Cat Safety: Sleeping Under Covers and Cozy Alternatives

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As a cat owner, you might find your feline companion snuggling under the covers with you, leading you to wonder if it’s safe for them. The safety of your cat’s sleeping habits is important, so let’s dive into the answers.

The Short Answer

It is generally safe for cats to sleep under the covers, as they are good at finding pockets of air to breathe. However, there are some factors to consider, such as the cat’s age, health, and the type of bedding used.

In this blog post, we will explore the various aspects of your cat’s cozy sleeping habits and discuss how to create the perfect sleeping environment for them.

gray and white cat sleeping under sheets in bed

Can Cats Breathe Okay Under Blankets?

Yes, cats can usually breathe just fine under blankets. Their natural instincts allow them to find pockets of air to breathe and escape if they feel uncomfortable.

Cats are also skilled at regulating their body temperature, so they’ll move out from under the covers if they get too warm.

However, it’s essential to keep an eye on your cat and ensure they’re not struggling or showing signs of distress.

Are There Any Risks to Letting My Cat Sleep Under the Covers?

While most cats can safely sleep under the covers, there are some risks to be aware of.

Young kittens, elderly cats, or those with respiratory issues might have difficulty breathing or regulating their body temperature.

Also, be cautious with heavy blankets or comforters, as they can make it harder for your cat to find pockets of air or move around freely.

To choose a safe blanket or comforter for your cat, opt for lightweight, breathable materials like cotton, fleece, or microfiber. Avoid using heavy, thick blankets, like weighted blankets or thick wool, as they can make it difficult for your cat to find pockets of air or move around freely.

Another risk is the potential for accidentally injuring your cat if you shift positions in your sleep. 

To minimize the risk of accidentally injuring your cat while you shift positions in your sleep, consider setting a designated sleeping area for your cat near your bed, like a cozy pet bed or a cushioned area on the floor.

This way, your cat can still feel close to you without being directly under the covers, reducing the chance of unintended injuries.

To minimize all these risks mentioned, be attentive to your cat’s comfort and watch for any signs of distress or difficulty while they’re under the covers.

brown cat sleeping under covers in bed

How Can I Create a Safe Sleeping Spot for My Cat?

To create a safe and comfortable sleeping spot for your cat, consider the following tips:

  • Choose a quiet, low-traffic area in your home to minimize disturbances.
  • Provide a soft, warm bed or blanket for your cat to snuggle in.
  • Ensure the sleeping spot is clean and free of hazards, like cords or small objects they might chew on.
  • Consider a cave-like bed or covered cat bed, which offers the feeling of being under the covers without the risks.

When my own cat, Smokey, seemed to crave the coziness of sleeping under the covers, I decided to create a special spot just for him. I placed a soft blanket inside a cardboard box, leaving a small opening for him to enter. Smokey loved the warmth and privacy, and I felt reassured knowing he had a safe place to sleep.

Suggested reading: Why Do Cats Sleep Together?

What Are Some Cozy Alternatives to Sleeping Under the Covers?

If you’d prefer to discourage your cat from sleeping under the covers, try providing them with cozy alternatives that offer a similar level of warmth and security:

  1. Heated cat beds. These beds have built-in heating elements that keep your cat warm without the risk of them getting tangled in bed linens.
  2. Cat caves or igloos. These enclosed beds mimic the feeling of being under the covers, providing a safe and comfortable space for your cat to sleep.
  3. Soft blankets or throws. Place these in your cat’s favorite spots around the house to give them a familiar and comfortable place to curl up.

I once bought Smokey a cat cave made from felt, which resembled a little cocoon. He was immediately drawn to it and spent hours snuggled inside. The cat cave gave him the warmth and security he craved, and I was happy knowing he had a cozy alternative to sleeping under the covers.

Related: Do Cats Like Hot or Cold Weather?

How Do I Know if My Cat Is Warm Enough?

To ensure your cat is warm enough, pay attention to their behavior and body language.

If your cat is seeking warmth by curling up in tight spaces, shivering, or constantly seeking out heat sources, it might be a sign that they need more warmth.

To provide additional warmth, offer a cozy blanket or a heated cat bed in their favorite spot.

If your cat is sleeping next to a heating source, they may need extra warmth during the colder months. Consider buying your cat a heated cat bed. Most cats like that instantly love these beds, and these quickly become their go-to spot to keep warm and comfortable.

If you notice your cat twitching or having a nightmare, this guide might be for you.


Do all cats like sleeping under blankets?

Not all cats enjoy sleeping under blankets, as preferences can vary. Some cats may appreciate the warmth and security, while others might feel trapped or too warm.

How can I tell if my cat is too warm under the covers?

If your cat appears restless, pants, or frequently changes positions while under the covers, they may be too warm. It’s essential to provide them with alternative sleeping spots to regulate their body temperature.

Are heated blankets safe for cats?

Heated blankets designed specifically for pets are generally safe for cats. However, you should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, regularly check for wear and damage, and ensure the temperature settings are appropriate for your cat’s needs.

Can cats get stuck or tangled in bed linens?

Cats can potentially get stuck or tangled in bed linens, especially if the sheets are loose or have strings and tassels. Always monitor your cat’s sleeping habits and consider providing a safe alternative if they enjoy sleeping under the covers.

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