Circling helps animals feel safe and ready for sleep.
The nose knows
Dogs and cats have an exquisitely tuned sense of smell. So when it's bedtime (or nap time), that nose goes to work. Walking in circles creates a protective nest of scent. And choosing which direction to point the nose helps detect possible predators.
Clearing a space to sleep
Habits carry over from when animals lived exclusively in the wild. Circling clears snakes and insects, and creates a space in the snow or grass. If the weather is cold, sleeping curled up retains body heat. If it's hot, pushing away the top layer of dirt exposes cooler earth.
Circling excessively or lying down and getting up repeatedly may mean an animal is in pain. If back or joint problems are getting in the way of your pet’s sleep, your vet can help.
Sweet dreams, kitties and pups.