Why Does My Cat Sleep Next to Me? 

June 23, 2022 by The Spot Pack
a cat sleeping next to its owner

Many housecats like to curl up next to their human and take a catnap. If you’ve experienced this sweet sleeping position, you may have found yourself wondering why your cat has chosen to sleep next to you. Sometimes they will even sleep with you in bed overnight! There are actually a few different reasons your cat may be sleeping next to you!   

Reasons Your Cat Sleeps Next to You 

Your cat’s reason to sleep next to you may be more complicated than you would think. In fact, your cat may be sleeping next to you for a mixture of reasons, including the following.   

Your Cat Is Looking for Security 

Although your cat is a predator, they are also prey for some larger animals. Because of their position in the middle of the food chain, they may feel vulnerable while they’re sleeping. Sleeping next to you helps them feel more secure in their ability to sleep because they know they have an extra layer of defense if a predator comes their way.   

This is especially important to your cat when it’s dark, which is why you may wake up to find your cat curled up against you in the middle of the night. You should absolutely take it as a compliment if your cat snuggles up next to you because it means you make them feel safe.  

Your Cat Wants to be Warm 

Cats have a body temperature of 102 degrees on average, so they run warmer than we do. If you’ve ever noticed your cat likes to lie in the one spot where the sun’s rays are coming through the window, this is why. Another great way for a cat to keep warm is by cuddling with their favorite human. If you find that your cat prefers to sleep at your head or your feet, it may be because they want to be warm because these areas are where most of our heat escapes from!  

Your Cat Is Protecting Its Territory 

If you have a housecat, they likely believe that your whole home is their territory and belongs to them, and that includes the people inside of it. When you’re sleeping, your cat may want to make the effort to keep you extra safe because of this important status you have in their life.   

Your Cat Wants a Companion 

While cats often have the reputation of being loners, that isn’t entirely true. Your cat absolutely wants time alone, but they will also want to make sure they get time with you to bond. If you work outside of the home or go on an extended trip, you may find that your cat will come to sleep next to you when you get back home. This is because your cat missed you. They want to make up for the time you all missed out on together while you were gone.   

Your Cat Likes to Be Where Things Are Familiar 

You are one of the most familiar things to your cat, and anything they do with you regularly will become a familiar habit for them fairly quickly. If you let your cat sleep in your bed with you for a couple of nights, don’t be surprised if this becomes part of their nightly routine. Your cat feels most comfortable when surrounded by familiar things, so sleeping with you on a regular basis is right up their alley!  

Is It Safe to Sleep with Your Cat? 

It is considered safe to sleep with your cat as long as they are clean and free of any illnesses. However, you do run the risk of being exposed to an illness, parasite or other ailments by sleeping with your cat. If your cat is inside all the time, there’s little safety risk involved with sharing a bed. However, if your cat spends time outside, your risk of getting parasite exposure or something along those lines goes up. With this in mind, indoor-outdoor cats may need to be kept outside of the bed.   

Another issue you may run into with safety is if you are allergic to cats. No matter how sweet your cat sleeping with you is, you should avoid sharing a bed with your cat if you are allergic to them, as the close quarters will irritate your allergies.  

Perks of Your Cat Sleeping Next to You 

If your cat sleeps next to you, there are some definite upsides to the company! First, most cats will purr when they are sleeping next to you. Hearing your cat purr can help you relax.   

Another great perk of sleeping next to your cat is that they will help keep you warm while you keep them warm. Because their body is warmer than yours is, their body heat will help keep you warm on a cool night. As long as you’re comfortable sleeping next to your cat, it’s definitely a comforting experience! 

Cons of Sleeping Next to Your Cat 

Of course, there are downsides to having your cat sleep next to you. It’s important to know what negative issues you may be dealing with when deciding whether to allow your cat to share your bed. Many of these will be dependent on your cat’s preferences and personality, but here are some of the biggest downsides to consider: 

  • If you’re a light sleeper, your cat may cause you to have trouble staying asleep as they readjust in bed.  
  • Cats tend to be more active at night, so they may be restless at times, leaving the bed and then coming back.  
  • If your cat goes outside, they may track dirt or debris into your bed, which can cause cleanliness issues for both of you.  
  • Sometimes your cat will choose an uncomfortable position for you when they lie down next to you. You may wake up with a sore leg or back due to the position they forced you in while you were asleep.  
  •  Should You Let Your Cat Sleep Next to You? 

The truth is, deciding whether your cat should be allowed to sleep next to you at night is a personal decision. You will need to consider your personal sleeping preferences and your cat’s personality, along with any allergies or environmental issues. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding to share a bed with your kitty.  

 The good news is that, even if you don’t allow your cat to sleep next to you at night, you can still allow them to sleep next to you during the day. Your cat will still get the benefits they crave of sleeping next to you, and you will get a more peaceful night’s sleep! 

Takeaway 

Your cat may be choosing to sleep next to you for a wide variety of reasons. From comfort to security, your cat is likely looking for some type of benefit they can only receive by cuddling up next to their favorite person. Remember that it should always be taken as a compliment when your kitty chooses to sleep next to you, so sit back and relax and enjoy those sweet cat purrs! 

 

 

Resources 

https://khpet.com/blogs/cats/why-cats-seek-warmth 

https://www.akcreunite.org/why-your-cat-likes-to-sleep-with-you/ 

https://excitedcats.com/why-does-my-cat-sleep-next-to-me/ 

https://www.cuteness.com/13710411/why-does-my-cat-sleep-next-to-me 

 

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