Most cat owners will notice that their cat loves to curl up on soft blankets. Even a laundry basket full of clean (or dirty!) clothes will entice many cats when they are ready for their afternoon nap.
However, for every cat that loves soft blankets, there will be a cat that loves a hardwood floor. And in many cases, cat behavior related to blankets may come down to an issue of texture as well as temperature.
Cats and body heat
According to Hill's Pet, a cat's normal body temperature is between 99 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.2 and 39.2 degrees Celsius). Cats can do a range of things to maintain this optimum body heat temperature. They have sweat glands in their paws, which is one way that they release heat, explains Wheaton Animal Hospital. But beyond that, they use "common sense" in the form of seeking shade when it's hot and seeking warmth when it's cold.
Cats also lick themselves, which helps to cool them off (evaporation is a cooling process). If it's a hot day or if the heat in your house is turned up, your cat may be overheating slightly. Instead of finding them curled up on the pile of clean towels you just took out of the dryer, you might find them laying on the cold tile of the bathroom floor.
Cats and blankets
A lot of cats do like blankets because they provide softness, comfort, warmth, and possibly a sense of safety. But all of those senses could also be fulfilled by a cardboard box, or even laying on top of a sheet of newspaper. If they are feeling too warm, they'll try to regulate their body heat. It could mean they aren't in the mood to snuggle or lay in their cat bed right then.
One tip for cat owners whose cats don't seem to always like laying on soft blankets is to provide a variety of places for them to nap. For instance, a cat bed with a blanket in addition to a cat bed with a sheet or other smooth surface like a pillow case can give your cat different surfaces to choose from based on their mood and the temperature.
Switch out the blanket
Another option is to provide a blanket with a different texture. If your cat bed has a very plush, thick blanket that your cat avoids, they might be more inclined to snuggle with a thinner microfiber one. If the blanket gets washed regularly, it may not have enough scent to make it comforting.
Zoo Awesome explains that many times cats like to lie on hard surfaces such as tile floors or tabletops because it helps them cool down. They also may be able to stretch out more fully than they could with a blanket in the way. The surface they choose, such as their cat owners' bedside table, could be a place where their scent lingers.
Let's assume that you have placed a blanket in a cat bed or cardboard box in order to entice your cat to snuggle in for a long nap. If your cat isn't using the resting spot the way you expected, perhaps it's that the placement of the bed isn't to their liking rather than the fact that they don't like the blanket. Try placing a bed with the soft blanket higher up on a perch, near a window, underneath your own bed so they can "hide," or in a more quiet corner.
Understanding cat behavior such as why a cat likes something or doesn't like something can be difficult to figure out. There could be a lot of factors going into your cat's decision to avoid the blanket you are offering, but it's likely just a preference of texture or temperature. Try replacing the blanket with one of a different texture. Try moving the cardboard box or cat bed with the blanket to a different spot. Try washing the blanket a little bit less so that it retains more of the cat's scent. It could also simply be that your cat is avoiding the blanket as a way to control their body heat.