It’s lovely when your cat falls asleep on you. Well, sometimes it’s inconvenient, like if you need to get a drink or go to the bathroom but you can’t move because you don’t want to wake this adorable ball of fur on your lap.
But mostly, it’s just really nice. It’s cosy, it’s warm, you feel loved, and you’re never alone when there’s a furry friend asleep on you. So we know why we like them to sleep on us. But why do they like it?
Cats have a reputation for being aloof, independent, and a little bit distant, so what could be the reason that they like to curl up on us humans and take a nap?
10 Reasons Why Your Cat Might Sleep On You
- They love you
For all their bravado and stand-offish-ness, you better believe that cats actually really do love us. They like to pretend that they don’t, but we know.
Because sometimes they give it away by doing cute things like purring at us and bopping us in the hand so that we’ll pet them. And sometimes they curl up on top of us and go to sleep.
That shows a level of trust in us that one would not expect from a cat who just minutes before was ignoring us or throwing us dirty looks for trying to pet it.
- Marking their territory
Just another sign of love from our feline companions. They own us, not the other way around. When a cat sleeps on you, it is leaving its scent and marking its turf. You are that turf. Be flattered ok, it’s sweet.
- We’re warm
Places a cat can be found sleeping: in the sunshine, beside the fire, on top of the drier, in front of the radiator, on a human. What do these things have in common?
Yes, that’s right, they’re all very warm. Cats like a warm place to bed down, and our laps, our tummies, or curled up right beside us is as good a warm place as any!
- It likes the sound
Have you noticed that your cat likes to lie on your chest to go to sleep? This may be because they are comforted by the sound of your heartbeat and your breathing.
There’s a certain hypnotic rhythm to a chest going up and down when a person is sleeping that a cat might find extremely calming.
- It feels safe with you
Cats are predators, but as small animals, they are also prey. In the wild, they would have to find safe places to sleep, and they are probably doing the same thing at home.
A human is the closest thing a domesticated cat has to security, and being close to us (or on us) is possibly the safest place they can find, so it stands to reason that when they are at their most vulnerable – asleep – they want to be in their safe place. Us!
- You are comfortable
If you have ever slept on another human being, you’ll know that we are pretty comfortable creatures. We are like living breathing squishy warm pillows. What could be better?
- It misses you when you’re not there
A huge reason that some people keep cats as pets is that they don’t require a huge amount of attention, so if a person has a demanding job that keeps them away from home a lot, they don’t need to worry about their pet being lonely.
If that is the case with you, but you find that when you come home your cat can’t keep away from you and wants to sleep on top of you any time you are stationary, maybe it just really missed you!
- You can give it extra pets!
If your cat favors your lap for its nap, that may be because it is putting itself within petting distance. There is an unwritten rule that says when a cat is on your lap, you must pet it.
What could be better than being warm and cosy on the knee of a human that you love, and being petted to sleep? I’m beginning to wish I were a cat…
- You don’t toss and turn
If you are the chosen human above all other humans in the house, the human that your cat likes to sleep on most often, perhaps it is because you move less.
Some people are terrible fidgeters and find it very hard to sit still, so they wouldn’t be the best option for a cat’s pillow.
If you like to sit still when you’re watching tv or reading a book, or you are the quietest sleeper in the house, your cat is guaranteed a good sleep with you.
- It wants to keep you safe
There is a theory that when your cat leaves a lovely gift of a dead mouse or bird on the doorstep, they are trying to look after you because you are unable to hunt. It is a fact that adult cats don’t meow to one another, they have other more subtle ways to communicate.
Cats only meow at humans to communicate with them because we are too idiotic to understand them otherwise. I think that cats believe that we are not very clever, and maybe they’re right.
So in line with that theory, perhaps cats sleep on us so that if we need their protection, they are right there to keep us safe.
So there we have it, ten possible reasons that your cat likes to sleep on you, and it’s a good thing they do! Pets help to keep our stress levels down, and petting your cat or dog can release oxytocin, the love hormone.
Studies have shown that sleeping with a pet can lead to better sleep, not to mention how cozy we are when they’re snuggled up with us!
And just as our cats can find our heartbeat and the rise and fall of our chests hypnotic, we too can find listening to their purring or their deep breathing calming as they go to sleep.