Why Does My Cat Sleep in My Bed with Me? Cat Sleeping Behavior Explained
Dog's may be considered man's best friend, but if you're a cat mom or cat dad, then you know this isn't always true. What's more, you know your fur babies inside and out. You know the different ways they meow, purr, and yowl. You know when they're hungry or sleepy. In other words, cat owners know pretty much everything there is to know about their feline friend(s).
But one question may have you stymied... "Why does my cat sleep on my bed with me?" This is a common question among pet owners of cats and dogs, so you're definitely not alone. In fact, another popular question is, "Why does your cat sleep on top of your head?"
If you find yourself accompanied by your kitty — and a little extra warmth — in the middle of the night, then not only are you a loved cat mom or cat dad, but you have a special relationship with your furry friend. Be still, my beating heart!
That being said, what exactly motivates your cat to sleep in the bed with you? Here is the answer to that question, and a few related questions too...
Cats Sleeping in a Nutshell
Naturally, you've already taken note that your cats or kittens sleep a whole lot more than you do. This is often one of the first bits of cat behavior that kitten owners notice. On average, in any 24-hour period, cats will sleep about 12 to 18 hours, according to the Sleep Foundation. Again, this isn't a surprise to cat lovers. You know this already.
But why do cats sleep so much? This is a different question and has a lot to do with a cat's preference for the warmest place (and most the comfortable sleeping position) in the house.
According to the PetMD, "Cats are crepuscular — which means that they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. They tend to lay low in the darker night-time and day-time hours, when other predators may be hanging about."
Because of this, they tend to use those other hours to rest and that translates into a whole lot of zzz's. Whether they sleep in their own bed or just any warm places around the house, you can expect your kitties to have a good idea of the best warm spot for them, no matter when they choose to take their next cat nap.
Why Does My Cat Sleep on My Bed with Me?
Now that you know why your cat prefers to sleep a lot (aka, all day long!), let's take a look at the question of the day: why your cat sleeps in the bed with you. While you may chalk this up to the personal decision of a cuddly cat (and this is one possible reason!), the secrets of the feline mind are actually a bit more intricate than that.
According to one source, there are four primary reasons that your cat likes to sleep with you: 1) security, 2) warmth, 3) territory, and 4) companionship.
While these may not be super surprising to you upon reflection, it's worth looking at each one individually to understand why your cat thinks of your bed as their own cat bed and values close contact with you and your bedmates.
First, your cats probably like to sleep next to you in bed because it has them feeling relaxed and safer at night, having you, their cat parent, right there next to them! That makes a lot of sense. It's a little like a small child crawling into bed with their parents in the middle of the night. In this way, you're an extra layer of defense against any potential predators in the night. Thankfully, unless you're sleeping in the jungle, you're not likely to have too many of those!
Another, somewhat obvious reason: warmth. Cats like to be cozy and stay warm, and that can be one big reason why they like sleeping in bed with you and your partner or other human family members. As heat escapes your body, it travels through the air around you in the bed and is shared with anyone else in the bed: including your cats and dogs! You're basically a heating pad for your kitties!
The "territory" reason your cats sleep with you might be a little more foreign to us as humans. If the bedroom doors is open, your cat is likely to take advantage of it. Here's how an expert puts it:
"Cats are very territorial creatures. As a result of this they may consider your bed to be part of their territory. Cats make their territory by rubbing their head on things and walking on objects because they have glands in their feet and head which release pheromones that essentially mark the area as their own. Walking all over your bed, and bumping heads with you is one way that your cat marks their territory."
Finally, the thing you've always known in your heart to be true: your cat may sleep in the bed with you because they love you and value your companionship. This is absolutely true! Sleeping in the bed with you is your cat's way of showing you how much they do, in fact, see you as their safest place and the perfect place (or, rather, the purrrfect place!) to spend their time, and that includes the bed at night. Not only is it a cozy place, but it's a safe, warm territory that they consider their own.
A Safe Sleep for You and Your Indoor Cats
From many cat's perspective, you are home. Whether we're talking about kittens or an adult cat, a lot of time is likely to be spent with your furry feline in the bed. Naps, nighttime sleep, or just reading or watching TV in bed — these are all times that your cat might enjoy sleeping on your mattress, pillows, and sheets.
Because of that, you want your mattress, pillows, and sheets to be safe for you AND your fur babies! Make sure that any potential risks related to unhealthy materials are mitigated by having organic sleep systems all year long.
Regardless of the time of year — cold weather, warm weather, and everything in between — you want to have bedding materials that are good for you and your pets, cozy all year long, and the right environment for a better night's sleep.
To get started with a bedroom makeover, visit us at SLEEP365® or in-store to find the right organic sleep system for you — and your sweet fur babies.