Why does my cat lay on my chest? It’s a typical sight for cat owners: you’re in your pajamas, you’ve finally gotten into the best sleeping position, and the family cat appears to join you. He only takes a quick survey of the surroundings to figure out that your face is the ideal spot for his hairy tush.
What’s going on?!
You’ve provided your cat with a comfortable bed, perches, and access to the rest of your home. Why does your cat still sleep on you despite all of these options?
Cats are mysterious creatures, but there are a few ideas as to why they like to sleep on us.
Sleeping habits of cats differ from those of humans.
It’s important to look at how feline sleep patterns differ from our own if we want to understand why our cats sleep on us.
Cats recharge their batteries by taking numerous short naps throughout the day, rather than one big nap like humans. However, these “catnaps” are generally light slumber, seldom sinking into a profound sleep.
What is the reason behind this? It all comes back to a cat’s inherent hunting function.
Cats, unlike humans, are continually on the lookout for prey or to protect themselves against a larger predator. Their senses of hearing and scent are still strong enough to jolt them into action if necessary, even though they appear to be out cold.
Because cats are continuously on the lookout for danger, it’s only natural that they would seek extra safety by snuggling up near their owner. You provide an extra layer of protection for your cat when they sleep when they are most vulnerable.
why does my cat sleep on me?
1.They’re marking their territory
Cats, according to PetMD, are territorial creatures. They mark their territory with their smell to claim it. As a result, when they lie on top of you, they’re effectively claiming you—and your bed—as their own. Apparently, we should be gratified by this conduct.
2. They are looking for warmth.
Have you ever noticed how your cat searches for a heat source when it’s time for a nap in the middle of the day? Maybe you discovered him curled up next to the heater or buried behind a mountain of laundry.
Simply said, cats prefer a warm environment.
According to PetMD, a cat’s typical temperature is approximately 102 degrees Fahrenheit. They can maintain that warmth without exerting much effort by cuddling close to you. This helps to explain why cats like to sleep in sunny windows or inboxes. Warmth is more essential to cats than comfort when it comes to sleeping.
3. Cats are looking for safety.
A cat in the wild will seek out the safest spot to rest between hunts. That location is with you at home.
Dr. Zay Satchu, the Chief Veterinary Officer at Bond Vet in NYC, explains, “Cats are generally at the top of the food chain, but they still have to keep a careful eye out for danger.” “They may rest easier knowing they are in the company of their humans.
Your cat is showing that he trusts you and feels comfortable and secure with you by sleeping with you. This is something that starts when you’re a kitten.
Dr. Satchu explains, “Cats are reared in litters, and sleeping generally involves piling onto one another near mom when they’re very young until they’re around 12 weeks of age.” “It’s how they’re raised during their peak socializing weeks, and like other things kids learn at this period, this transfers into lifelong habits,” says the author.
For the sake of comfort and security, your cat sleeps with you. You’re the next best thing to their mother.
4. It’s a bonding exercise
Cats have an undeserved image for being haughty and unapproachable. However, as cat owners, we know this is far from the case. Our cats are as gregarious as they are affectionate. They seek to form a connection with us.
It’s not uncommon for cats to participate in “pillowing” before night, according to cat behavior specialist Mikel Delgado, Ph.D. This is when they utilize another cat (adorable!) as a cushion. If they’re the only cat in the house, they’ll turn to you for comfort.
Your cat’s method of saying “I love you” is through this tactile component of the feline/human relationship. I want to spend time with you and be near you.”
It’s difficult to disagree with that.
5. It may be hormonal
When dogs are in contact with their owners, they emit the feel-good hormone oxytocin, according to research. It’s unclear whether this also applies to cats, according to VetStreet. However, that isn’t a far-fetched notion.
Why is it that your cat prefers to sleep on certain parts of your body?
Is there a certain region of your body that your cat likes to sleep on? Here are a few possibilities.
Your cat would rather sleep on your head.
Cats may want to sleep on your head for a variety of reasons.
- It’s hot in your mind. Your pillow is an appealing location for your cat to sleep since your head emits consistent heat throughout the night.
- Your head is (almost) still. Are you a restless sleeper? A cat will migrate towards your head to avoid being jostled all night by your restless arms and legs.
- It has a pleasant aroma. The fragrance of your hair and shampoo may appeal to your cat. Cats have a better sense of smell than humans and are lured to the familiarity of your fragrance.
Your cat prefers sleep on your chest.
Your cat may also sleep on your chest. One theory is that a cat is lured to the noises of your body. They may rest on your chest since the sounds of your steady breath and regular heartbeat soothe them
This idea is supported by Dr. Satchu. “Our extremely slow and quiet breathing rhythms when we sleep are likely beneficial to cats,” she adds. Even though they get to sleep for a full 18 hours each day, this is when humans are at their calmest, and most cats seem to share similar thoughts. ”
Your cat would rather sleep in your lap than anywhere else.
Most cats love snuggling up in their owner’s lap for asleep even when they aren’t in bed. It’s not only warm, but it’s also a great place to get some extra petting.
Why do cats sleep on their backs with their backs to us?
This habit irritates some cat owners. Your cat, on the other hand, isn’t being obnoxious. He’s demonstrating his trustworthiness.
“Because a cat is both predator and prey, he tries to position himself in the safest place,” says Pam Johnson-Bennett, a cat behavior expert and best-selling book. If he settles down and turns his back on you, he’s demonstrating that he trusts you and, maybe, that he’ll keep an eye on the surroundings for both of you.”
Should you let your cat to sleep on your bed?
In a nutshell, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Allowing your cat to sleep on your bed has a number of benefits and drawbacks.
Advantages of allowing your cat to sleep with you
- Stress reduction. Petting our cats or dogs releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin, according to studies. Our cortisol (stress) levels are also reduced. Sounds like a formula for a restful night’s sleep!
- Bonding. If you’ve been gone most of the day, evening could be the ideal time to get some snuggles in.
- Warm and inviting. When it comes to having your cat lie on your bed with you, there’s no disputing the comfort aspect.
Cons of sleeping with your cat
- It’s possible that this will wake you up. Cats are more active in the evenings than they are in the mornings (although they can adjust to your sleep schedule).
- Concerns about hygiene Indoor cats may drag kitty litter into your bed, while outdoor cats may be disease vectors.
- Discomfort. It might be aggravating if your cat loves to sleep on your chest or head, especially if he’s overweight. Plus, with each inhalation, you risk inhaling a load of cat hair.
One thing to keep in mind: due to the risk of suffocation, cats should not be permitted to sleep with children under the age of five, and NEVER with a baby. If disturbed while sleeping, a jumpy or easily scared cat may lash out and claw the youngster.
What should you do if your cat is waking you up at night?
Of course, there are certain bad sleep behaviors your cat may have that prevent you from getting any rest: toe-biting, screaming for attention, kneading your chest, and so on.
Unfortunately, a cat’s internal clock differs from our own sleeping routines. They might be agitated in the early evening and early morning. But don’t worry; cats are usually flexible with our schedules.
According to WebMD, one strategy to support peaceful sleep is to participate in vigorous playing just before bed. To burn off additional energy, imitate a “hunt” session with a cat toy. Then offer him something to eat. In no time, you’ll both be yawning.
Dr. Satchu suggests feeding cats who are food-driven at night. “While you sleep, set up an automated feeder to go off every 1-2 hours. This will entice your cat to congregate around this wonderful device, allowing you to sleep soundly.”
A morning diversion may also be beneficial. “If you can install a bird feeder outside a window where your cat can perch, this will assist between the hours of 4-6 a.m. That is ideal bird-eating time, and your cat will most likely spend the entire early morning watching their new ‘cat-TV,’” adds Dr. Satchu.
Another technique is to sleep with the door to your bedroom slightly ajar so that your cat may escape without waking you up. Leave a few (quiet) toys out in case he wakes up in the middle of the night.
If your cat is preventing you from sleeping, a heated pet bed might be a lifesaver.
There may be times when you need to fully restrict your cat’s access to the bedroom. Dr. Satchu explains that certain cats need to be educated that they will be removed from their people at night. “Some cats may cry till the wee hours of the morning because they are frustrated. If this happens, talk to your veterinarian about whether there are any nutraceuticals that might help them relax.”
If your cat does wake you up, don’t praise him; else, he’ll do it again.
Whatever method you use, keep in mind that changing your cat’s behavior is a lesson in patience.