Why Does My Cat Burrow Under The Covers?

Cats are curious creatures and seem to like to hang out in strange places. Sometimes they like sitting in their litter box, or right on top of your laptop. So it shouldn't be as surprising when we notice our cats burrowing under the covers... but it is! Why are they burrowing? Isn't it hot under there? Why under the covers now when minutes ago they were sitting on a single piece of paper on the floor?

Cats under sheet
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It turns out there are a few reasons for this behavior.

You're doing it

Cats watch what we do and are very territorial, so when they see you really enjoying your bed... they want that too. They're going to hop on in and see what all the fuss is about! So when you're making the bed or curled under the blankets yourself, they might feel like now is the perfect opportunity to get in on the action and claim their brand new fluffy territory.

Grabbing some snuggles

While you're in the bed, it's frankly a perfect time to get some snuggles in, because when you're in bed you are more likely to give some good head scratches. Sure, it might be inconvenient when you are trying to get some shut-eye. However, you can't deny snuggling in bed is pretty great.

It's the perfect hiding spot

Under the covers is safe, warm, and dark, and honestly a great time for your cat to get some alone time. If your house is in a frenzy or your cat has had a big day, hiding under the blankets might be the perfect place to decompress. Can you blame them? Aren't there days when you just want to hide under the covers and chill out?

Cat lying under a blanket stretched
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Anxiety

If you notice your feline friend has been burrowing under the covers a great deal, this can be a sign of anxiety, even if you aren't seeing them seemingly stressed. Cats are very sensitive to their environment. Something as small as moving their water bowl, or as big as a new member of the family being added or missing, might make your cat prefer to stay hidden. The feeling of the blanket is heavier and larger to a cat, so much like with weighted blankets, the heaviness of the blanket can cause a soothing affect for an anxious cat.

Your cat is a "Bush Dweller"

There are three different types of environments that cats prefer, according to PAWS Chicago. If your cat is not a Tree Dweller (a cat who prefers sitting in high up places) or a Beach Dweller (a cat who prefers to sit right out in the open, like the middle of the floor) they are a Bush Dweller. This means they feel more confident residing in places that are lower to the ground, like under the bed, behind potted plants or nestled in blankets.

Cat under white sheet
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They're not feeling well

Hiding can be a sign that your cat is not feeling well. Like anyone else who is sick, cats feel exhausted and are looking for a quiet place to rest and heal. If your cat is constantly burrowing under the covers in addition to having symptoms like being lethargic, not using the bathroom enough, having diarrhea, or not drinking or eating, your cat might be feeling sick. If your cat is hunched over and constantly purring this is a sign they might be sick. (It may be surprising, but cats don't just purr when they are happy. They also purr when they are sick, too.) Make sure to bring your cat to the vet if this is the case.