Why does cat keep changing her sleeping spots?

August 5, 2019


Dear Joan: Agney, my 8-year-old female cat, finds a great place to sleep ó pet bed, closet, blanket ó and sleeps there for two to six months, then finds a new spot and never returns to the old.

The deserted spots arenít soiled. Why, besides because sheís a cat, does she do that?

ó Anne

Dear Anne: While some cat behaviors defy explanation, this one has a few.

Changing sleeping locations is a catís natural instinct, and reminds us that cats might be domesticated, but they are just one catnip-stuffed mouse away from being wild.

Eons ago, cats developed the practice of changing up their sleeping locations for their own protection. Catsí sleeping spots soon acquire their scent, allowing predators to track them to their lairs. So they moved around a lot.

Todayís house cat has retained that trait, even though most homes donít have predators stalking our felines. Your cat is just doing what comes naturally.

Cats also will change their preferred sleeping spot depending on the temperature. In the winter, when itís colder, they like a warm, cozy spot. In the heat of the summer, they might pick the bathroom sink as their primary place or favorite napping spot.

This doesnít sound like the case with your cat, but pain can cause more frequent or constant switches in sleeping places. Cats employ vertical thinking. If they sleep in this corner and they have pain, they blame the bed and try another spot. This behavior is more common in older cats that have arthritis.

In multiple cat homes, hierarchy influences where a cat sleeps. The dominant cat will choose its sleeping spot and any other cats have to defer.

Dear Joan: Please help me identify this bug! Nobody at the pool stores I have contacted have been able to help me figure it out.

I have an above ground-pool and I get tons of these small black insects diving in my pool and stinging me. I assume it is some sort of a bee, I just donít know how to get rid of them. Why are they only attacking me in the pool?

Gina

Dear Gina: I checked with my favorite insect identifier, Steve Schutz, scientific programs manager for the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District, and he believes your unwelcome pest is a sweat bee.

They generally donít sting you, he says, unless you swat at them or press them against your skin, however they sometimes nip people ó a bite that feels like a pinch.

Sweat bees are attracted to the salt in our sweat, and Iím guessing that while youíre in your pool, the combination of the heat and the water is causing you to become a sweat bee magnet.

It can definitely be annoying, but the sweat bees are beneficial insects that pollinate a lot of native plants. Itís possible they are being attracted by flowers in the yard, or there could be nests in the soil somewhere nearby.

Putting dryer sheets inside pots and setting them around the pool purportedly helps deter bees. You also can provide an alternate source of water for them ó away from the pool and you.

 


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