If you’re a cat owner you will no doubt have woken up at some point to find a cat nuzzled up to you or sitting on your belly or head! So you may be curious to know why your cat loves sleeping with you. There are a number of key reasons:
Even though cats are small predators, they are also at risk of being hunted by bigger animals so they have to be wary. When your cat is sleeping it is vulnerable and is at greatest risk of being unsuspectingly attacked by a predator.
Sleeping with you provides them with security and an extra defense if a predator should launch a nighttime attack. They sleep with you because they trust you, they know you’re not a danger and you can also provide an extra layer of defense if needed.
Cat’s love warmth. If there’s a warm patch in your home it won’t be long before your cat finds and occupies it. With a body temperature of 102 degrees (3-4 degrees higher than human body temperature) a cat’s tolerance of, and desire for, warmth is far greater than ours. Your warm body makes the perfect place to sleep during the night, especially your head or feet (where most heat escapes from).
Cats are very territorial creatures. As a result of this they may consider your bed to be part of their territory. Cats make their territory by rubbing their head on things and walking on objects because they have glands in their feet and head which release pheromones that essentially mark the area as their own. Walking all over your bed, and bumping heads with you is one way that your cat marks their territory.
Finally, your cat may like sleeping with you simply because they like and trust you. Your cats know you take good care of them and they consider you to be a good sleeping companion! Contrary to stereotypes, cats enjoy companionship (on their terms). Cats are often thought of as being independent creatures who are happy in their own company. But your cat can get lonely. Interacting with the human they love helps to enrich their lives (and yours). If your cat sleeps with you this indicates that they enjoy your company and want to spend time with you.
Is it Good To Sleep With Your Cat? What are the upsides and downsides of sleeping with your cat?
Downsides of sleeping with your cat
- Sleeping with your cat can pose problems, particularly if you are a light sleeper.
- Cats are nocturnal by nature, so they spend much of their day sleeping and at night, they are up and “hunting.” Cats don’t usually sleep soundly through the night like humans. Instead, they take naps, wake up and then go about their business throughout the night.
- If you are a light sleeper then your cat jumping on and off the bed through the night is not ideal and will disturb your sleep. Get a set of pet stairs leading up to your bed to avoid the “thud” of your cat jumping on and off of your bed.
- If your cat is allowed outdoors they can make an absolute mess of your bedsheets when bringing the outdoors, inside…particularly when it is wet and muddy outside.
- If you suffer from allergies, your cat will undoubtedly leave hair on your bed so be sure to change your sheets frequently.
But not to worry – there are plenty of great reasons to invite your cat to bed with you.
Upsides of sleeping with your cat
- When your cat is content, they usually purr. Cats purrs are said to be beneficial to not just their health but yours too. The frequency of a cat’s purr helps to promote the growth and repair of broken and fractured bones as well as ligament and muscle damage too! It is also a great soother which helps both of you relax
- Sleeping with your cat not only keeps them warm but it keeps you warm too. In colder climates or winter, your cat can be a welcome addition to your bedtime routine. In summer… maybe not so much.
Sleeping with your cat can be a great experience depending on both you and your cat’s sleeping habits and preferences. As with anything, take your lifestyle and that of your cat’s into consideration and don’t force your cat to sleep in your bed. Likewise, if you don’t allow your cat to sleep in or on your bed, be sure you provide alternatives like a self-warming sleeping mat, a kitty condo, pet bed and the like.
Do you let your cats sleep in or on your bed? Tell us in the comments!
Sleeping with your cat is a great bonding experience because of the trusted relationship formed. It’s a high compliment when you cat chooses to cuddle up to you.