Have you ever wondered why your feline friend prefers the top of the bookshelf over that cozy cat bed you bought? If you’re a cat owner, you’ve probably noticed this peculiar behavior. In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind this feline fascination with high places.

The Instinctual Drive: Why Cats Prefer Heights

Cats are creatures of instinct, and much of their behavior can be traced back to their wild ancestors. In the wild, a high vantage point can serve as a lookout for potential dangers like predators. It can also give cats the upper hand when hunting for prey. This instinctual drive for high places has been passed down through generations, making even the most domesticated cats prefer a lofty perch.

The Psychological Comfort: Feeling Safe and Secure

Beyond the instinctual drive, there’s also a psychological aspect to this behavior. High places offer cats a sense of security and comfort. Being up high allows them to survey their territory and keep an eye on any potential threats. This sense of security can be especially comforting when they are in a deep sleep, making high places the ideal napping spot.

The Practical Reasons: Spotting Danger and Prey

From a practical standpoint, being elevated helps cats keep an eye on their environment. Whether it’s spotting a mouse scurrying across the floor or keeping tabs on the family dog, an elevated position gives them the advantage. This is particularly useful in multi-cat households, where a high perch can help maintain the social hierarchy.

The Fussy Nature: Why Cats May Change Their Sleeping Spots

If you’ve noticed that your cat changes her sleeping spots frequently, you’re not alone. Cats are notoriously clean animals, and a buildup of dirt or a change in scent can make their current spot less appealing. This fussiness is just another layer of their complex personalities.

The Owner’s Dilemma: Investing in Cat Beds

Many cat owners invest in plush, expensive cat beds, only to find them ignored. If you find yourself in this situation, consider placing the cat bed in a high location, or investing in cat furniture that takes advantage of vertical space, like a cat tree.


  • Why do cats sleep so much? Cats can sleep up to 16 hours a day, and this is entirely normal. Their sleep cycle is different from humans, and much of it is light sleep.
  • How can I make my home more cat-friendly with high sleeping spots? Consider installing shelves or buying multi-level cat trees to give your cat more options.
  • What should I do if my cat doesn’t like sleeping in high places? Every cat is different. If your cat prefers lower spots, make sure they are comfortable and secure.


Understanding why cats prefer high places can help you make your home more cat-friendly and can also give you new insights into your pet’s behavior. Whether it’s instinctual, psychological, or practical, the reasons are complex but all serve the same purpose: to make your cat feel safe, secure, and in control of their environment.

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