Why do cats sleep in the sink?

Today we address a common mystery: Why does my cat sleep in the sink?

Have you ever seen a litter of kittens or puppies sleeping? They sleep in a pile of fur, touching, with limbs and heads piled on top of each other. As they grow older, many cats continue to seek this tactile stimulation when resting. A sink, box or bag gives them the pressure against their body that they are seeking.

Cats and small dogs can be both predator and prey. The perceived safety that comes from nesting or “denning” can significantly reduce stress. I often took care of a friend’s dogs, and every time I went over to the house to let them out and feed them, her Pomeranian would run under the bed, barking and growling. That was his safe zone. To get him out, I would kneel by the bed in play posture and call his name in an excited voice. He would zoom out from under the bed, jump on top of it, and then leap into my arms.

Some cats and small dogs will crawl under the bed covers. My dog has a small blanket (I use polyester baby blankets) in her bed that she burrows underneath when she is sleeping. If she is startled awake by a noise, it is very cute to see the blanket start barking. Others find “impossible” places to get to such as behind or even underneath a sofa or lounge chair.

Providing your pet with enclosed spaces to rest that provide some privacy is very important to their emotional well-being. Empty paper bags (without handles), empty cardboard boxes, small blankets, cat gyms with enclosed resting areas, and crates can all provide much needed time-out areas.

Learn more about the Everett Animal Shelter. Plan a visit, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out all of our adoptable pets. And be sure to watch our featured Pet of the Week on the Everett Channel.

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