Why Does My Cat Sleep on Me?

A grey and white cat asleep on owner's lap

Cats sleep an average of 15 hours a day, and some furry felines can sleep up to 20 hours in a 24-hour period. That's a lot of snoozing, and while much of that sleeping might be done on a favourite perch, bed or cozy couch, your cat might also opt to sleep on you sometimes. Find out some reasons why your cat might choose to snuggle up and sleep on you.

Why Does My Cat Sleep on Me? 4 Possible Explanations

1. Bonding and Security

Cats replenish their energy with a series of catnaps throughout the day instead of one long block of sleep like humans do. Cats remain in a light sleep mode state throughout many of these catnaps, which means they can be ready for action or play at a moment's notice.

Why do they do this? It goes back to cats' natural hunting instincts. Cats are nearly always ready to defend themselves or attack prey, so even when they might appear to be in a deep sleep, their sense of hearing and smell is acute enough that they can spring into action if need be.

By choosing to sleep on you, your cat gets an extra level of protection and gets to bond with you at the same time.

When your cat chooses to sleep on you, it's her way of saying "I love you. I want to be near you and spend time with you when I'm at my most vulnerable."

2. Warm Areas of Your Body

Cats are naturally attracted to warm places. You may have seen your cat hanging out near a heater or a wood stove on especially cold days.

Some parts of your body are warmer than others, and that may be why your cat chooses to sleep on them. These might include your chest, lap or even your face!

3. Your Cat Is a Social Sleeper

Kitties are naturally social sleepers. Early on in their lives, they snuggle up to mom to take a nap and often with their brothers and sisters in their litter. Outdoor cats also snuggle with family members to stay warm in the winter and stay safe from predators and other outdoor dangers.

So it stands to reason that, in addition to your body warmth, they also may like the sound of your heartbeat and the rhythm of your breath while you sleep, causing them to curl up on your lap or chest for a nap.

4. Trust

Any cat owner knows that earning your kitty's trust is no easy feat. So if you find your cat sleeping on you, consider it a compliment because it means she considers you to be a part of her family.

Remember, when cats are sleeping, they are at their most vulnerable, so they may only choose to snuggle up to people who make them feel safe.

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Cats are most active  at dusk and dawn, so they spend much of the day sleeping. They do this for many reasons including hormone regulation and physical healing and restoration.  Because cats are hardwired to give chase to prey, mainly at night, they sleep during the day to save energy for their nightly hunts.

Even though cats have been domesticated, many still retain these wild instincts. But depending on what your schedule is, cats have been known to adjust their sleeping and waking hours to maximize time spent with you.

Cats spend a lot of time snoozing, so it stands to reason they'd want to be as comfortable as possible. Your cat sleeps on you because she loves you, wants to spend time with you and views you as a source of warmth. So give them a few satisfying cat scratches and pets when they seek you out and enjoy the bonding experience.

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