reasons for cats laying on the floor in addition to these four common reasons mentioned earlier – To Conserve EnergyInjury or IllnessTo Eliminate or Reduce Stress or AnxietyCoolness or Warmth.

Pregnant Female Cats

Another reason why a cat may sleep on the floor is if the cat is pregnant and about to deliver her babies. She will find a secure hiding place and remain on the floor in a hidden location.

If your soon-to-be mama cat knows someone found her hiding place, she will move location. So never try to entice your mama cat out of hiding or try to move the cat off the floor. This is natural and is what mama cats do. 

The Weather and Temperature

I have noticed another reason that answers – why is my cat laying on the floor? and that is related to the temperature. While some cats like to curl up in a cat bed or soft blanket on the floor, other cats prefer the bare floor.

On a hot summer’s day; you may find your cat sleeping on the floor on its back with legs spread eagle. This is a way the cat can keep cool. If it is hot and your cat chooses between a tiled bathroom floor or a wood floor in the living room, they may select the cooler bathroom tile floor where they do not normally lie.

Our cat would literally plonk down on the cool hardwood floor when it was hot, usually just where we wanted to walk.

During the colder winter months, you may find your cat sleeping on the floor next to the heating vent, waiting for the furnace to come on and send heat through the flue, as is the case of our female cat Willow. She is quite comfortable sleeping on a blanket on the floor next to a bedroom heating vent. She loves it when the furnace sends her heat. 

Why is my cat laying on the floor? In our house it is either to catch some rays of sunshine that are hitting the boards or to seek coolness from the floorboards on a hot summers day. Cats always seem to know the best places to lie for a particular time of the day. When cats lie on the floor in a spot of warm sun, there is nothing more comfortable. 

However, if your cat does not feel safe and secure on the floor, it will not lie there.

While most of our cats sleep at intervals stretched out on the floor, every one of them prefers a comfortable recliner, bed, sofa, or high rise cat stand to take a long nap. Each cat has different preferences. What one cat likes, the other does not.

white cat asleep on a tiled floor
I am sound asleep and cool!

Does Your Cat Opt for Your Bed versus the Floor?

My sidekick, Mama Mia, lives on my bed. She has her bed at the foot of my bed, yet she has her blanket on the left side, (never the right side) of my bed, and she switches nap places. One thing is for sure, Mia made the bedroom her area. Mia comes into the living room and stretches out on the floor for a spell every evening.  

During the night, Mia wanders through the house but, after a few minutes, jumps back onto my bed, where she sleeps the rest of the night. She prefers sleeping where it is comfortable, warm, and cushy.  

Some cat professionals tell me that it is unnatural for a cat to sleep in a bed, nor is it common and I am not so sure. I also found that it is counter-productive to change a cat’s habits. Cats are not creatures of change.

However, some of our cats may rotate their places for sleep.  

For example, our Sophia has a blanket on top of our refrigerator. Sophia may nap there, on one of our three sofas, and more recently upstairs in the towel closet, but never on a bed and never on the floor. If you are a restless, always in motion sleeper, your cat may avoid sleeping on your bed.

cat stretched out the floor

Should You Stop Your Cat from Sleeping on the Floor?

If you want your cat to lie in another spot rather than the floor, try putting a bit of catnip where you want them to sleep. I have tried this approach, and it works wonders until they lick up the catnip. The cat then seeks out where it wants to sleep.  

Trying to relocate your cat is often not going to be successful. It would be expected however, if your cat showed you its claws across your arm or began hissing at you.  

Just imagine this, you are curled up in a recliner, cozy and comfortable, and about to drift off into dreamland when someone shakes you awake and tells you to move and go to another chair or your bed. How would you feel? Perhaps you don’t want to sleep in a bed and are comfortable where you are. 

If your cat is asleep on the floor in the middle of a room and your cat chooses an unsafe traffic area, you will want to pick your cat up and move it to a safer area.

But, remember that wherever you move your cat, it is likely to move to where it wants to be and not where you want it to lie.

Is it Safe for My Cat to Sleep on the floor?

A cat chooses a part of your floor where it feels safe. Cats will lie on the floor and they are always on high alert. Cats normally sleep an average of 18 hours per day. Your cat may sleep for a while on the floor and then move to another location. 

Cats decide where they want to sleep or lie down, and it may not be your choice of where you would like them to sleep. They are wise enough to pick out areas on the floor where they want to be.

They do not need your help to determine what area is better. It is safe to let your cat lay on the floor. If the area is a high traffic zone, you can place them in another area.

Chances are excellent that they will not stay where you put them.

If you are like most people, you will probably just step around the cat.

tw cats reading the paper in bed
Nothing beats lying on cold tiles on a hot day!

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