8 Reasons Why Your Cat Likes Sleeping on You

cat sleep on top

You’ve probably had your cat crawl on you in while in bed before drifting off to sleep, but do you know why?

There are actually a number of reasons for this particular behavior.

1. Imprinting

It is very common for cats to sleep on their owners within the first several weeks of their life. This is the period in which these animals imprint, which means forming a strong bond with their human caretaker.

Once a cat imprints on its owner, a strong bond is formed. Many veterinarians will encourage people to let their pets do this because it is a crucial part of gaining their trust. You will have a very solid long term connection with your cat as a result.

cat sleep in knee

2. Cat’s Adore a Warm Place to Lie Down

One of the main reasons that your feline friend loves to sleep on you is because they absolutely adore warmth. Your body naturally gives off a certain amount of heat, which makes for a great place for them to lie down.

It is also possible that your cat enjoys the feeling of the sunlight coming through the window in the morning. This extra warmth saves their body the additional effort of having to stay at a normal temperature. If your bed is directly in front of the sun as it comes up in the morning, this is a very likely explanation.

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3. Your Cat Just Wants to Be Near You

Many cats fall asleep on their owners simply because they want to be near them. This is most common with some of the more affectionate breeds, such as Siamese cats and Birmans. Some cats just can’t stand being apart from their owner all night long. If your cat always seems to be hanging around you during the day, this is likely the case.

Allowing your cat to sleep on top of you might be a bit annoying at times, but it promotes deep bonding. Those who refuse to let their cats do this might find that they become more withdrawn from them in general.

cat sleep on back

4. A Feeling of Safety

Another reason that cats tend to fall asleep with their owners in bed is for a general feeling of security. After all, even people tend to feel more secure when they are sleeping next to someone else in bed.

This is actually something that animal behaviorists have observed with certain felines. They often cuddle up with each other for what seems like a sense of security. 

This probably comes from their natural instincts to avoid predators. Your cat probably feels a lot safer and more relaxed sleeping on top of you rather than by itself somewhere else. Most animals naturally feel more vulnerable before going to sleep, which is why they often seek out a way to feel safe.

5. They Find Your Rhythmic Movements Relaxing

The rising and falling of your chest during as you breathe during sleep can be very soothing to cats. And believe it or not, they might even find the sounds you make very relaxing. While you might annoy others with your snoring, it is actually appealing to some cats.

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There is also a chance that your cat sleeps on you because of your scent. It gives them comfort, allowing them to drift off to sleep much easier. This could be viewed as another way of them seeking out a sense of security.

6. Territoriality

While most people think of dogs as being the only territorial pets, this is not always the case. Sometimes cats sleep on their owners as a sort of way to protect and watch over them. If you have a really strong bond with your cat, this could happen on a regular basis. It is also an indication that your pet trusts you completely.

7. Stress Relief

The fact is that cats experience stress on a daily basis just like humans. Cats often find that sleeping with their human owner relives their stress quite a bit. This is particularly common with cats that struggle with anxiety (yes, it is a thing). 

Sleeping on top of you is probably better than any medication your veterinarian could possible prescribe for them. Refusing to let your cat sleep in bed with you could actually be detrimental to its overall well-being.

8. You Are Their Favorite Human

If your cat chooses to sleep on you over all of the other people in the house, you can safely assume that you are their favorite. Cats can be very aloof creatures, but this is a pretty definitive way of telling how they feel about you. And you should feel honored, because winning over a cat’s affection is no easy task.

Should I Let My Cat Sleep on top of me?

Allowing your cat to sleep on top of you is a good idea for many reasons, including the fact that it promotes bonding. You might also find that it is a good idea because you could sleep better at night as well.

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Some studies indicate that sleeping with a furry friend can promote better quality sleep. It does, however, depend on your pet as well as your sleeping habits.


  • Allowing your cat to sleep on top of you or with you in bed while they are still a kitten can promote deep bonding.
  • Cats often sleep on their owners as a way to keep warm.
  • Sleeping on one’s owner is also sometimes a cat’s way of relieving stress that they feel throughout the day.
  • If your cat is sleeping on you, it means that they trust you completely.
  • This behavior is sometimes a result of territoriality. They feel the need to protect the person who keeps them safe.
  • Cats also sleep on top of their owners as a way of feeling safe, which stems from deep instincts within them.
  • While allowing your cat to sleep on you can be problematic at times, it is also a great way to establish a strong bond with it.