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Ask A Vet: Why Does My Cat Like To Sleep In The Laundry Basket?

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Image Source: Link Jon Ross Via Flickr
Image Source: Jon Ross Via Flickr

Have you ever been looking for your cat, only to find her curled up in a laundry basket? Laundry baskets are just the right size for your cat and are usually full of items that your cat is accustomed to. If the clothes inside are not clean, they are filled with the scent of all the members of your family. Your cat feels safe encased in those scents and also very at home surrounded by them since cats often mark their “safe” areas with their own scent. She expects you would do the same, so she thinks that basket full of safe scents and cozy laundry is the “cat’s meow” (pun intended)!

If the clothes are clean, they are less full of scent, but many times they are still warm from the dryer which makes them irresistible because cats love warmth.

Cats are aware that they are small in the animal world. Even though she is by nature a hunter, she knows that she could also be prey, so for her rest areas, she will choose spots that are defensible and safe. A laundry basket is filled with familiar textures and if she burrows a little into the contents, she feels hidden and warm. She knows that she is surrounded by warmth and familiarity on three sides and she can peer out from under the clothes to assess the fourth side. If defense is required, she knows the laundry basket “has her back”.

Being burrowed frees her mind from its constant wariness of something sneaking up and allows her to sleep and be happy, secure in the fact that nothing can surprise her. She feels that you and your family have already deemed this a safe zone too, so it is an ideal resting place. Try to humor your cat and leave a basket handy for her to sleep in. Even better, donate one just to her cause and set it near a window in a sunbeam.  What a cost effective and easy way to make your cat happy!

Do you love cats? Do yours do quirky and endearing things? Ours too. Check me out on Facebook to see what other cat lovers are posting about! Click here.

Written by Dr. Kathryn Primm
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