Why does my cat like to sleep next to me?

The bond between cat and pet parent is unmistakably special. 

It’s one that is based on love, trust, and security.  

Although they may not show it all the time, our felines care about us just as much as we do them. 

These feelings can manifest themselves in several ways including snuggling up with us at bedtime. 

While dogs are the pet many people associate with being bedtime buddies, cats sleeping with their owners is actually a lot more common than you may think.

The main reason your cat may begin sleeping next to you is simply because they feel safe there. Many cats are still driven by their wild instincts, and even though they may now be domesticated creatures of comfort, a feeling of vulnerability can still come over them as they go to sleep. 

If that’s the case, there’s no safer place for them to be than next to their pet parent in a big, warm, cosy bed. 

What are the reasons behind my cat sleeping next to me?

1 Your bed is comfortable. 

Cats love their naps. It’s not uncommon for some felines to sleep for more than 15 hours a day. This makes them real experts in the art of nodding off, and means they’ll know just where the best places for a snooze are in the house. Their cat bed may be comfortable, but does it compare to yours with all those soft sheets, warm blankets, and big pillows? The fact our bodies emit so much warmth only adds to their contentment.


2 They want to show you some love. 

Cats aren’t always portrayed as the cuddliest of animals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an affectionate side. Snuggling up in bed with you could be their way of showing just how much they love and trust you. People lead busier and busier lives these days, and spending every minute with our cats is a near impossibility. If they are yearning for your companionship, they might want to spend all night beside you. 


3 They’re protecting their territory. 

You will have no doubt heard that cats can be a tad territorial. This behaviour can present itself in a number of ways including rubbing their scent on objects, clawing furniture, spraying urine on walls, and treating your bed like it’s theirs. It may even be the case that they see you as theirs, too, and they’re “marking their territory” by remaining close to you at night. 

How does a cat decide on where to sleep, or who to sleep next to?

Just like us humans, a cat will often choose to sleep somewhere warm, quiet, private, and safe. 

Our beds tick all these boxes, and are high up as well – a good defence position for a wary and weary feline.

Even if a cat does have a preferred sleeping spot, they are liable to change it up from time to time.  

A sudden change of venue may even be down to who’s sleeping where. Cats will often choose the person they have the closest bond with to sleep next to. But if somebody in the house has been showering them with attention recently, they may have another favourite come bedtime. 

Is it important to give my cat their own space?

Given how important sleep is to a cat’s overall health, it’s vital they feel as comfortable as possible when they’re catching forty winks. 

And while they may enjoy crawling into bed with you some nights, we need to be sure they have their own space, a spot they can go when they want to sleep solo. 

When choosing a cat bed, look for one that’s nice, cosy, and a good fit – you want them to be able to stretch out comfortably. 

Place it somewhere warm, in an area of the house they feel most safe. If your cat loves heights, don’t hesitate locating it on a piece of furniture. It may take a little trial and error, but eventually you’ll find the perfect patch. 

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