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Cat Tips

Why Does My Cat Lay on My Chest? 

June 27, 2022

Your cats will sit on your lap, curl up on your chest, and climb on your shoulder if they feel comfortable around you. One of the signs of a loving relationship between a cat owner and their pet is physical touch.

There are several reasons your cat curls up on your chest, and Spot Pet Insurance is about to break them down.


Don’t believe the hype that cats aren’t affectionate. Cat behavior is very different from a dog's and they might not show affection the way dogs such as labradoodles do, but they’re expressive in their own way. One of the ways a cat tells you they love you is by curling up on your chest.

Therefore, if your cats spend the better part of the day lounging on your chest, you’re winning at pet parenting. Other signs of your cat’s love include purring, eye contact, grooming, and cheek rubs.


Let’s face it, cats are royalty, and they want that special treatment. Who wouldn’t love to lie down on a heated bed?

It’s not unusual to find cats curled up in warm spots, such as under your blanket. Your chest is another warm spot that your cats might love. They may simply be enjoying soaking up your heat. Your warm chest gives your cat a comfy spot to nap.

Listening to your heartbeat

Kittens love to curl up next to their mamas. Now that they’re grown up, they see you as their mama and would love to snuggle up close to you. Sitting on your chest allows them to listen to your heartbeat. It’s an intimate expression of their affection.


If your cat curls up on your chest, it’s because they feel safe with you. They’re confident you’ll protect them from predators lurking around the corners and think of you as a personal safe island.

It might take some time to build this much trust with your pet, especially adopted cats. If your cat lies down close to you with their backs facing you, that’s a new level of trust. They know you’ll never harm them, and you’ll protect them from whatever danger lurks behind.

Marking their territory

Like other territorial animals, cats will mark their valuable possessions, such as a favorite toy or hiding spot. Your cat may lay on your chest to lay claim over you. They’re essentially telling anyone paying attention that you’re theirs.

If you have more than one pet, this could become a problem. Conflict might arise over who has a claim over your chest. If that happens, it could mean that no pet should lie on your chest.

They are stressed

Many situations can stress your cat. Loud noises, new pets, or a new house can give your cat anxiety. In that case, they’ll look for reassurance from you.

Lying on your chest can help them feel calm in stressful situations. If you see your cat is stressed, you can rub their head while they lie on your chest.

It’s comfortable

A cat will choose a comfortable spot to lie down. Comfy relaxation spots can be a carpet or your chest. For your cat, your chest may be just another cozy spot in the house where they can relax.

If they find your chest comfortable, they’ll lie and fall asleep on top of you. You might find yourself waking up to your cat on your chest if they feel you’re the most comfortable spot in the house.

They want to look at you

There’s no better place to catch a glimpse of your face than up close. From your chest, your cat can see your face clearly, so they might only be admiring your facial features. Next time before you ask why your cat is sitting on your chest and staring at your face, know that they might just think that you’re adorable.

What are the reasons why your cat shouldn’t lie on your chest?

Having your cat lie on your chest is great because it’s a mutually beneficial position. However, it’s not always ideal.

There are a couple of reasons why your cat shouldn’t be sleeping on your chest:

Cat allergies

Mild to moderate cat allergies might be worsened by your cat sleeping on your chest. When they lie so close to your nostrils, it’s a direct route for the dander to go straight into your nostrils. You may want to look into cat breeds that are less likely to trigger your allergies, but keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat.

Dirt in your bed

Your outdoor cats can put dirt on your bed. They might step on your clean sheets with legs they’ve used to walk outside. Indoor cats can also bring litter onto your bed.

Pet conflict

You may have more than one pet vying for the position on your chest. This brings conflict in a multi-pet household as one pet tries to mark their territory and others attempt to encroach.

The solution might be to stop all pets from sleeping on your chest. It’s time to reevaluate how well you treat your pets and ensure they all receive equal attention.

Disturbed sleep

Your chest might be a comfy place for your cat to sleep, but it might interrupt your sleep too. It can’t be too easy carrying a cat on your chest throughout the night because it can affect your breathing.

Your cat may also be interrupting your sleep each time they crawl into your bed if you’re a light sleeper. If you feel super tired after your cat spent the night on your chest, you should probably stop letting them do that so that you can have a good night’s rest.

If you decide your cat will no longer sleep on your bed, you should get them a comfy replacement. Provide a mattress that gives your cat many of the same qualities they find on your chest, such as warmth and coziness. Some cat beds have a heating feature, so your cat enjoys long-lasting warmth.

A good cat bed is also better for your cat than sleeping on your chest. Now there’s no more risk of you rolling over and squashing your cat at night.

Anytime your cat climbs on your chest, gently carry them down and place them on their new cat bed. Your cats will get used to their new mattress after a while. You can place the cat bed beside yours and give them your sweater so that this switch is easy.

Another option is to put your cat’s bed in a different room and shut your door while you sleep. This way, you won’t be waking up to your cat’s face staring down at you. It’ll take some time to adjust to this change.

Final thoughts

Cats won’t show affection by slobbering all over you like dogs. There are more subtle signs such as purring, eye contact, cheek rubs, and laying on your chest. This position is so comfortable for cats. It’s how they show love and trust.

Your cat may lie on your chest to show that you’re their protector. They love the warmth coming from your body and listening to your heartbeat. If you have more than one pet, your cat might simply be marking their territory around you to tell other pets to stay away.

You may need to stop your cat from lying on your chest if it triggers your allergies, interrupts your sleep, or causes conflict with other pets. You can get your cat a replacement bed, especially one that’s heated so that they can transition smoothly.

Although your cats won’t be sleeping on your chest anymore, you can still express affection for them in other ways. Show how much you love your cat by protecting their health. Get the resources you need from Spot Pet Insurance.


  • Why Does My Cat Lay On My Chest? | The Spruce Pets

  • Why Do Cats Like to Sleep With Their Owners? | Newsweek

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