Last Updated: 5 months ago

Ever wonder why cats like to sleep with their owners?

It seems like a straightforward answer, but you won’t believe some of the reasons why your cat snuggles with you.

When it comes to sleeping places, cats can be finicky. They ignore a comfy cat bed for a tiny cardboard box, a wardrobe, or a sunny spot on the floor.

That’s because what humans consider comfortable is not always what cats like.

11 Reasons Why Do Cats Like to Sleep With Their Owners

Our kitties prefer to nap in places where people can’t bother them and where they can let their guard down. Still, many felines choose to rest close to their owners.

So, what makes a cat snuggle up to you when you lie down or prefer you over a spouse? Let’s see 11 possible reasons why do cats like to sleep with their owners.

1. They Are Seeking Security

ginger cat sleeping on the chest of the kid

Even when your cat appears to be sleeping deeply, they’re ready to spring into action when they sense trouble or prey.

Still, cats are vulnerable while asleep, and they know it.

That’s why most felines seek a secure spot to doze off without worrying about a predator sneaking behind their backs.

Of course, nothing will try to eat the cat in your house. However, most domestic cats still prefer tight, confined spaces to spacious cat beds.

That’s how this survival instinct works, and that’s why cats love boxes so much. So, when your cat chooses to sleep next to you, they might be seeking protection.

Your cat relies on you to defend them against possible threats and feels safer with you around.

Studies have proven that cats have an emotional attachment to their owners and are less anxious and scared when their owner is present.

2. They Are Protecting You

Besides security, some felines might sleep in your bed because they want to protect you from unseen dangers.

That’s not so hard to believe because cats can be very territorial and possessive of their owners.

You’re your cat’s source of food, attention, and entertainment, and they’d hate for something to happen to you.

Moreover, some cat breeds are more dog-like and have strong protective instincts.

There are also many stories of cats defending or warning their owners of dangers, so don’t be quick to dismiss this theory.

3. They Want to Comfort You

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Studies prove that cats can read their owners’ emotions and react better to smiles than frowns.

So, your cat might choose to sleep next to you to ease your worries when you’re in distress, anxious, or stressed.

Moreover, cats make excellent emotional support animals.

Petting cats lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, improves mood, relieves depression, and reduces stress.

So, you’ve got an excellent excuse to cuddle with your cat whenever you’re feeling blue.

4. You’re Family

As scientists have discovered, cats don’t realize that humans are a separate species.

Our kitties know that we are bigger and less hairy than your average feline, but they still consider us strange, clumsy cats that can’t hunt for themselves.

Butting heads, cheek rubbing, purring, and grooming are ways cats communicate with other cats.

So, our felines don’t treat people differently, except for meowing at us when hungry.

As such, your cat might sleep with you because they consider you part of the family and want to keep you company. Consider it a huge compliment.

5. They Love You

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If your cat likes to snooze next to you, it might be trying to tell you how much they love you.

As I already mentioned, cats sleep only in secure places and will never close their eyes around people they mistrust.

You might have noticed how much cats like to use other cats as “pillows.”

That’s a way for cats to bond and establish trust. Don’t be surprised that they do the same with you when you go to bed.

It doesn’t matter if your cat doesn’t like you to be held or hates when you pet them.

As long as your cat sleeps with you, they will love and care for you. Don’t doubt it.

6. They Like Your Scent

Another reason why cats like to sleep with their owners is their scent.

It can be relaxing for a cat to cuddle next to a familiar smell when nervous, stressed, or anxious.

Think about it as toddlers with their comfort blanket.

Moreover, some cats like the scent of your shampoo or beauty products.

Our kitties have such a superb sense of smell, and it’s no big deal for them to detect the faintest pleasant aromas coming from your hair or body.

In some cases, cats might even try to bite your hair if it smells tempting to them.

7. They Are Seeking Warmth

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If you pay attention to your cat’s sleeping habits, you’ll notice that most cats choose the warmest place to nap.

That’s not a random occurrence.

As it turns out, cats run slightly hotter than humans and need extra energy to keep up their body temperature.

The job is easier when your cat is next to an external heat source.

That’s why most felines nap in the sun or stay close to the radiator in winter.

At night, the best heat source is you and your body.

So, if your kitty is cold during the night, it might sneak into your bed for some extra warmth.

8. They Missed You

Despite their reputation of being aloof and independent, cats are sociable creatures and value company.

They might do fine on their own, but they won’t be so happy when they don’t have someone to be bossy or ignore.

If you’re busy and don’t have too much time for your cat, your kitty might snuggle close to you to express how lonely they have been.

Bedtime might also be the only time that you’re around for a cuddle.

9. They Are Comfortable

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Do you know how much time cats spend sleeping?

On average, cats snooze for around 15 hours per day.

Imagine if you had the ability and opportunity to sleep so much. You’d want to nap in the most comfortable place.

While our definition of comfort and a cat’s is different, cats like clean, soft beds and to be able to stretch and sprawl as they wish.

Sneaking close to you during the night or day might be a simple matter of your bed being the most comfortable sleeping area in the house.

10. They Are the Boss

Another reason your cat might sleep with you is to show dominance over the other pets.

Cats don’t like to share food, territory, and attention, and they can be possessive and defensive in the company of other animals.

While people expect that their cat will welcome the new kitty or dog, it takes time and effort for cats to become friends.

In the meantime, your cat might try to establish who the boss is by sleeping next to you.

11. They Like Your Heartbeat

lady cuddling her cat on the bed

Some cats also like to sleep with their owners because they can hear your heartbeat.

It brings back good memories from kittenhood, when your cat used to cuddle with their siblings and mother and lull your pet to sleep.

As such, your cat might come to your bed when they’ve got trouble sleeping.

The sound you make during the night might be comforting to your cat.

Should I Sleep With My Cat?

Cats might have many reasons for wanting to sleep next to you, but should you allow your cat in the bedroom?

While cats provide comfort and companionship, you have to consider a couple of things before you let your cat sleep:

  • Most cats don’t sleep through the night. They’re most active before dawn and will likely wake you up early in the morning or in the middle of the night.
  • You might accidentally hurt your cat if you toss and turn in bed. While cats usually move out of harm’s way, you never know when you might kick them out of bed.
  • Once allowed to sleep on the bed, your cat will expect to sleep with you no matter what. It will be hard to teach your pet to stay out of the bedroom.
  • Outdoor cats might bring fleas and other parasites to your bed if you don’t deworm regularly. Get your cat a clean bill of health before you allow them to sleep with you.
  • Cats have some innovative ways to wake up humans, such as biting your nose, slapping your face, and jumping on your stomach.
  • It’s easy to startle a cat, and they might scratch or bite you without meaning to.


Cats might be independent and aloof, but they crave company, security, and love as much as any other living creature.

That’s why cats like to sleep with their owners and put up with being disturbed during the night.

As long as you don’t mind sharing your bed with a cat and both of you are healthy, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the cuddles.


Why do cats like to sleep with their owners? The answers are more intriguing than you might think! Find out what they are!
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.