Where Do Stray Cats Go During The Day?

While most people understand that stray cats roam the streets in most people’s neighborhoods, few understand where those cats go when they’re not home.

Generally, stray cats stay close to their original homes. So, where do stray cats go during the day?

Stray cats are everywhere in cities. While some stray cats may live on the streets, the majority live in abandoned buildings and homes.

This presents a problem for stray cats, however, because they don’t have water to drink or food to eat during the day. Some stray cats get water from garbage bins, but this isn’t safe.

Stray cats are also hunted by dogs or poisoned by dog feces. Stray cats also struggle to find food, as there aren’t enough places for them to eat during the day.

Where Do Stray Cats Go During The Day?


Some stray cats find shelter in the trees that surround their homes. Usually the trees are near buildings that the cats are using for shelter and food. These areas are known as “tree belts.”

Tree belts are common in cities and urban areas where trees grow near tall buildings and homes.

Tree belts help to shield the cats and provide them with a safe place to hide and sleep during daylight hours.

Many tree belts are also home to birds and other small animals, which give the cats a food source during the day.

Because stagnant water is frequently packed with disease-causing bacteria, cats that are living in tree belts need to drink fresh water from a nearby source such as a bird bath or fountain.

These feral cats will not hesitate to defend their territory from intruders.

If it is really wet or chilly, they will stay close to shelter and wait until it is safe to hunt again.

Shrubs or Bushes

Many stray cats may discover that hiding beneath bushes is safer than sleeping under a tree at night.

Large bushes may provide some protection from predators that may find the tree platforms too exposed for comfort.

However, unlike trees, shrubs provide little protection from the elements on windy days.

Also, while trees can provide shade from the sun on hot days, these creatures may be exposed to harsh winds if they aren’t careful when resting under large shrubs.

Because of this fact, most stray cats prefer tree shelters to shrub shelters.


Aside from autos, stray cats like garages because garages often have a food supply of pet food that is left out for the owners’ pets.

Junk Stacks

Sheet metal, plywood, old furniture, and discarded auto parts make junk stacks the perfect refuge for a stray cat.

A cat can hide in a junk stack for hours without being disturbed. In addition, many junk stacks have areas of soft bedding inside them that the cat can use for warmth.

This is why free-roaming cats feel comfortable and


Awnings have the added advantage of being above ground level, so a cat can observe its environment without the risk of being spotted by a human observer on the ground level.

However, awnings may not offer much protection against the elements unless the awning covers the entire building. Therefore, most free-roaming cats are more comfortable sleeping in a tree rather than under an awning.

These additional roofs or coverings are excellent locations for a cat to retreat to if it needs to get away from people or is feeling threatened in any way.

This usually happens when the cat is eating a meal or just resting for the day. The added height provides the cat with a better vantage point to observe its surroundings and avoid possible threats.

This vantage point also allows the cat to see other animals that are nearby in case it would like to eat some food that is left outside for others to find as well.

Tool or Garden Sheds

Tool and garden sheds, like garages, often contain pet food that has been left out for the owners’ pets to eat.

Food left in sheds is usually untouched by the owners because it is usually too heavy to carry inside at the end of the day. In addition, cat food is often placed in a plastic container that prevents it from spilling when it is picked up off the garage floor and carried indoors.

These containers are usually heavy and difficult to move from one place to another, so they are often left where they are placed at the end of the work day.

There are just too many places for these containers of food to fall and become accessible to cats or other animals in the area.

The good thing is that there is an easy way to prevent these spills from happening: place the container in a cat proof cat box that is set on a flat floor surface where it cannot be knocked over and spilled on the floor where it will attract animals to lick.

The engines also protect from weather and theft and are made from recycled aluminum with stainless steel hardware for long life and durability.

While automobiles may offer stray cats with shelter from a cold winter night, the engines pose several problems.


It is fairly unusual for stray cats in metropolitan cities to sleep inside of vehicles.

Usually, they are able to find some type of shelter inside the vehicle to sleep in.

If the engine is not running, then there may be enough room for the cat to fit in between the engine and the engine block.

However, if the motor is running, then the heat from the engine blocks will make it difficult for the feline to stay inside for any length of time.

Abandoned Buildings

Cats like abandoned buildings because the roof provides them shelter from rain or snow and the walls provide them protection from the elements as well.

I’ve lost count of the amount of tales I’ve listened to over the years about some streetwise alley cat that has discovered an old abandoned building and decided to move in!

Some choose to hide in the roof while others choose to lurk in the basement rooms waiting for food to be thrown out by careless people who don’t realize their kitchen trash is open to anyone who cares to look for it.

Cats do need a nice warm place to sleep but they tend to avoid places where there are a lot of people because they don’t want to be hassled or bothered.

Things Stray Cats Do During The Day


Cats will often seek for a “safe” spot during the day in order to groom themselves properly.

While grooming itself isn’t an activity that requires a lot of concentration, it does take a considerable amount of time for a cat to properly groom itself on a daily basis.

The “safe” spot is a place where the cat can relax and focus on the task at hand without getting bothered by others.

The best “safe” spots are often underneath a bush or in the shade of a tree where the cat can feel protected and away from prying eyes.

This often occurs during midday when most cats need to relax by staying indoors during the hot sun.

Look for Food

Cats love enclosed resting areas that are out -of-the-way from people, such as under a car or in a garage.

Unfortunately, these areas are also filled with car fluids such as motor oil, transmission fluid, gasoline, etc., which can be very harmful to cats and kittens. Avoid feeding feral (wild) cats and kittens outside.

Feeding them indoors eliminates the risk that they will get poisoned by eating these harmful substances.


During the day, stray cats usually sleep quite soundly for long periods of time during the day unless they are bothered by another animal or a noisy person that scares them away from the area where they are sleeping.

This permits them to conserve energy and protect themselves from danger while resting or recovering from injuries.

The majority of stray cats are very shy and fearful creatures and they dislike any contact from people.

What Does My Cat Do At Night Outside?

Apart from hunting, cats patrol their territory during the night hours looking for any trespassers or animals that are trying to invade their territory.

They do this by walking the perimeter of their area, keeping their eyes peeled for any movement that may signify a threat. This is mainly how territorial disputes between other cats are settled.

For feral cats and outdoor pets that are raised outdoors, this is another habit that they must learn in order to avoid being hurt when they finally encounter another cat for the first time.

Fights between wild and domesticated cats are rare, but they do happen when both animals feel threatened or insecure about their surroundings.

The primary cause of this problem is that domestic cats are rarely taught how to fight properly or humanely and because of this, they often end up hurting each other in the process.

What Age Can Cats Stay Out At Night?

It is recommended that you do not let your kitten outdoors alone until they are at least 6 months old.

Until this time, they are still learning the basics about how to survive on their own and may be easily injured or even killed by other animals that may try to attack them while they are on their own.

Also, remember that your kitten’s mother will still continue to teach her young how to hunt and defend her territory against predators.

If you allow your kitten to roam around on its own, you run the risk of allowing it to be injured by a wild animal or by another cat who may decide to attack it while it is on its own.

Also Read: Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers Curling?


Stray cats are creatures of habit and they do the same things every day.

They mostly keep to themselves and avoid contact with other people as much as possible.

However, if you provide them with food and water, they will soon learn to accept your presence and be friendly towards you as long as you don’t try to grab them with your hands.

Some will hunt, while others may kill rodents and birds that they find in their territory.

The majority of their time is spent sleeping, but some of them get up to wander around and explore their surroundings.