Last Updated: 1 week ago
Do you know why your cat sleeps on your head?
If that’s something you’ve ever asked, you’re in for a treat because you’re finally going to get the explanation you’ve been looking for.
It’s one thing if your cat sleeps on your pillow…but on your head, come on, that’s odd-even for a cat.
Read on to see the 5 intriguing reasons why your cat finds your head so darn comfy.
WhY your cat sleeps on your head?
There are many reasons why cats like to sleep with their owners.
A sense of family, offering you security, bonding, and keeping warm. They’re all reasons for wanting to be on your bed with you.
But why your head specifically? Let’s find out.
Just like you, your cat wants to stay warm and cozy through the night.
Healthy cats have a temperature of between 100.4º and 102.5ºF. Humans run a little cooler at 98.6ºF.
Unless you let them, your cat doesn’t have the option of curling up under the bed covers. So they need a source of heat to stay warm.
All things being equal, humans don’t lose heat from their heads any faster than the rest of their bodies.
But when you’re in bed, your head is the only part of you that is exposed. It radiates heat, so just what kitty needs to stay snug.
Your cat might want to be near you simply because she loves you.
Have you ever seen bonded cats sleeping on top of one another? This behavior is called pillowing. It means they really like one another.
Obviously, your cat adores you and wants to bond with you by pillowing. But do they realize that it’s your body causing those lumps under the duvet?
Indeed, if your head is the only part of your body not under the covers, it may be the only thing they recognize as being you.
Your head becomes the focus of their pillowing efforts, and so your cat sleeps on your head.
READ MORE: Why Does My Cat Headbutt Me When I’m Sleeping?
Cats want to feel safe and secure while they sleep.
With smell being such an essential sense for your cat, it’s only logical that familiar scents help them feel safe.
Your hair has a unique smell to them, the combination of your natural odor, and the hair products you may use. You smell of, well you.
Some cats even go as far as biting their owner’s hair.
With your head being the only part of you not under the blanket, if your scent makes them feel safe, they will want to be close to it.
Cats are territorial creatures; they mark their homes and their people with their scent to let the world know you’re theirs.
Earlier we established your cat may be feeling more secure as they breathe in your scent. By sleeping on your head, they are also transferring their scent onto you.
Your cat is staking a claim and marking you as their human. So you should feel honored.
So your cat has decided she wants to sleep with you. She feels safe and warm being near you. But then… Woah!
You start to toss and turn, leaving Kitty clinging on for survival in this bedroom rodeo.
Your legs, body, and arms are all far more likely to move a lot while you sleep in comparison to your head.
If your cat has spent any time sleeping with you, they’ve likely figured this out the hard way.
As a result, they prefer to sleep on your head where they know they’ll have the best chance of not being launched into space.
Cat sleeping habits
Unfortunately, your cat doesn’t share your regular sleeping pattern.
The average cat sleeps for 16 hours a day. Sleep allows them to recharge, ready for their next explosive outburst.
Cats are crepuscular. This basically means they are most active at dawn and dusk. This is hunting prime time, you see.
As a result, some cats can be very active at night or very early in the morning.
This can be a real problem if they’re in your room and stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep.
What to do if your cat stops you from sleeping well
If your cat sleeps on your head but doesn’t let you sleep through the night, it can test even the strongest of owner-kitty relationships.
The RSPCA has a few management tips that might just help you out.
- Rule out medical issues. See your vet if the nocturnal activity seems odd.
- Adjust feeding times. Your cat is less likely to bug you for food in the night if she doesn’t go to bed hungry.
- Automated feeding. If your cat simply has to eat in the middle of the night, an auto feeder could be the solution.
- Encourage your cat to hunt. Hide her food to make her work for it and tire her out.
- Be social and play. Your cat may wake you seeking attention; if she gets her fix of attention in the day, she will relax more at night.
- Enrichment. Keep your cat busy with things to do during the day while you’re out, and she’ll be more tired in the evening.
- Kittens and young cats. This bunch has extra energy and a stronger desire to play at night. They will grow out of it.
If all else fails, it might just be time to close the kitty out of your room at night.
Check out this video to learn more:
How to help your cat sleep comfortably
Perhaps you like the idea of sharing your bed or bedroom with your favorite feline, but you’d prefer if your cat didn’t sleep on your head.
What can you do to tempt her away from your head and to another nearby sleeping spot?
We know she wants to be warm, feel close to you, and be comforted by your scent. Maybe her own comfy space is the answer.
A cat bed or a comfy pillow with an old item of your clothing would cover most of those bases.
You could set her up on the floor near your bed or the bed itself if you have space.
Leave your bedroom door slightly open, and she will be able to come and go as she pleases without disturbing you.
Try out this music to help your cat sleep tight:
There you have it, 5 reasons why your cat sleeps on your head.
Your cat is attracted to your noggin for warmth, love, security, comfort, and even territorial reasons.
If you’re losing sleep as a result, there is lots you can do to improve the situation and ensure you both get the rest you deserve.
Do you have a cat that sleeps on your head? Tell me below.
Barry Stingmore is a British content creator living in Fuerteventura, Spain. An animal lover at heart, he shares his home with a dog and four rescue cats. Barry works with the island’s animal charities to help manage and care for feral and abandoned animals. Alongside fieldwork, he works to support the charities with fundraising and raising awareness.