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is it safe for cats to sleep on the cable box?

  • Dr. Kim
  • Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on
    Staff Veterinarian and Pet Health Writer of Petplan

Is it safe for cats to sleep on the cable box? Are there some warm cat nap spots that can be dangerous? Petplan pet insurance has the answers!

As technology marches along, there’s a whole new generation of cats that are being denied one of the simple pleasures of cat life: sleeping on top of the television. As mammoth televisions are being replaced by thin, impossible-to-lay-on flat screens, cats should take solace in the fact that, for now, they can still snooze atop the cable box for a similar experience.


I often get asked if it is safe for cats to sleep on top of the television or cable box, and the short answer is, yes! Even though they are known for having nine lives, most cats don’t willingly put themselves in harm’s way just to test out this theory. The cable box does produce a small amount of heat (otherwise, why would it be fun to sleep there?), but it’s usually not enough heat to put your cat in danger.


Warm spots that can be dangerous


The Dryer: One of the most frustrating places I find my cat in is a laundry basket of freshly folded clothes. To my cat, that’s a warm, toasty, soft bed. To me, it then becomes a basket full of hairy clothes. In the same vein, it’s not too hard to imagine a cat jumping into an open clothes dryer. It sounds crazy, but it happens, and when owners aren’t aware when they start the dryer, you’ve got all the pieces of a disaster waiting to happen.


Your Car Engine: In the winter, warm car engines are a perfect spot for outdoor cats to curl up for a snooze, but when it’s time to start the car, these cats find themselves in a perilous situation. Banging on your hood before you start your car in the winter will jolt an unsuspecting kitty out of hiding.


Confined Spaces: Finally, confined spaces are more likely to cause problems because of poor ventilation. This is important to remember for cats who go to the groomer, where drying cages might be used. Or for anyone who travels by car with their pet. A hot car is NOT the place for any pet. If you have errands to run, just leave your pet at home. It’s not worth the risk.


Despite their love of all things warm and sunny, cats can be affected by heat stroke just like their canine cousins. Obese cats are more prone to overheating than their slimmer sisters, so keep a more careful watch in hot situations if your cat is carrying extra weight.



So, back to the original question. Yes, your cat is probably safe snoozing on the cable box. As long as she is able to come and go from the box at her leisure, she’s in no danger of overheating! The days of cable boxes are likely numbered, too, so let your cat enjoy it while it lasts!


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Posted by Shawn D
on December 10 2016 23:16

I don't think the warmth from the box is the concern here... how about being exposed to magnetic waves, radiation, etc?

Posted by A.
on November 17 2016 01:50

It's the cable box I'd be worried about. If the cat blocks the ventilation slots in its case it could overheat. Sure the cat would jump to safety whenever the heat got to be too much, but meanwhile all that repeated overheating and cooling would be wearing out the cable box's components.

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