Where Outside Cats Sleep? Stray Cats Exposed

Where do outdoor cats sleep? Do they curl up in a sunny spot on your porch, or do they find a warm place to snooze under a bush? Some folks may wonder if it’s safe for one of their indoor furry family members to be in the backyard. 

This article will explore where stray cat colony cats sleep and what cats do when it’s raining. We’ll also examine risks for domestic cats outdoors and how long cats sleep, and do they dream.

What Is the Distinction Between an Indoor and Outdoor Cat?

Cats’ metabolisms vary based on whether they’re inside or outdoor cats. Active outdoor cats burn more calories and have more energy. As a consequence, outdoor cats need more protein.

Outdoor cats are vulnerable to parasites and illnesses that reduce their lives. Indoor cats live longer because they’re less likely to be injured by automobiles or other animals.

Cats that prefer the indoors and those that prefer the outdoors. 

Both are physiologically identical but have different upbringings and circumstances; outdoor cats include barn cats, wild cats, and strays. Barn cats dwell on farms and huge lands and are uncontrolled. Feral cats live outdoors and shun people; strays are urban cats who run away. While all these cats look different, they all share one common trait: a love of napping in the sun!

What kind of places do outdoor cats like to sleep in?

Most cats prefer sleeping quarters in a quiet, isolated, safe place where they can feel relaxed and close to food sources. Not all cats have good human interaction, so they love tranquility and enjoy the sound of their purring, which helps them relax.

Some familiar places that outdoor cats like to sleep in easy to crawl spaces: 

  • Garages
  • Porches of some homes
  • Old abandoned building
  • Backyards
  • Patios
  • Bushland
  • Barns & Sheds
  • Industrial Factories
  • Cardboard Boxes

Wild or stray cats typically don’t have access to beds or comfortable places to sleep, so with whatever, who can be predators they can find, like a pile of leaves or a sheltered spot under a bush or long grass? Just like your cat gets comfy by scratching, stray cats do the same by scratching, and area every outdoor cat needs the leaves into a bed.

Stray cats in the neighborhood are more likely to relocate in response to loud noise because they have more natural enemies than the average backyard cat, who can be predators to local birds while pouncing on a bird feeder and small animals.

How long do outdoor cats sleep?

Cats have been known to sleep for up to 20 hours straight, while most only sleep for 16. No matter where the cat spends its nights or days, every outdoor cat needs brief bursts of energy for hunting, playing, and exploring.

Is it okay for cats to sleep outside at night?

For the most part, as long as an outside cat has a well-kept coat and a dry shelter to retreat to in bad weather, it will be acceptable to stay outside overnight for some domestic cats. However, there are some risks that cats face when they’re outdoors, such as:

  • Road accidents
  • Getting attacked by larger animals
  • Exposure to diseases and parasites such as fleas, ticks, ear mites, intestinal worms, and ringworm
  • Become entangled or caught in trees and traps
  • Eating slugs in your backyard 
  • Hedgehogs 
  • Other Cats (un-neutered, stray cats, diseases)

While some risks are associated with letting your cat outdoors, there are also benefits. Outdoor cats tend to live longer than indoor-only cats and have more opportunities to explore their natural hunting instincts.

Will My Cat Be Safe Outside?

One significant thing you can do to keep your outdoor cat safe is to provide a large, fenced-in area to roam. This will protect your cat from cars and other animals that might hurt it. You should also provide a dry shelter for your cat to sleep in and plenty of food and water. Outdoor cats also need plenty of toys to keep them amused.

If you’re worried about your cat getting lost, consider having it microchipped. This mini chip is inserted under the skin and can be used to identify your cat if it ever gets lost.

How can you determine if a cat is a stray?

Stray cat sunbathing next to a greenhouse.
Stray cat sunbathing next to a greenhouse. Photo by https://elements.envato.com/user/joaquincorbalan

If you come across a cat that you think might be a stray, there are a few factors you can look for to determine if it is :

  • Thin and looks like it’s been neglected.
  • Dirty and has matted fur.
  • Seems friendly but is also skittish around people.
  • Is wearing a collar but doesn’t have an ID tag.

What should you do to see a stray cat in your neighborhood?

Felines are routine animals, so if you notice one loitering about your area, it is probable that it lives there. If you’re a little worried about the welfare of a stray cat, the best thing to do is to get in touch with your local animal shelter or rescue organization for assistance.

While most outside cats are content with their living arrangements, some may become indoor/outdoor cats if given the opportunity.

The best way to turn a stray cat into an indoor cat is to start feeding it and gradually gain its trust. Once the cat is comfortable with you, start bringing it.

Are there any risks to having stray cats near your house and property?

While most cats are relatively harmless, there are a few dangers to consider if you have strays hanging around your home. The possibility of infection is among the most serious threats. Cats can carry several diseases that can be passed on to humans, including rabies and toxoplasmosis.

Another danger to consider is the fact that cats are natural predators. If you have small children or pets, they may be at risk of being attacked by a stray cat. Cats can also kill small wildlife, such as birds and rodents, which can be both good and bad.

Once more, If you are apprehensive about the perils of stray animals, you must take precautions to keep them away from your property. This includes keeping your yard clean and free of food and water sources that would attract them.

What do cats do when it rains?

Cats’ heightened senses enable them to detect a storm. The inner ears of cats may detect a pressure decrease. A cat’s hearing and smell are superior; your cat will notice a rainstorm before you do.

Rain may create a variety of concerns for cats, making them feel incredibly uneasy. A few raindrops here and there on their coats may not be a bother. However, their coats will grow bulky and less snug if their coats become wet.

Cats sleep more on rainy days because their natural instincts warn them that hunting will be futile.

Nobody knows where all the stray cats go when it rains. Some claim they have a sixth sense that instructs them to seek refuge, while others think they merely act on instinct. Whatever they do, one thing is certain: cats are fascinating animals.

When it rains, most indoor cats wrap up in a warm bed or sunbeam, but their outdoor counterparts must become imaginative to find shelter.

Can Cats Spend the Night Outside in the Cold?

Cats have a fantastic ability to adapt to cold weather. Fur coats protect cats from the cold and can shiver to regulate their body temperature. Cats also have high pain tolerance, so they may not show signs of being cold until they are in danger of hypothermia.

The coldest months of the year are the most dangerous for cats. Frostbite can occur when skin temperature drops below 38°C and can cause permanent damage to the tissue. Hypothermia can occur when body temperature falls below 99°F and can be fatal.

Providing a warm shelter for your cat in your yard is crucial if you live in a cold climate. A simple cover made of straw or wood can keep your cat warm and safe during extreme weather conditions. Ensure your cat has access to a food source and water, and bring them inside during icy weather.

Are cats nocturnal, yes or no?

Cats are nocturnal predators, which means they are most active in the morning and evening, and they have innate hunting instincts, developed for stealth, and have keen claws and fangs that aid in prey capture. While some cats may be more active at night, the majority of cats sleep for 12-16 hours every day.    

Some cats are more awake during the night, although this does not signify that they are solely nocturnal creatures. 

Can cats see in total darkness?

Cats can see in near-darkness and have eyes specially adapted to help them hunt at night. Cats have a lining of tissue called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back into the eye and increases their ability to see in low-light conditions. However, cats cannot see in complete darkness.

Do cats dream?

Some people say they do, while others are convinced that cats simply sleep to conserve energy. However, there is truth in the saying that cats do dream – at least, based on research conducted on rats.

Dreams are believed to help us process the events of the day and may also help us consolidate memories. 

There’s no concise answer to that query, but it’s possible. After all, cats and other animals share many of the same neurological structures as humans.

One factor we do know is that cats enter into a deep sleep when they’re dreaming. During this stage, their brains produce high-frequency delta waves associated with deep rest and relaxation. Their muscles also twitch periodically, sometimes seen when they’re sleeping.

So do cats dream? The jury is still debating on this, but there’s a good chance they do. And if they do dream, they likely dream about chasing mice or birds around their home!

Anton Katzer and Fuu created an awesomely hilarious clip together, demonstrating the dream twitch in Fuu’s dream world.

Anton Katzer. (2011, April 20). Dreaming Cat (Fuu) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD_oHHu7IoU

Final Purr

No matter where cats spend their nights, one thing is sure: they are amazing creatures. Cats’ ability to adapt to their environment and survive in the wild is a testament to their strength and resilience.

While most of us take the comfort of our homes and a warm bed at night, we can’t help but adore the tenacity of our feline friends who can tough it out in the great outdoors.

So the next time you see a cat curled up in a tight ball on your porch, take a moment to appreciate all they endure to make it through another night. And if you’re feeling extra generous, leave out some extra food and water – they might just need it.

Sources of Information

Connor, M. (2021, May 29). Where Do Outdoor Cats Like To Sleep ?| How To Help Them Rest In Safety. Home & Roost. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from https://homeandroost.co.uk/blog/where-do-outdoor-cats-like-to-sleep/

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