Why Do Cats Like to Sleep with Their Owners?


Ever wonder about why cats seem to sleep next to you, or on you? Yes, it’s certainly adorable and makes you feel much closer to your pet. And after all, a little extra warmth at night couldn’t hurt. You may be wondering though if you should allow your cat to sleep with you at all, especially if you wake up in the middle of the night to your cat playing with your feet or your hair. So exactly why do cats sleep on you? There are quite a few reasons why.

1. You’re family.

Cats may actually see you as just another cat, albeit a little bit clumsier and a lot less hostile, as suggested by anthropologist John Bradshaw after years of studying cat behavior. And family members of course like to spend time together, especially if your cat sees that it’s okay for him to sleep on you.

2. You cat adores you.

It may be hard to believe but it may be that your cat sleeps on you for the simple reason that he adores you. Next time you ask why cats sleep on their owners, think of it as his own unique way of showing affection for his owner. 

3. He likes your scent.

Another reason why your cat may like to snuggle real close is because of your familiar scent. Cats have about 67 million scent-analyzing cells lining their noses, as compared to about 20 million in human beings. These creatures are basically driven by scent, which is also why they like to smell everything. When your cat rubs himself against you, it’s a process called bunting, by which he leaves his signature kitty odor to identify family members and safe objects.

4. He like the sounds you make.

The sounds you make when you sleep may also be comforting to your cat, which would explain why cats sleep on their owners. It’s not just about the snoring though. Your heartbeat, your breathing, and the internal sounds your body makes are music to your cat’s ears that are enough to lull him to sleep.

5. Cats cuddle for warmth.

Cats seek out warmth, which is why you often see them lounging by the sunshine or in some cozy corner inside the house. So why do cats like to sleep on your head? Cat behavior consultant Marilyn Krieger explains that cats particularly like to sleep on top of our head because it’s warm in there, plus the head is less likely to move compared to your other body parts while you sleep. She explains that most of your body heat escapes from the top of your head which makes it a nice, warm spot for your kitty to sleep on.

6. Your cat feels safe.

Cats have predatory instincts in their DNA and them sleeping on you is an indication that they don’t see you as a threat, but rather, a safe place where they could put their guard down. Your cat knows that when he’s sleeping right next to you (or on top of you), he has nothing to fear.

7. Your cat misses you.

More likely than not, you spend most hours of the day at work away from your cat. Sleeping on top of you is your cat’s way of showing that he likes having you around and would like to spend as much time near you as he possibly can. Don’t be surprised if he follows you around when you enter the door. Give him a nice pat when he jumps on you and settles down to sleep.

8. Cats are territorial.

Cats mark their territory and like it or not, that includes you. You think your cat belongs to you? It’s more like, you belong to your cat. That isn’t a bad thing at all, it simply means that you are his favorite!  


9. Your cat feels comfortable.

Cats sleep a lot. In fact, about 66% of a cat’s life is spent sleeping or napping. If you sleep that much, you’d want to be as comfortable and as cozy as possible, too! About 62% of cats prefer to sleep on their owners. If your cat belongs to this statistic, this only means that your cat thinks your belly or your head are the most comfortable places to snooze in.

Should I Sleep with my Cat?

There’s nothing cozier than sharing a bed with your furry companion but is this something that you should allow? It might seem like there isn’t any reason not to—after all, how could anyone disturb a peacefully sleeping kitty? Never mind the fact that you can hardly move with him on top of you.

One thing to consider is that cats are nocturnal creatures whose sleeping patterns may disrupt yours. It’s entirely possible that your cat may wake you up at the most ungodly hours.

If you have an outdoor cat, he may bring with him parasites, disease-causing bacteria, and worms. You have to make sure that he is cleared by your vet before you allow him to sleep in bed with you, or with a family member, especially children.

Another reason why it might not be a good idea to sleep with your cat their fur could trigger allergies. Best to stay away if any member of the household is allergic to cat fur. It’s also best not to let cats sleep beside infants to avoid any accidents should the cat get startled.


Cats may be more independent as compared to canines, but they crave attention, too. This is the prime reason why cats like to sleep on their owners. If you take certain precautions and ensure that it’s safe to allow your cat to snuggle up with you during bed time, it’s definitely a good way to stay warm and cozy together. You also get the chance to strengthen your bond with your feline pet. Just make sure he is up to date with his vaccines and is given a clean bill of health by your vet. 


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