Got a kitty that likes to lounge on your lap 24/7?
Does he always need to crawl into bed with you?
Find out the secret behind the cat behavior that drives some kitties to lay on their people all the time!
Why Do Cats Like to Lie on Their Humans?
Sometimes cats will put their main focus on your head. You could wake up to your furry friend’s belly on your face!
We hear all the time how independent cats are. They like their own space and they enjoy spending time by themselves.
If that’s completely true, why are most cat owners able to commiserate about not being able to lie down without their cat coming over to lie down too?
Contrary to popular belief, cats are not uncaring little beings who are only looking out for themselves.
They do create and strengthen relationships with their people, and most cats enjoy spending time with the humans in their lives.
There are a few reasons cats like to lie on their humans, and it’s not all about affection.
Cat Behavior Explained: Why Kitty Likes to Lie on You!
1- Although you may not enjoy the extra body heat your cat provides you, he may feel nice and cozy snuggled up against you.
Cats’ normal body temperatures range from 100 to 102 degrees, and while their bodies do a pretty good job of keeping them cool when it’s warm outside, they have a more difficult time staying warm when they are chilly.
Their little bodies need to work extra hard to generate enough heat during a cold winter day.
So why not just gravitate towards their human for extra warmth?
If you don’t have a heater turned on 24/7, then their best bet is to curl up into bed with you.
You are like a custom-made heated mat for your cat!
2- Cats sleep a lot and go through different sleep cycles while they snooze.
Much of the time they sleep, they are really only dozing so they can leap up at any moment if there is danger.
As you build a trusting bond with your cat and he’s comfortable in his home environment, he may sleep with you more because he trusts that he can let his guard down when he’s with you.
It’s a huge compliment to the relationship you’ve built with him! Your bed may also be a comfortable nest.
3- Okay, I said it’s not ALL about affection, but that’s definitely part of it.
When your cat comes over to lie on you, how do you react?
Do you reach out and scratch her behind the ears or place an arm around her?
If you push her away, this article probably isn’t useful for you since she is probably already stopped trying to lie on you.
For those cats who do get affection by coming over and lying on their humans, they keep doing it because they know what the result will be.
If you’re not as fond of your cat lying on you while you sleep, consider creating a special bed for him in your room so he can be near you if he chooses but not directly on you.
If you are comfortable with your cat lying on you, now you know why he does it and can continue giving him the love and scratches when he ambles over to settle down for a rest.
4 – Not only do your cats love you, but it’s also about security and trust.
Kitty owners know that their cats are quite high-strung and on high alert a lot of the time.
As you can imagine, that takes a toll on your feline and sometimes they just want a good snuggle.
Cats might be untrusting at times, but as their owner, you are a comforting presence.
You keep them feeling safe and security when they are most vulnerable.
This includes when they sleep, so naturally they want to sleep on you or at least somewhere close.
However much they sleep with you or on you is how much they trust you!
5 – It’s not only dogs who love smells, but cats do too!
We’re sure you can relate to this as well on some level. Certain smells can trigger emotions to arise.
The smell of an individual can have a calming affect and an overwhelming sense of security could wash over you.
Kitties might knead their tiny paws, purr, and rub on you a few times before finally curling up into a cat loaf ready for a good long nap.
This is done in hopes to capture some of your scent, which in turn keeps them feeling safe and secure.
6 – Animals have a territorial instinct, and in your cat’s mind, you belong to him!
Actually, to your cat the whole house belongs to him and you should consider yourself lucky to be allowed to be in his presence.
As hard as it is to believe, this is actually a good thing. You can see it as a form of trust. Your cat trusts you enough to allow you to be his vicinity.
As they exchange scents with you, they are effectively marking you as their “property.”
Also, it makes it much more convenient for him to wake you up when its feeding time!
7 – We have deduced that your cat loves you, that much is obvious when he wants to sleep near you.
As we all know, love takes time and effort to maintain, and your cat knows that as well.
To foster and cultivate the love that he feels for you.
To further strengthen your bond your cat wants to share his warmth and affection with you.
Plus, hearing their soft put is comforting and could help those with insomnia fall asleep much more easily.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about this cat behavior! Do you love when kitty snuggles with you? Share below!
Article updated August 2019
Dr. Linda Simon MVB MRCVS is a locum veterinary surgeon who has worked in London for the past 8 years. She graduated top of her class in small animal medicine from UCD, Dublin. She is currently a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Linda is the resident vet for Woman magazine and a frequent contributor to People’s Friend Magazine, the Dogzone website, Vet Help Direct and Wag! Linda also writes content for the CVS veterinary group, Vetwriter and a number of other establishments.