In their natural habitat, wild and feral cats have to make do with whatever they can find. While domesticated cats kept as pets can adjust their sleep patterns to their owners’ schedules, wild and feral felines must rely on instinct and resourcefulness to survive. Where do stray and wild cats go to sleep at night? The answer may surprise you.
Whether cold or warm, a cat’s sleep location is usually close to a source of water. The location must also provide privacy and security. In winter, a cozy shelter with bedding like straw can help keep a feral or stray cat warm. In hot weather, they’ll often choose a spot that is shaded and cool.
Even though cats are skilled hunters, their small size makes them prey for larger creatures. As a result, they prefer to remain perched in high areas. This keeps them on top of their surroundings, allowing them to monitor movements for predators or other cats that might try to infringe on their territory. They also recharge their energy with cat naps throughout the day that typically last 15 to 30 minutes.
While sleeping, a feral or stray cat will circle around to make sure it is safe and secure before lying down. This ritual is a biological necessity; it helps them conserve their much-needed energy. In addition, by circling before bedding down, they can also ensure that their bare skin does not come into contact with the ground. This prevents them from absorbing too much of the sun’s heat. In hot climates, a cat will also scratch at the ground to remove topsoil and grass that retains and radiates the heat.