I’m sure you’ve noticed kitties walking around the city at late hours. Maybe they were at the party. Or they had a family dinner because one of their brothers wanted to introduce his girlfriend. You might never find the answers to those questions. But if you’re wondering where do cats sleep outside at night, I’m here to help.
I don’t know about you, but every time I was coming back home and I saw a little kitty hiding below the car, I couldn’t help but ask myself what their usual sleeping spots are. It mostly bothers me when it’s winter and I get so scared that the cold might hurt them.
That’s why I wanted to do some research and find out everything I can about that. I didn’t even know whether they like sleeping outside or not. Can the cold be fatal to them? What are their favorite sleeping spots? But after collecting enough information, I was able to answer all of those questions.
So, today, I want to share everything I’ve discovered with you. I hope you will enjoy and learn something new and interesting. Enjoy!
Are cats happy to sleep outside at night?
It’s not unusual to see cats sleeping or just roaming outside at night. They are natural hunters and explorers, and in their minds, it’s easier to do those things when it’s dark outside. That’s why they enjoy sneaking out when it’s dusk or dawn.
At first, it sounds unusual because they are sleepyheads. But when you think about it, it’s actually logical. Even though kitties like to explore even the weirdest parts of the world, they still get scared easily. Nothing makes them more anxious than feeling like someone’s prey.
But at night, everything is silent and peaceful, so they are able to hunt more and have wilder adventures. They will be able to hear their prey and any upcoming danger. When they’re able to do that, they can act fast and catch that mouse or run away from the predator.
However, if you have a kitty that’s spent most of her life indoors, I don’t recommend letting her out at night. Especially not on her own. She isn’t street-smart enough and the situation might bring more problems than benefits.
Yes, your feline might seem like she would like to spend her night outside, but sometimes we need to ignore their wishes for their own sake. There are plenty of things she can do inside your home and that’s perfectly enough for her.
What’s important when finding a good sleeping place?
If a cat is looking for a place to sleep outside at night, she’ll definitely have some requirements. Cats know really well what they want in their life, and they will never settle for less. Maybe we could even learn something about self-respect from them, right?
So when looking for a place to stay, they are searching for something that has all of these four key requirements. Here’s what they pay close attention to.
1) It’s warm
We all know that there’s nothing cats hate more than feeling cold and taking a shower. But taking a shower is basically like feeling cold because they feel like that when they’re wet. So what is their first key requirement? Their sleeping spot needs to be warm enough for them to relax and enjoy their night!
If a cat is feeling cold then it will be almost impossible for her to even fall asleep. So she will just continue exploring her surroundings in the hope that she’ll find a spot that’s warm enough for her. Once she finally finds it, she’ll be able to cross that from her wish list.
2) It’s safe
When someone talks about a scary, dangerous cat, we always think about tigers, leopards, jaguars, and their other family members. Well, our kitties are also their cousins. But, we have to admit that they are way cuter than they are really dangerous (even though their claws might frighten us from time to time).
However, small cats are well aware of the fact that they aren’t as scary or as powerful as their big cousins. So they can get scared pretty easily, especially if they’re spending their nights outside. What scares them the most is that they aren’t always hunters, but sometimes they are also someone’s prey.
Therefore, the second requirement they have is that the place feels safe. If they find it, they will be able to relax there and think about other things they need.
What’s better proof that the place is safe than it’s well hidden? If a cat is sleeping outside at night, she’s definitely looking for a place where other people or animals won’t find her easily. That way, she won’t have to worry about potential threats and she’ll be able to rest well.
Sometimes cats use their amazing skills to find a place that will be out of reach for everyone else who might be more powerful than them. So don’t be surprised to see that a kitty is climbing somewhere at night. The chances are she’s trying to find a spot that won’t be accessible to anyone except for her.
4) It’s cozy
And finally, if she finds a place that’s warm, safe, and well-hidden, there will be only one more requirement left. It’s not a must, but we all know how much cats love themselves. So the final thing they want is for their sleeping spot to be cozy.
Of course, nothing is as cozy as a fluffy bed and a soft blanket. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find a comfortable spot for sleeping somewhere outside. Maybe we wouldn’t be able to find it, but an excellent explorer such as a cat will definitely find a perfect place.
Where do cats sleep outside at night?
I’ve just told you that kitties always search for places that fit their four key standards. If they find it, they will definitely choose it as their residence for the night.
So, where do cats sleep outside at night? Are those places actually dangerous, but they don’t understand it? Or maybe they’re actually very skilled when it comes to finding a perfect sleeping spot? Well, you’re about to find that out.
Cars are one of the most common sleeping places for cats. Sometimes they like to climb and sleep on top of the car because they think other predators won’t reach them there easily. But that mostly happens during warmer summer days.
However, when it’s cold outside, their favorite spots are sleeping under the car or on the tire. I’m sure you’ve seen that many times and thought about how cute they look. But even though it’s very sweet, it’s actually very dangerous because a driver might not see them when they start the car.
2) On seating areas
My friend once told me that there isn’t a better sleeping spot than a bench. I thought she was joking, but she explained that when you’re a backpacker who walks a lot, you need to take a nap sometimes. And even though benches look uncomfortable, they are actually amazing rest stations.
Well, I guess cats know about that secret because seating areas are actually one of their favorite places to sleep outside at night. It’s probably because it’s wide enough and above the floor. So just like they feel safe on the top of the car, they also feel relaxed and protected in any seating area.
3) In a box
Lots of movies start like this. There’s a lonely girl who always wanted a pet but her parents wouldn’t let her get one. Then one day, as she was coming back from school, she saw a big box moving and she wanted to see what was hiding inside. And that’s how she fell in love with her first pet.
Since you’ve probably already watched a movie like this, then you know that kitties love to sleep in boxes. That’s because the little space makes the area warmer and they feel like they’re well-hidden.
4) In the sun
Warmth, warmth, warmth. I’m pretty sure that every kitty wakes up thinking about it. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as obsessed with the sun as my fluffball. Whenever she sees there’s a sunray on the floor, she runs to that place and lays down to chill and enjoy the warmth.
But I realized that she’s not the only one, and all the cats in the world are behaving the same way. So if they’re outside and trying to sleep, a place that’s in the sun will be like a five-star hotel to them.
5) Curled up with other kitties
If two cats love each other, you will often see them sleeping curled up together. It’s their way of protecting each other. Sometimes when I think about it, I can’t help but make a connection between humans and them. We’re actually so similar in some situations that it’s so incredible.
So if a cat is sleeping outside at night and she has a friend or a sibling with her, she will definitely cuddle with them and they will fall asleep all curled up. It’s one of the cutest scenes in the world and I melt every time I see it.
6) Under big items
Another thing felines like to do outside is hide under big items. It could be basically anything, but their favorite things are construction work materials. So don’t be surprised if you see a kitty sleeping in a huge tube, or under some gigantic piece of metal.
However, those aren’t really the safest places for them. That’s because they can easily get stuck or even picked up by one of the machines. If you see a kitty sleeping in one of those places, try to help her find a better shelter for the night.
7) Inside an open building
If you’re still wondering where do cats sleep outside at night, the answer is inside an open building. They like to sleep there because the place is much warmer than the outside world, it’s comfier, and there is always an ability to hide well if a threat appears.
It’s one of the best options because it isn’t as dangerous as sleeping at the construction site or under a car. Felines are only able to fall asleep when they feel safe and sound. So, this option might be their favorite one.
Will your kitty be fine outside overnight?
As I’ve already told you, cats are always curious so it’s in their nature to wish to explore the outside world. But does that mean we should make their dreams come true? What if we’re actually endangering them?
Even though they get anxious often, that doesn’t really stop them from confronting various hazards while they’re on the streets. It’s because they’ve got an obsession with adventures and they don’t want a miss a chance to have one, even if it’s dangerous.
However, cats that spend most of their time indoors definitely don’t belong on the streets. They simply don’t have the skillset necessary to survive the outside world. They’ll probably be able to find a place to sleep and food to eat, but what about other dangers they aren’t aware of?
Some of the most common ones are road accidents, going to dangerous places where they might get stuck, drinking something poisonous, or even getting stolen by someone. Even cats that live, sleep and spend their nights outside don’t know how to deal with these threats.
Therefore, the answer is no. Your fluffball will face many dangers if you suddenly start letting her outside at night. She will get confused by the sound of cars and people coming back home so she might get scared and hide somewhere she won’t be able to come out from.
In order to keep her safe it’s best to have a fixed routine. If she’s never been outside on her own, don’t introduce that option when she’s already a few years old. That’s like going for a swim on your own, even though you’ve never swum before.
What about the cold weather?
I’m sure you already know that cats hate the cold. It makes them feel anxious and stressed because it means they aren’t in a safe place at that moment.
For example, one of the ways your kitty remembers your house is by its warmth. It makes her feel safe and loved, so she doesn’t have to worry about having a comfy place to sleep, or a bowl of fresh water and her favorite treats. Felines love the feeling of security.
Therefore, it’s not only about “Where do cats sleep outside at night?” but also about “How does that make them feel, and can the cold weather hurt them?”
Well, first of all, the temperatures drop at night, and your kitty will become anxious if she doesn’t have a warm place to stay at. So we can say that her mental health definitely suffers.
But secondly, it’s not only that but her physical health too. Your cat isn’t very resilient to the chills and shivers of cold night weather, so it’s not really recommended to leave her sleep outside at night.
She will search for places that have all those four key components we’ve mentioned, but sometimes that could lead her to find very dangerous places, such as sleeping under someone’s car. What if the driver doesn’t see her?
If you have the ability to provide cats with a warm and safe place to stay, always try to help them. You might be saving many lives that way.
Do cats always sleep in the same place outside at night?
If your kitty usually lives indoors but sometimes goes out to sleep outside at night, then you will almost always find her 40 to 200 meters away from your home. And she will probably be in a spot she’s very familiar with.
However, if we’re talking about stray cats, you need to know that, even though they are adventurous and they love exploring the world, they won’t change their sleeping spot if they’ve found the purrfect one. No matter how far they go, they will always try to come to their comfy little place at the end of the day.
Is there an age when it’s safe for your cat to sleep outside?
There’s only one more thing left to answer and it’s about the age and leaving your cat to sleep outside at night. Sometimes, people who live in a house let their kitties sleep outdoors. That is if they feel their fence is high enough to keep them safe. But is there an age limit?
There actually is. It’s not recommended to leave kittens outside alone. Especially not before they’re at least six months old. They simply aren’t skilled enough to spend a night like that, so that should never be an option for you.
Cats are truly adventurous animals. It’s in their blood, and even when they’re just little kittens, they feel the need to run around and explore everything that surrounds them. So a four-month-old kitten will definitely wish to see the outside world.
But don’t fall for the cute look she gives you (like Shrek does every time Puss in Boots looks at him). It’s your priority to keep her safe and remember that she needs to be at least six months old. But even then, I don’t recommend letting her outside on her own.
Now you finally know where do cats sleep outside at night. So, if your kitten run away from home, you can start looking for her in all the places I’ve already mentioned.
On the other hand, please, keep in mind that even if your fluffball seems like she’s desperate to spend her night outside, you shouldn’t let her do it on her own if she’s spent her life indoors. Try to meet halfway and go out with her during the day, but make sure she’s well-secured. Good luck!