Why Does My Cat Sleep Above My Head?


As a cat parent, you surely witness several times your cat is sleeping above your head. Sometimes, this can seem adorable. Or even disturbing you in your sleep. 

Out of curiosity, you may wonder Why Does My Cat Sleep Above My Head? And we are here to tell you that.

Cats are curious animals, and doing weird stuff is their nature. They may sleep on your head, your chest, or feet.

The reasons are not certain, actually. Possibly, they may sleep above head for safety concerns, seeking warmth, finding your scent comfortable, or simply adoring you.

Let us see the reasons in depth with the sound side and drawbacks of your cats cuddling your head.

Reasons Cats Sleep Above My Head

Cats choose safe and comfortable places to sleep. Hence, they cuddle with their owner in different spots, like above the head, on their lap, or others. They also have different sleeping behaviors, like sleeping with their tongue out or with their eyes open.

As long as both of you and your cat are comfortable with the sleeping habit, there is no need to worry about it.

However, have a look at the possible reasons for your cat to sleep above the head.

1. Safety First

Not long before, cats became domestic animals. Before that, they used to live a wild life. Thus, they inherit many wildlife, and concerns about safety during their sleep are one of them.

They used to be attacked by their predators. This makes them more vulnerable while sleeping. This is why they choose a safe place for sleeping.

So, if your cat is doing this at the very beginning, be sure it is for safety. Out of safety concerns, they may prefer high places or can assume you as their protector.

Why Cats Like High Places

Self-preservation is one of the cat's instinctual behaviors. They naturally seek high points so they can keep an eye on their surroundings. In the past, this helped them to avoid potential threats like predators. This is a kind of survival method for them.

They use the same trick in their domestic life, too. To avoid disturbance from other people or household pets, they may sleep on your head and observe things at a distance. 

How You Offer Protection

Your cat sees you as her protector. She feels safer and wants to be near you, especially when sleeping. Your presence makes them feel more secure.

So, sleeping above the head can be for protection as well as maintaining a high spot. 

If you have other pet animals like dogs, there is a high chance your cat will try to sleep with you. They do not want to get harmed by others. So, you can make a secure environment for them, so they do not try such attention.

2. You're Warm and Cozy

Cats have an innate appreciation for warmth. And what can be a better option than cuddling with their parents? You are warm and cozy, a perfect spot for taking a catnap or a long hour of sleep.

They naturally attract warmth and search for cozy spots for sleep. You can provide them with a cozy bedding option. So they ignore sleeping on their head and also sleep comfortably. It is best to discipline your cat.

Their Preference for Warm Spots

You have noticed that your cat is always in search of a warm place. They often take a nap in the sunlight or stay beside a fireplace. 

Cats' body temperature is higher than humans. It may range from 100.5 to 102.5F. This can be a reason why they prefer warm spots.

Your head is like a soft, warm pillow for the cats, and they choose to take a nap.

Why They See You as a Heater

We are talking about how cats love warm spots. Your body also releases heat during sleeping. 

Specifically, the head is warmer than other body parts. This can be a reason why your cat snuggles with your head.

Besides, during the day, your cat can rest on your lap. But at night, you are all tucked up in your cozy blanket. This makes it difficult for the kitten to snuggle with you. And your head is the only open spot where your little feline can sleep.

So, it is your warmth that drives your cat over your head.

3. Your Scent is Comforting: Why Cats Are Drawn to Your Smell

Cats have a keen sense of smell. Their smelling sense is 9-16 times stronger than humans. 

Also, they love their owner's scent and find it comforting. They are familiar with their pet parents' scent. Staying nearby or on top of the head is a relaxing and soothing process for cats.

Your body smell, your breathing sound, or your hair scalp covered in sebaceous glands secretes oils can lure your cat. They are like a child, and human babies also tend to love their parents' smell. This is no different for cats.

Also, attractive hair shampoo or hair products smell sometimes become irresistible for cats. 

All these actually make sense as to why your cat loves sleeping above your head.

4. The Stillness Factor: Why Cats Prefer the Head Area

Cats can learn and observe things. It can be possible that your cat learned you tend to move in your sleep. This can disturb them in their sleep. Only your head moves less and stays still than other body parts. 

Sleeping next to you can be risky as they can go under your body. Or get a free kick from you. 

To avoid disturbance and risk, your cat may choose your head as their bed. They prefer to sleep in undisturbed, peaceful surroundings. Your head is less likely to shift abruptly during sleep compared to other body parts.

So, this can be a factor behind sleeping on the head behavior of your peace-seeking pet.

5. Bonding Moments

Cats love social bonding with their human friends. They do several kinds of things to grab more affection and attention. If your cat is sleeping above your head, it can be a way of creating a stronger bond with you

They even lick your heads back and forth. This is because they spread pheromones to the groom. This is very common in the cat community. Same with you by licking your hair. They do it when they assume someone so close to them. Consider you as a part of her family.

So, licking is not just marking territory; it can be a living way to create bonds. These behaviors are known as allogrooming. 

Their Way of Saying "I Love You"

These tiny creatures can not talk. So, they use many love languages to express their feelings. Like licking or jumping on you.

Simply sleeping on their head and licking or nuzzling can describe their love language. It is a way of saying “I Love You.” Your feline also wants to express emotions or feelings as we humans do. They are innocent and find their ways to say they love you.

Why They Want to Be Close

Our pets need more love and affection. Dogs and cats love human interaction. This is why they successfully survive as domestic animals.

If it happens, you are not giving enough time to them, or there has been a distance between you. It can make them anxious and stressed. As a result, they try to find a scope to be with you. A better chance to strengthen the emotional bonding.

6. Simply put, Your Cat Adores You

You can answer why my cat sleeps above my head yourself. It simply adores you. You little felines love you as much as you love her. It can be a unique way to cherish your presence.

Many misunderstand that cats are independent and stay away from human interaction. This can be partially true, as they like their personal space. Still, they adore their human companion, too.

To show their love, head-butting, meowing, or sleeping on the head is very common.

Signs Your Cat Really Loves You

It can be a sign that your cat really loves you and cares for you. Especially when you adopt a cat. Sleeping above the head can be a sign she is finally accepting you as family. 

It is actually a plus point for you, and you should be happy. Try to spend more time with your kitten.

Benefits of Cat Cuddles by the Head

Cats have been our beloved companion from the very beginning. Their friendliness and sweet and innocent nature make them loved by almost all humans. That is why most pet parents prefer cuddling with their pet cat.

This does not only show love but also cuddling with a pet cat can be beneficial for several reasons. Have a look at some of the benefits you can get from cats cuddling to the head.

Better Sleep

Cats sleeping above the head can give you better sleep. The furry, soft body above the head with a slight weight can feel more comfortable. You can feel better coziness, and the warmth from their body is really soothing. 

Those facing sleeping problems and having a pet cat can use this trick.

Helpful Coping with Stress and Anxiety 

You may be surprised to know that the rhythmic sound of cats purr helps to be relaxed. The gentle weight on the head and the sound reduce stress and anxiety. Also, when you can sleep better, all your stress will run away. Better sleep means a chill and happy mood the next day you awake.

More importantly, when your dearest pet is with you, you automatically feel happy after a long, stressful day.

Work as a Therapy on Mental Health

Your cat sleeping above your head is another advantage by giving a relaxing effect. It works like a therapy for mental health. This leads to other physical health benefits like reducing stress and blood pressure or helping you cope with your feelings.

This is commonly known as animal-assisted therapy or pet therapy and can be really beneficial for those fighting with mental health. When you bond with a cat, the release of oxytocin, often called the "love hormone," creates feelings of happiness.

Again, it deepens the relationship between humans and cats. 

Act as a Security

Cats can act as caregiver and protector for you. Cats have a great sense of detecting danger. When it sleeps above your head, it can be alert for potential danger. It observes everything from the high spot.

Since your pet loves you, it will be careful about your protection.

Downsides to Consider

Cats are really great sleeping partners. They have a furry, gentle body that feels really good. Also, provides numerous benefits. Still, there are some downsides that you should consider. Otherwise, it can impact your health or sleeping routine.

Disruption of Sleep

Cats stay active at night. In case she decides to play or explore the house at night while you try to sleep, it can disrupt you. Also, because of their frequent movement, you may feel disturbed as they are sleeping directly above your head. Lastly, their meowing or purring habit can be another problem for you if you are used to these.

Risk of Allergies or Asthma 

Some people are allergic to cat hair, fur, or saliva. Not everybody can tolerate cat allergens. Those with asthma or allergies have a high risk. So, having a cat sleeping above your head may exacerbate allergy or asthma symptoms, such as sneezing and itchy eyes.

Safety Concerns

There can be some risk both for you and your cat. Like there is a risk of falling from your head and getting injured. A sudden fall can give a shock, too.

Their scratching habit in sleep can also damage your furniture or even your head. 

Disturbing for Your Partner

If you are sharing your bed with a partner, make sure your partner is comfortable with your pet. Otherwise, it can disturb your cat's presence above your head. Moreover, if you have kids or babies sleeping with you, it is better to keep your cat away from your sleeping area.

Hygiene Issue

Cats may not always be the cleanest animals. Having them sleep above your head could transfer dirt and bacteria onto your pillows and sheets. Or, those cats shed more hair and release dander, which can accumulate in your bedding.

If You Want to Redirect Your Cat's Sleep Spot

If you are struggling with your cat's sleeping habit that is sleeping above your head, then it is time to redirect your cat's sleeping spot. 

Snuggling or cuddling is a cat's natural instinct. As a pet parent, you may love this type of behavior. But for some, it can be uncomfortable. 

Do not worry about this because you can adapt a couple of tricks to change the sleep habits of your cat.

Provide an Alternative Comfy Spot

Since your cat may assume your head as a cozy and warm place to sleep, you can give them an alternative comfy spot. Give them a soft bed or a blanket in a quiet place far away from your bedroom. For those living in cold weather, trying to maintain winter safety tips for your pet, such as a warm bed, is a must. If they like the place, they will leave you alone. 

Use Cat Furniture

If your cat loves to climb on high places, it can be the possible reason she sleeps above your head. So, you can invest in a cat tree in your home to let her explore the house. She can enjoy the house and divert her attention from your head.

Block Their Access to Your Bedroom

You can also use physical barriers such as baby gates or close your bedroom door to prevent cats from entering. If your cat is insisting on sleeping with you, then be a little tough with them. Close the door and let them get used to it. After a certain time, they will surely learn that they are not allowed to enter your room.

Give Your Scent to Their Bed

If you think your cat is obsessed with you, then she might be attracted to your scent. In such a situation, give her one of your clothes that has your strong scent. It can be T-shirts, dresses or other kinds of clothes. By this, she will feel she is close to you and will not try to jump on your head. 

Create a Bedtime Routine

Create a bedtime routine for your cat and train them according to that. A bedtime routine can include feeding, grooming, playtime, and a fixed place to sleep. 

During training, you can be rewarded if your cat chooses the appropriate sleeping spot. Or praise them or pet them. This will require some patience. Apply tough love techniques on them. For if they attempt to reach your head, spray water, or give commands “NO” or “STOP.”


Cats are adorable pet animals and love human interaction. Pet parents also take their cat as a baby. For this, every cat's behavior seems sweet and lovable. Sleeping above the head is one such behavior, but what are the reasons?

Though the reasons are not certain, cats may do it for security purposes, in search of a cozy and warm place, simply to adore you, or to love your head stillness.

Whatever the reasons are, there are many benefits to sleeping cats above your head, with drawbacks. And it is your personal preference if you want to cuddle with your cat or not. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean when a cat sleeps above your head?

The main reason why your cats sleep above your head is because they love and adore you. They want to be near you and feel more comfortable sleeping with you. However, there can be some more reasons, like they need warmth, love high places, concern about you, and so on.

Should I let my cat sleep on my pillow?

As long as your sleep is not disturbed by your cat, you can let her sleep on your pillow. This will show how much you love your pet. Also, strengthens your bonding.

Why Does My Cat Sleep on My Chest?

Cats sleep on their owner's chest out of a sense of affection and security. This behavior is rooted in their instinctual need for warmth and comfort, as well as their deep bond with their human caregivers. So, if your cat snuggles up on your chest, it's a clear sign of love and trust.


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