Why Does Your Cat Sleep With You? 6 Reasons You'll Love
You’ve given your cat comfy beds, hiding spots and the whole rest of your house to slumber in. With all those options, why does your cat still sleep with you? Why do they prefer to lie on your head? And is it safe to let your pet sleep in your bed?
It helps them feel safe Perhaps the most important reason for why cats like to sleep near their owners is security. Even though cats are small predators, they are also at risk of being hunted by bigger animals. Cats are most vulnerable when they're asleep. Sleeping with you provides them with security and an extra layer of defense if a predator should launch a nighttime attack. They sleep with you because they trust you. They’re seeking warmth Ever notice how your cat seeks out a heat source when they are ready for their afternoon nap? Cats love warmth. If there’s a warm patch in your home, like a sunny window ledge, it won’t be long before your cat finds and occupies it. A cat's body temperature is several degrees higher than a human's. As such, their desire for warmth is far greater than ours. When they snuggle up next to you, they're trying to stay warm and comfortable. During the winter months or if there is otherwise a cold spell, cats are more likely to snuggle up with you to absorb your body heat. They are marking their territory Another reason your cat sleeps in your bed next to you is because they don't think of it as your bed at all, instead they think it's their bed. Cats are very territorial animals. They claim their territory by marking it with their scent. So when they sleep on top of you, they’re actually marking you—and your bed— with their scent. They want other cats and animals to know that you and your bed are their area. It’s a way for them to say that you’re a part of their tribe. The act of your cat rubbing their heads on you is also a part of this process of marking their scent. They think you need them Studies have found that cats can read their owners’ emotions and react better to smiles than frowns. Cats can sense when their owners are sad or anxious, and they will try to comfort us and make us feel better by being present and giving us some affection. Many cats come in closer proximity when their humans are depressed. Your cat might choose to sleep next to you to ease your worries when you’re in distress, sad, or anxious. Comfort above all As you already know, all of those blankets, soft sheets, and fluffy pillows make for an extremely comfortable place to lie down. Your cat knows and understands this too and wants in on the comfort that your bed offers. After all, your bedroom is the coziest. They are showing you love Simply put, if your cat is sleeping with you, it means they love you. Your pet feels safe with you, they love your warmth and scent, and they enjoy your companionship. In the wild, it's common for bonded cats to sleep curled up next to each other or at least in close proximity. This is considered friendly social behavior. Why do cats prefer to sleep on your head Humans lose a lot of heat through their heads. Many cats prefer to sleep near your head or pillow because it's the warmest place in your bed. Plus, the rest of us is often covered up while we sleep. That's why sleeping on top of your head makes perfect sense to your feline friend. Your head is also the safest place for a cat to be as your head moves the least amount during the night. Why do cats sleep with their backs toward us? Your cat isn’t being rude when they turn their back to you. In fact, they are showing trust. A cat, like all predatory animals, attacks from a superior position, from the back or a blind spot. When a cat sleeps with their butt towards you, it is because they trust you to guard their back or are not expecting you to betray them from that angle. Should you Let your Cat Sleep With you? If a cat spends a lot of time outside or if you have allergies, then it's not wise to let them sleep in your bed. However, if you have an indoor cat which is dewormed, vaccinated, and has no fleas, parasites, or diseases, it’s safe to let them sleep with you. Studies have shown that sharing your bed with your pet may actually improve your sleep. Cuddling with your pet also leads to the release of oxytocin, the love hormone that reduces stress and elevates your mood. It can also help lower your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure and result in a higher sleep efficiency score. Why do cats sleep all day? Cats are crepuscular animals meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. They prefer hours with less light to go hunting, feed, and perform other activities. Although some domestic cats have managed to adapt their sleeping hours to those of their human companions, many still retain their natural behavior and are more active at this time of day. To make sure your kitty sleeps through the night, provide them with plenty of things to do during the day.