Are you wondering about your cat sleeping at the foot of the bed? 

As you’re going to find out, this cute cat sleeping position has many interesting meanings, some of which are quite unbelievable.

So, let’s unravel this mystery together! 

Why Do Cats Like to Sleep at the Foot of the Bed?

As a cat parent, I often find my kitty asleep in strange places like under the bed or inside the dryer.

Still, nothing makes me feel more special than finding my feline friend asleep at the foot of my bed, waiting for me to cuddle at night in this adorable sleeping position. 

But why do cats like sleeping at the foot of the bed? Cats choose to sleep at the foot of your bed because they feel safe, want to establish territory, or watch their surroundings.

That’s the short answer. But this sleeping behavior has many more possible meanings, so let’s discuss them in detail. 

#1 You Make Me Feel Safe

Cats prefer to sleep in safe areas where potential predators can’t sneak up and attack at night. So, when your cat cuddles at the foot of the bed, they’re seeking security and protection.

Since you take care of your cat’s every need – from filling the food bowl to cleaning the litter box – your kitty sees you as a protector and insists on sleeping in your bedroom. 

And as this TikToker says, cats seek the person they love to cuddle at night to curry favors and ensure you keep feeding them. 

#2 I Love You! 

Many people think that cats rarely show affection towards their owners. But that’s not true at all. We just don’t always understand our cats’ body language.

cute black cat sleeping deeply in a blanket

Sleeping in your bed is one of the ways cats express affection. It’s a sign of love because cats are never vulnerable around people they don’t like. 

#3 I’m Keeping You Company

As a recent study concludes, “Cats have developed social skills that allow them to understand human emotional signals.” (1) So, cats know when you’re upset, angry, or depressed. 

And since your cat can read your emotions, it’s not that strange that your kitty sleeps at the foot of the bed to keep you company when you’re distressed. 

#4 I’m Afraid You’d Squish Me! 

Despite what some people think, cats aren’t stupid at all and have excellent survival instincts. Your feline friend knows that it can get hurt if you roll over them in the middle of the night. 

kitty deeply sleeping on the pink bed

So, many cats like sleeping at the foot of the bed at night or napping on your pillow because they have a better chance of escaping. They are also away from your heavy torso and flying arms. 

#5 I’m Watching Over You

As one study discovered, “those living with a pet were more likely to feel protected than those who did not live with a pet. (2)

And while cats aren’t the best guards, they can still wake you up in the middle of the night if something triggers their keen senses, as seen in this video.

So, it’s not strange to think that your cat is watching over you when it sleeps at the foot of the bed, 

#6 I’m Keeping an Eye On the Door 

kitty lying on the bed with her eyes slightly open

Some cats like sleeping at the foot of the bed because they have better visibility toward the bedroom’s entry/exits. Just think about your bedroom layout, and you’ll see I’m right!  

Your kitty doesn’t want to get surprised by other family pets/people, and being close to the door provides a quicker escape route. 

And many cats apply this strategy when they know they shouldn’t be sleeping in the bed and don’t want you to catch them in the act. 

#7 You’re a Restless Sleeper

I often find my cat sleeping at my feet because I toss too much during the night. And my four-legged friend doesn’t like it when they have to move around. 

Think about it! Can you have a peaceful night when someone is tossing and turning? It’s unlikely that you’ll get a wink of sleep the entire night!

So, cats sleep at the foot of the bed because they can still be close to their cat owner without being on guard all the time! 

#8 I’m Marking Territory

As Dr. Susan C. Nelson explains, “As predators, cats are territorial by nature.” (3) They have lots of ways to mark territory – from rubbing cheeks against people/objects to urine spraying.

Claiming the prime spot at the foot of the bed can also be a way for your cat to mark its territory. It’s a warning to other felines and pets in the household about who the boss is.

If you have multiple cats, you may notice that they take turns rolling and rubbing on the bed because they’re fighting for the honor of owning you! 

And as seen in this video, some cats are so possessive that they will hold your foot while you’re sleeping.

Why do cats lick toes? Maybe she’s marking you as her territory!

#9  I’m Cold! 

I’m sure you know how much cats love to soak up the sunshine, picking the warmest possible spot in the house to sleep. 

That’s because cats have a higher body temperature than humans, and it’s easier to keep their body heat stable when near an external heat source.

So, sometimes your furry friend sleeps at the foot of the bed during winter because they seek extra warmth. 

#10 I’m Too Hot! 

Have you ever noticed a change in your cat’s sleeping habits during cold/hot weather?

cat sleeping at the foot of the bed with his belly rub exposed

In the summer, it’s far too hot for your cat to stay close to your warm body, so they move to the foot of the bed.

#11 I’m Thinking About Your Comfort 

Many cats are active during the night, waking up at the slightest noise to investigate or getting up for a snack and a quick run around the house.

That’s because cats are crepuscular animals – active just before dawn and dust. As cat experts explain it, “Just as we are winding down, they are winding up.” (4)

So, some cats prefer sleeping at the foot of the bed so that they cant get up and do their business without waking you up or interrupting your beauty sleep. 

#12 It’s Comfortable!

While you often find your cat asleep in ridiculous positions, cats are creatures of comfort and prefer to nap on soft surfaces where there’s enough space to curl or sprawl.

The foot of the bed matches your cat’s sleeping preferences, so don’t be surprised to find your kitty dozing off there. Check this video if you don’t believe me!

#13 I Like Changing Sleeping Spots 

Have you ever noticed that your cat changes sleeping spots from time to time? That’s a natural instinct to protect cats from predators that may find them by scent.

So, when your cat loves sleeping next to you, they will move to the foot of the bed when they’ve exhausted all other possible bed napping spots. 

Why Does Your Cat Sleep on Your Feet?

Now you know why cats like sleeping at the foot of the bed. But some felines are also obsessed with human feet and will often sleep on their owner’s feet. That can’t be comfortable, right? 

orange cat sleeping at the feet of his owners

So, why do cats like feet so much, and why is my cat sleeping at my feet?

While it’s hard to read the unique feline mind, your kitty must love and trust you to sleep deeply on or between your feet. After all, cats never relax enough to sleep around people they distrust.

But other possible reasons why your cat sleeps on your feet exist, such as:

  • Your cat likes how your feet smell. Cats have an excellent sense of smell, so even the faintest pleasant scent is enough to attract them to your feet. 
  • Your cat seeks protection or wants to protect you. 
  • It’s safer for your cat to sleep on your feet since they can make a quick escape if you toss and turn in bed.  
  • Your cat is monitoring your breathing/heartbeat so that they can be up the moment you start waking up. 

FAQs

DO CATS SLEEP WITH YOU TO PROTECT YOU?

Cats sleep with you because they seek security and see you as their protector. But some cats also like sleeping with their owners to offer comfort and protection. 

DO CATS LIKE SLEEPING UNDER BLANKETS?

bombay cat covered by a cozy blanket

Cats like to sleep under blankets because they seek protection and warmth. But some felines hate sleeping under blankets because they feel caged and confined. 

WHY DOES MY CAT SLEEP BETWEEN MY LEGS?

Cats sleep between your legs because you’re their favorite person, and they want to show how much they love and trust you. It’s also a relatively safe spot to avoid being crushed by your body. 

Conclusion

It’s normal to find cats sleeping at the foot of the bed, either curled in a tight ball of fur or sprawled with legs up in the air.

And there’s nothing wrong with sharing your bed with your furry friend.

But if you’re worried about hurting your kitty or losing sleep, it’s better to provide alternative sleeping spots and keep the cat away from the bedroom. 

cat sleeping with his belly exposed

What do you think about these reasons why cats like sleeping at the foot of the bed? Is your cat sleeping at the foot of the bed? Share your experience with us in the comment section. 

Resources:

  • Quaranta, Angelo, et al. “Emotion Recognition in Cats.” Animals, vol. 10, no. 7, 28 June 2020, p. 1107, 10.3390/ani10071107.
  • Aragunde-Kohl, Ursula, et al. “Interaction and Emotional Connection with Pets: A Descriptive Analysis from Puerto Rico.” Animals, vol. 10, no. 11, 17 Nov. 2020, p. 2136, 10.3390/ani10112136.
  • “How to Deal with Territorial Behavior in Cats.” Www.petmd.com, www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/how-deal-territorial-behavior-cats.
  • “How to Get Your Cat to Sleep at Night.” Www.petmd.com, www.petmd.com/cat/general-health/how-get-your-cat-sleep-night. Accessed 13 Apr. 2022.
Grigorina S
Grigorina S

I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.

I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.

Find her on Instagram. Read her latest articles..

Learn more about Grigorina here