“Will My Cat Suffocate Under the Covers?” I’ve Thought This Myself…

“Will My Cat Suffocate Under the Covers?” I’ve Thought This Myself…

“Will My Cat Suffocate Under the Covers?” I’ve Thought This Myself…

I’ve never had a cat who even remotely liked being under covers until I adopted Bjorn…

Ever since then I’ve had a few moments of panic here and there, worrying over whether he’ll be able to breathe!

That’s him on the right… no not that white and grey cat, the one next to her, the blob under the covers!

Isn’t it strange how cats often sit next to or even start playing with cats beneath covers, too? Their oddities know no end…

But back on track! To under-the-cover breathing business.

Sometimes he stays under the covers for just a few moments, sometimes for the half hour to hour or so that I’m watching TV in bed.

Other times I could swear he would make it through the whole night of snuggling with me while he’s hidden under blankets.

Well he doesn’t for sure because I have a timed feeder that goes off in the middle of the night. The Petsafe SimplyFeed, I have it reviewed here if you’re curious.

Needless to say he gets up (and sprints out the door!) for that so there’s no sleeping a whole night under the blankets in my house, especially since he doesn’t often go back under after he’s had his heat fix.

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat & Dog Feeder – Amazon / ChewyCatit Design Senses Food Maze – Amazon / Chewy

My brother’s cat, Kalista, has actually gone under the covers all on her own, after the bed was made, and stayed there in a lump under the bed sheets while they frantically searched the house for her for heaven knows how long.

This is her emerging from the blankets that I obviously so rudely disturbed her from enjoying with my attempts to photograph her…

Cats are such odd creatures sometimes!

So what exactly is the deal about cats being under covers? Will they suffocate?

I’m going to preface this by saying I am not a scientist, I have no qualifications, this entire article is just my opinion and please oh please correct me if I’m wrong about anything or you feel something I said was questionable! Now onto my 2¢…

It Is Incredibly Unlikely (Although Not Totally Impossible!) For Your Cat to Suffocate if He or She Is Under the Covers

Alright I’m not going to rule out suffocation entirely, because I’m sure there are so many qualifiers and I couldn’t possibly begin to even imagine all of them.

But most of the time, it’s probably so unlikely your cat will suffocate under blankets that it’s perfectly fine to let them stay for as long as they’d like.

And yes, I think that’s true even if you regularly go out and come back to search for your cat frantically only to “find” him or her doing this…


Why’s it okay?

Blankets and covers are made of breathable fabrics like cotton a lot of times. And between the weaving of the fabric there are little holes…

Well have you ever hid your entire head under a blanket before?

Maybe to read a book with a flashlight under the covers so you didn’t wake mom or dad. Maybe you did this a few times in an effort to dull the noises you were hearing so you could actually fall asleep.

Or maybe you did this to stay as warm as possible. Maybe you even did this because it just felt safe and comfy and nice and that’s why you totally get why your cat would want to be under the covers….

No matter what the reason, did you think you might suffocate when you were under the blankets?

Did being under the blankets for a long time make you feel like you were struggling to breathe?

Probably not. You would probably have been fine under covers and blankets for considerably longer than you thought.

But that’s not because there’s “enough air down there,” really it’s because air gets through the breathable fabrics.

Think about it, if you soak a cover, what happens? It gets wet. Drenched. The water permeates, or goes through, the fibers of the covers.

If you tried to do that with a plastic table cover, that water is not getting through.

So yes, that would definitely be the kind of material air would not be able to get through and thus could suffocate a cat, or a person! Super dangerous to be under anything like that with no holes to allow for breathing!

But covers are different.

And unless somehow your cat gets tangled and is unable to breathe that way, my guess is he or she could go a whole night with no problem under the covers and likely so could you.

Again, this is my opinion as a total non-expert, so take it with a bucketful of salt, not as the final word, take precautions anyways just in case. And do your own research. And all that jazz.

Like you could always try grabbing a cat bed or two to bribe your cat into finding someplace else that’s warm to be.

The Trixie Minou cat bed is probably the biggest hit in my house with all of my cats because it’s so cozy and warm..

Trixie Pet Products Minou Cuddly Cave – Amazon / Chewy

But in most cases, no I really don’t think it’s likely at all that your cat will suffocate under the covers.

As covers are most often made of breathable fabrics that should let in enough air for your cat to be just fine.

But if you’re worried at all, say about roughhousing or something like that, you can also always try to prop up one side of your bedding so your cat has access to loads of fresh air, while simultaneously being under the blankets.

That’s a trick I tend to use. Also allows for my cats to have far easier escape, on the off chance they want to shoot out to go grab some grub because the food toy’s gone off again!

And of course try creating other spaces for them to be warm in. You could even grab a cat bed warmer for especially cold days, so your cat prefers going elsewhere.

I also used to hang blankets over a table or even hang a blanket over a chair to create a warm little tent area my cats could pop into and out of. Super fun for them, too!

Loads of options if you are worried. Hopefully one strikes your fancy if you’re even the slightest concerned.

Your Thoughts on Cats Suffocating Under Covers?

Do you think cats are fine to sleep under covers without the threat of suffocating?

Do you think there are dangers pet parents should be made aware of?

Are there any cats you know who like to curl up under the covers? How long do they typically stay beneath them?

Would you let your cat go under the covers? For how long? Under what circumstances?

Would love to hear your thoughts, stories, and opinions in the comments down below!

Elise Xavier

Have three pet cats, Avery, Bjorn, & Athos whom I love to bits. Obsessed with cats. Figured I might as well blog about ’em.

Fond of my fluffies? See more of them on my personal blog, E&T. Dig KittyClysm? Check out all the other blogs I pen & photograph.

Elise’s Favourite Tip

One of the most frustrating problems I’ve had to deal with as a pet parent is staying on top of my cats’ desire to play. While this is typically hard to do, toys like these that allow cats to play by themselves make the job one heck of a lot easier.

The hits in my household are ridiculously affordable: cat springs, ball track toys, & kick sticks. I have a slew scattered around the house, so when my cats get bored, even if I’m busy or not even home, my furries are able to actively play.

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Reader Interactions


Jean Mornard says

November 1, 2023 at 4:12 pm

Every once in awhile our big tuxedo cat, Figaro, will burrow under the covers, lean up against my back, and purr himself to sleep. It’s wonderful! Then he’ll get up and box my dresser mirror in order to make us get up and let him out since we have to keep the door shut because the other Khaos Kitties ™ like to play with our heads or romp around, making sleep impossible. Sigh…


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Hi, I’m Elise! Welcome to KittyClysm – a blog for cat lovers & kitty keepers. Join me & my furries in our little corner of the feline-obsessed world. Facts about cats, training tips, odd behaviours, pet care advice – I talk as much as I can about it all here!

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