What does it mean when your cat sleeps on you?


Your cat loves you. You know this to be true because your cat constantly rubs up against you, purrs when you scratch its chin, and sleeps on top of you at night.

But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why your cat likes to sleep on you so much? Some people might say it’s because cats are territorial and like to mark their humans as their own.

Others might say it’s just a sign of affection.

But what does the scientific community have to say about it?

Turns out, there are a number of reasons why cats like to sleep on their humans, and we’re going to explore them all in this post. 

Reasons why your cat sleeps on you

Your cat is most likely to sleep on top of you for one of the following reasons:

1. Bonding and Affection: If your cat has adopted you as their parent, they will love to show you affection by sleeping on top of you.

2. Warmth: At night, cats climb up to the warmest spot in your home, which is often your lap or body.

3. Contentment: After a cat has had their fill of play for the day, they’re likely to fall asleep wherever they are. If they’re on top of you, it’s probably because that’s where they feel safest.

4. Security: Although cats can be fearless hunters when outside, they are also prey for much larger animals like owls and coyotes.

After a cat has had their fill of play for the day, it will seek out a safe place to sleep. If your cat is on top of you, it’s because they feel safest there.

5. Defense: In the wild, a mother cat will lay on top of their kittens for protection.

Although this behavior won’t extend to adult cats (according to the cat years work), some pet parents have reported that their cats will sleep on them when something has been spooking them throughout the day.

What are the most common places cats sleep on their owners?

Some of the most common locations for a cat to curl up on top of its owner include:

  • The bed. Most people have one or more kitties sleeping with them in bed every night.
  • The couch. Many cats prefer cuddling up on the couch to sleeping in a bed.
  • The owner’s lap. If your cat is smaller, they may choose to take up residence in your lap when you’re sitting down. Over time, your kitty will likely get bigger and this will become much less common.
  • The kitchen table or countertops. Homeless cats sometimes seek out a safe place to sleep, and kitchen counters have been reported as a refuge of choice.
  • In the owner’s arms. If you hold your cat while sitting down or upright, they may decide that your arms are just as comfortable as any other surface in the house.
    Why does my cat love sleeping on me so much? Although there are a number of reasons why cats love sleeping on their owners, there’s one that truly stands out. Your cat might just be trying to tell you how much they love you!

Just remember – no matter where your cat sleeps tonight, be sure to show them lots of affection when they wake up!

What should you do when your cat sleeps on you?

Some of the most common actions that people engage in with their sleeping cats are:

1. Rub your cat’s belly.

Cats love it when you scratch their bellies, so this is one of the easiest ways to show affection while they’re apart. If your kitty falls asleep on top of you, then rub their belly as you normally would.

2. Rub your kitty’s chin.

If a cat is purring on top of you, this is one of the easiest ways to show them how much they mean to you!

3 Feed your kitty some treats after they wake up.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 PM or 2 AM, each time your cat wakes up from a nap you can give them some affection by feeding them treats.

How important is it to have your cat sleep with you?

Although having your kitty sleep on top of you is usually harmless, there are some potential downsides that should be considered:

1. Larger cat can be a heavy sleeper. If your cat is sleeping on top of you for long periods of time, it could become crushingly uncomfortable after a while.

2. Some cats like to cuddle when they’re in their owner’s arms. If your kitty curls up in your arms when they sleep, you might find that they fall asleep there every night.

3. Your cat may become upset when they’re not allowed up. If you enjoy having your cat sleep on top of you, it’s important to take the appropriate steps in order to keep them from becoming too dependent on this behavior.

Although we do recommend that you always allow your kitty access to a comfortable sleeping surface at night, you might find that they prefer to sleep on top of you.

4 Cats tend to be heavy sleepers. If your cat is sleeping on top of you every night, it may become uncomfortable after a while.


In conclusion, your cat might be sleeping on you because it wants to show its affection for you. In some cases, cats sleep on top of people or even bite softly for comfort reasons.

If your kitty sleeps on top of you every night, this may become uncomfortable over time so if possible, provide them with a comfortable place to sleep at night.

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