Why Your Cat Likes To Sleep With You

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:

1. Security

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.

2. Warmth

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).

3. Territory

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.

4. Companionship

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.

black cat on bed in bedroom

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.

Sound off! Tell us what you think!

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16 Comments

  1. Mary Ellen

    My Schmitty does sleep with me. But lately, not so much. I don’t think she likes my Air Conditioner? Sometimes in the morning she will come in and snuggle near me.

    Reply
  2. Cindy Jones

    Yes, 3 of 4 cats sleep with us….can’t imagine them not being there ~

    Reply
  3. NELSON

    CATS ARE MY BEST COMPANION ESPECIALLY AT BED TIMES

    Reply
  4. Nancy

    My Daisy sleeps on the bed with me, but facing away from me. My Daphne thinks she’s guarding the apartment. She always sleeps near the door. All my prior cats had been males and they always slept opposite my head so this sleep situation with the girls has always puzzled me.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Too cute. They’re the best little companions.

      Reply
  5. Kitty Mama

    Both Sterling & Harley enjoy letting me share the bed! They are like gargoyles, 1 perched by my feet the other guy is up by my shoulders
    Purr-fect sleeping 😻

    Reply
    • Lauren

      They’re purrtecting you!

      Reply
  6. Cathy

    Bella is my velcro cat so where I go, she goes! And I mean she is glued to my side 🙂 Phoenix used to sleep with me but now mostly in the colder weather, but he knows he’s welcome anytime.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      So cute! Velcro cat! I know what you mean!

      Reply
  7. Lisa

    Bindi has to have my arm straight out & he snuggles his paws on it, his head on the same pillow as me…it’s too cute!!! I love it, (sometimes my arm gets stiff!!! lol)

    Reply
  8. Wanda

    I have 4 cats ranging from age 16 to 8 months. The old man loves to sleep right beside me. The 7 year old comes to bed gets his belly rubbed and leaves. The 3 year old and 8 month old ttake turns sleeping between my legs and right side od me. My husband has no cats on his side of the bed

    Reply
  9. Deidre

    I love that velcro cat Cathy lol I have one of those as a matter of fact he is my new rescue,, from the moment I brought him in he will not leave my side in the beginning he slept at my feet and in 2 months he has worked his way up to snuggling in my armpit,,I love it since I’m alone and it shows me how much he trusts me,,great article 🙃❣️

    Reply
  10. Dawn

    Yes two of my cats sleep with me on and off through out the night. I sometimes wake up to my little guy (12 pounds of him) trying to tip toe across the pillow above my head to snuggle around the top of my head. Sometimes he will walk on me and plop his fluffy knickerbockers next to my face if I’m on my back and I get a tail swishing across my face lol. My newest addition will lay up by my shoulders and purr when I reach over and pet her. I also sometimes become part of the race track to the catio door in the morning as they race each other to see who will be first out off the window to check out the birds.

    Reply
  11. AM

    I have ESP with my feline. If I wake in the night and she is not there, all I have to do is think about her and seconds later I feel her jump up on the bed or hear the catio door open and close and then there she is….

    Reply
  12. Dyanna

    My baby boy Quincy Jonez not only sleeps with me but is also a furry alarm clock. Because when he is hungry he now gets a toy and drops on my head! I wake up sometimes in the night to make sure my fur baby is safe and warm in bed with me.

    Reply
  13. Erika

    One of my cats sleeps between me and my husband. The other one likes to sleep between our legs. The purring is the best way to fall asleep in my opinion. It can be hard to roll over because of being pinned down by a cat though. It’s totally worth it!

    Reply

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