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Why doesn’t my cat sleep with me anymore?

I have been a devoted and loving cat owner for over thirty years and have had over 40 felines during this time. Currently, my husband and I have six cats. I found out that most cats are not creatures of change but creatures of habit. Most cats do not like changes to their environment. We have had a select few that do like changes, such as where and who they sleep with at night. Some cats change their routines because they are forced to make changes. Sometimes it is up to you to figure out why. 

Cats do communicate with their humans. Watch them around other pets, look at the position of their ears, and follow their eyes. When speaking with your cat, look into their eyes. As time passes, you eventually know what they are trying to tell you. 

Why Doesn’t My Cat Sleep With Me Anymore?

It is not unusual for a cat to have two, three, or four cozy sleeping spots and rotate between them. By our standards, our comfortable bed is just the thing. Your cat may find more comfort in an old cardboard box. Who knows why cats do what they do as much as why humans do what they do? I always find a close parallel between cats and humans. You may be able to find answers by reading a few of the following possible reasons why your cat “purrrfers” not to sleep with you anymore. 

As you and your cat age, physical and emotional changes are likely to occur, no matter how perfect your relationship is with your little furry friend. Never take it personally if they decide to bed down elsewhere. A cat will do what a cat will do, much like some humans you probably know. 

The following suggestions are only possible links to the answer to why your cat refuses to sleep with you in your bed.

Has Your Sleep Habits Changed?

Cats are usually nocturnal animals, meaning many cats prowl all night and sleep all day. However, some cats also tend to sleep all night. Cats sleep an average of 18 hours per day. 

Q. As you age, how well do you sleep, and has your sleep pattern changed and is this affecting your cat’s sleep routine? 

Q. Has insomnia become a problem for you and your cat? 

Q. Do you toss and turn more at night, which is bothering Fluffy because you are kicking or pushing his body towards the brink of no return?

If you move around more during your sleeping hours, your cat may exit your bed to find a less active place to nap. Your kitty may opt to remain in your bed but find a different area of your bed where you will not kick them onto the floor. They may opt to lay on your pillow or at the head of your bed, as my husband’s cat Wee Willy prefers. 

Body Temperatures of Cats and Humans

Your temperature and that of your cat are vastly different. We can shed our fur coats when it is too warm or cover up when it is too cold. However, cats cannot shed their fur coats and many do not like to bury themselves under a blanket as our Wee Willy likes to do when hubby takes an afternoon nap. It is only at nap time that Wee Willy sleeps under the blanket between my husband’s legs and no other time. 

Q. Has your bedroom temperature changed? 

Perhaps it is too hot or too cold for them to rest comfortably. Some cats do not sleep well when they are too warm, while other cats, like Wee Willy, like to nestle under a blanket where it is warmer. 

Q. Did you start using a fan at night?

Most cats do not adapt well to a fan.

Age Brings Physical Changes to Cats and Humans

As you age, you may start to feel aches and pains where there never were aches and pains. You soon discover that it has become more challenging to move your body the way you once did when you were younger. Your cat is no different.

Cats can develop arthritis the same as people, and it may become difficult for them to jump up or off their bed without having some pain or discomfort. A small set of pet steps can answer this need. Lowering the height of your bed may be a solution that brings your cat back to your bed.

Q. Did your cat become injured, and jumping on or off your bed causes your cat discomfort?

Cats Can Suffer Loss of Security or Possible Intrusions While Sleeping

Cats love to be up high. The higher a cat sits or sleeps, the more secure it feels. Maybe your cat is not up high enough. Perhaps your bed is not high enough to give them the security they need while sleeping. 

Q. Do you have a new pet in the home that makes your cat nervous? 

Was your cat sleeping on your bed and suddenly awakened and frightened. It is possible that your cat found a more secure place to nap and is afraid of being shocked awake again while sleeping in your bed. Give your cat time to adjust, and perhaps they will return. For now, your cat probably feels more secure sleeping somewhere else. 

Changes in Sleep Preferences

Changes in sleep patterns can be due to several things such as,

  • They do not like their current place to sleep
  • Living environment changed
  • They were frightened
  • Boredom
  • You awaken your cat too much during the night due to your restlessness

Mia’s Amazing Bedtime Routine

My cat, Mia, is 12 years old. I adopted her in 2012 at age three. She was a barn cat on someone’s farm. It took three years for her to trust me to touch her anywhere. She has always slept at the foot of my bed in her cozy cat bed. Her bed must be on the left foot with a soft blanket over her bed. Then she wants another blanket along the left side of the bed because she will come up and lay closer to me for a while during the night. She likes her dry food and water next to her bed. I see her reaching over the side of her bed to get drinks during the night. She will not go to bed until I arrive, and I will say, “Do you want a brush, brush tonight? The answer is always a big “Yes.” Afterward, she takes a nap. It took me several weeks to figure out what she wanted. 

During the day, she likes her blanket spread out on the top of the bed. She rotates her sleep pattern from the center of the bed to the foot of the bed. About 5 am every morning, Mia walks up to my left arm and gently paws it until I wake up. She now wants her breakfast of moist food. After she eats, she crawls back into her bed and sleeps the morning away. If I change anything about this routine, it does not go well for either of us. Mia also has some arthritis in her hip, so she has a set of kitty steps next to the bed. 

Q. Is Mia lazy and spoiled? 

She, no doubt, is both, and I don’t care because she is happy and healthy. The other five cats keep their distance, and they think twice before invading her territory. 

Q. What changes have taken place in your home that would cause your cat to not want to sleep on your bed?

Q. Is your cat giving up its sleeping space and routine to a new pet who wants to sleep with you?

Cats are very territorial and jealous critters. They do not share sleeping space well. Bringing another pet into the home causes an unbalance until the pets become used to one another. In some instances, pets may continue to dislike each other. 

Why Won’t My Cat Cuddle With Me Anymore?

  • Cats show affection differently than humans.
  • Never take this as a rejection by your furry friend.
  • Cats do everything on their terms. 

While cats show affection in different ways, most cats do not understand our ways of showing affection to them, such as you showering kisses on their forehead, any more than we know why cats rub noses or sniff another cats’ hiney. Cats can run to your call for attention, or they can take their time and come when they get around to it. Your cat will respond when it is not so busy. Your cat is telling you that they are doing something too important to come at your beck and call.

Q. Have you become too busy to give your kitty the attention they desire?

It is usual for you to sometimes slip up and speak to your pet differently. Sometimes cats become fearful of you due to your voice change. If you do not give your cat as much attention, they may believe you are mad at them. Cats do have the ability to snub their owner. It is wise if you keep some treats and catnip on hand or bring home some exciting toys often. Cats are very unpredictable. 

Cats are excellent at hiding pain, stress, or illness until they have taken a good foothold, and you must take them to the vet. Cats do not usually nip at their owner but will nip to warn that they do not like to be touched in certain parts of the body, such as the stomach or lower back. If a portion of its body is painful and you try to touch it where it hurts, it will nip at you as a warning. Cats play by the rule that something which is OK today may not be OK tomorrow. I know a few humans that behave like this.  

I have found that when a cat is ill or in pain, it finds a hiding place and will stay there until it feels better. Your main concern should be how well you and your cat have bonded. If they do not want to cuddle one day, don’t worry about it. 

Q. Don’t you ever have days when you want to be left alone? 

If you do not feel well, there may be days when you simply want to be left alone. Cats are no different. A cat shows its love or need for attention in some of the following ways.

  • They may headbutt your arm or hand.
  • A cat twitches its tail or rubs its body on your legs.
  • When a cat lies on its back, showing you its tummy, they feel safe and secure and trust you.
  • A cat frequently purrs when content and happy or not feeling well.
  • A cat cannot go shopping for gifts for you, so they do what they can, such as to lay a dead bird or mouse at your door as a gift of appreciation. 
  • May gently paw at your arm or leg. When a cat wants my attention, I have found that cats pull their nails inward while pawing my arm because they do not want to scratch me.

How Can I Get My Cat to Sleep with Me Again?

Perhaps you will have to baby-step your kitty back to your bed. Try the following tips. The effort you put forth to get your cat to sleep with you may fail because a cat will do as it pleases, a natural cat behavior. If you find out why your cat moved its sleeping place, you may be able to correct the problem. Give your cat time.

  • Try placing a cat stand at the bedroom window. Sprinkle a bit of catnip on the stand.
  • Try placing a cat bed on the floor next to your bed. Sprinkle a bit of catnip over its bed and offer it some treats. I have a cat that prefers sleeping on the hard floor, while another cat prefers a soft, cozy cat bed. All cats are different.
  • Gradually, move the cat’s bed closer to you and finally onto your bed.  
  • Talk to your cat in a soft and soothing tone, offering pats and gentle rubs. Many cats like to be brushed, especially at night, as this tends to help settle them down for sleep. 
  • Praise your cat frequently.
  • Never rush a Cat to meet your goals. 
  • Remember that cats only accept affection if on their terms.