Do Your Cats Shake Up the Household Sleeping Scheme?


New Year’s Day 2016 I was sitting on the living room floor surrounded by three big dog beds. My cat Jack was in a bed before me. My dog, Trucker, was in one behind me. When I looked to my right, I did a double take.

There curled up in a ball on the third bed, on a Snoopy motif fleece blanket, was my cat Forest. While this may not seem like a big deal, this was a first for Forest.

forest on dog bed 01
Forest lying on the dog bed.

Forest prefers to lie on his back, belly up in the open. Usually he stretches out on the floor in rooms or hallways so that I have to step over or around him.

Last summer I routinely found him lying upside down in a corner at the top of my stairs. When I placed a small flannel quilt there for him to lie on, he slowly lost interest in the location.

forest on quilt at top of stairs
Forest on his quilt at the top of the stairs.

I have found him in other favorite spots, such as stretched out against the wall beside my bed, upside down behind my nightstand, and for a time sandwiched between my open bathroom door and the wall.

forest behind bathroom door
Forest between the open bathroom door and the wall.

If he is lying on my bed, he must be on top of my clean clothes or a blanket, or beside my pillow. My other pets like to be covered up with blankets. Not Forest. One touch of a blanket over his body and he will move to another spot to rest.

New Year’s Day, Forest curled up on the pillow-top dog bed as his brothers enjoyed resting on the other dog beds around me. I quickly took his picture to prove this.

forest on dog bed with Jack and Trucker
Forest on the dog bed, along with Jack, at left, and Trucker.

This episode made me think of the funny behaviors dogs and cats have, changing up where they like to sleep or sit after months or years of resting in the same spots. The changes can seem so odd that you laugh — or panic trying to find them.

Experts in feng shui (the ancient Chinese art of placement) say that dogs and cats pick up on energy patterns that flow through a home. Dogs love positive energy while cats are drawn to negative energy. It’s stated that cats can absorb negative energy in a spot and convert it into positive energy. Judith Auora Ryan outlines this in Feng Shui for Pets.

My mom has found her black cat, Pokey, sitting on top of her refrigerator. I recently spotted his orange eyes glowing as he sat in a pass-through from her kitchen to her dining area.

We searched all over her house one day because we couldn’t find her cat Tiger, only to discover him sleeping behind her sewing table.

forest along wall beside bed
Here’s Forest, sleeping along the wall near the bed.

My dog, who is always within my site, disappeared one evening and I found him lying on a small rug in front of the front door on my porch.

A friend once found his Australian shepherd sleeping on his kitchen table when he came home. She is deaf, so he startled her when he walked up and touched her there.

An acquaintance on Facebook has found two of her pit bulls sitting or lying on her dining room table, sometimes with their butts strategically placed on a newspaper.

My senior cat, Joan, loves to scare me from time to time by vanishing in the house.

I always do a head count of my pets before I leave home, when I come home and before I go to bed. One day I came home and could not find Joan. I called her name, shook a jar of crunchy treats and received no response. I finally located her black-and-white body in the back of my bedroom closet, up against the wall sleeping so soundly that I had to touch her to wake her.

She has moved around lately to new sleeping locations. For months she was sleeping under my bed. Now she rests beside my pillow on my bed.

Joan in her favorite window spot
Joan in her favorite window spot.

For several weeks she had a special hiding place — or “hidey hole” as my mom calls it — that put me and a friend into a frenzy trying to find her.

My first frenzied search led me to a small coat closet located in the back entryway of my home. The closet’s bi-fold door stands open several inches and Joan was sleeping on the floor behind a vaporizer humidifier machine box, between hanging coats. Her black fur camouflaged her well until she looked at me, flashing the white fur around her nose and up the center of her forehead.

joan in coat closet
Joan in the coat closet.

When my friend come over to baby sit my pets, I forgot to tell him about Joan’s new hiding place. To make matters worse, Forest joined her there because he was worried about the pet sitter’s presence.

My friend spent what seemed like eternity trying to find them both, exploring under furniture and in closets throughout the house. He informed me that the little “poops” (to put it delicately) had him beside himself in worry until he found Joan on one side of the closet floor and Forest on the other. Both were peacefully resting with one leg stretched forward watching him pass by, hysterically calling their names.

forest in coat closet
Forest in the coat closet.

Finding my pets sleeping in odd places makes me visualize the energy patterns flowing through my home. I have my cats to thank for acting as speed bumps to negative energy and converting it into positive.

What odd sleeping arrangements have your cats found in your house? Tell me in the comments.

About the author: Tracy Ahrens is a veteran journalist, author, artist and mom to three rescued cats and one dog. Visit her website and add her children’s book, “Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight,” to your collection. All proceeds help nine humane organizations.

3 thoughts on “Do Your Cats Shake Up the Household Sleeping Scheme?”

  1. My cat who is senior has his eating schedule changed to night and wakes me every three hours to feed him. If I don’t feed , he screams at me till I get up. He only eats canned food and it has to be warmed. I am exhausted because I am also senior who doesn’t sleep well and I have spoiled.this cat.
    Have you any suggestions? He won’t eat kibble anymore.

    1. Hi Sandra,

      We suggest asking your vet for the best advice. These articles might help, too:

    2. Sandra. Thank you for writing. I hope that the sources shared here can help. Perhaps your veterinarian can give advice, too. I know an animal behaviorist and asked them to perhaps share advice here, too.

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