Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs? 8 Possible Reasons


As a cat owner, you’ve probably faced some of your cat’s clingy behavior. Why does my cat sleep between my legs is the question you’ve probably asked many times. Your cat probably adores snuggling between your legs; you wouldn’t be here if that isn’t the case.

But, your cat has her reasons for that behavior, and we will show you 8 logical reasons for your cat’s favorite sleeping place, between your legs.

Let’s see each one of them!

Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs?

Cat Sleeping in lap

As a cat parent, your indoor cat might be troubling your sleep in the middle of the night because she chooses to sleep and snuggle between your legs. For us, it is not understandable, and however, your cat has reasons behind that, so let’s see them.

1. Safety

Why does my cat sleep between my legs – reason number one: Your cat chose you as the safest place of all possible sleeping spots

Your cat probably chose you as their human, so she seeks to be as close to you as possible. However, when your cat is sleeping next to you, you risk rolling on top of your cat and hurting her in the middle of the night. If your cat chooses to sleep on your chest, there is a chance that you’ll want to move and may also impact the cat, wake her and disturb her sleep.

However, sleeping between your legs seems to be the safest option of all, as you can turn from side to side, and you probably won’t disturb your cat’s sleep. They may be nudged a bit, but that is not bad as rolling over your cat

2. Security

Why does my cat sleep between my legs – reason number two: Your cat feels secure with you.

All cats are in some form predators; however, for larger animals, they are prey. Therefore, they must hide and seek a secure place. Your domestic and probably indoor cats don’t have this problem; their instinct is to seek a safe place.

Sleep is the time when the wild cat is the most vulnerable. However, your cat chose your legs to sleep between; you provide security because your cat knows you’ll protect her no matter what. How cute is that?

They’ll snooze no matter what since you offer them a sense of protection. Your domestic cat might even choose to sleep on your neck. Cats also decide to place themselves in cardboard boxes because of the coziness and security.

3. Warmth & Coziness

Cat Sleeping on legs

Why does my cat sleep between my legs – reason number three: Your cat is feeling warm and cozy with you.

Cats love the warmth, and for their sleeping time, they seek warm places. Could you blame them? You can see your cat during the day snuggling near the radiator or even above, looking for rays of sunshine just to feel the warmth.

However, when the sun sets, the heat is lowered, and your cat seeks the warmest place she can find, and guess where she discovers that? Between your legs. Why could it possibly be the reason for that? Well, the warmest place is because both legs offer a lot of heat, and the cat knows that both sides are warm.

Cats with a higher body temperature than us will seek the hottest spot. And as we radiate the body heat, we give them a lot of heat a better chance to have a great, cozy sleep.

4. Territory

Why does my cat sleep between my legs – reason number four: Your cat is marking her territory; in this case, the territory is you.

Cats are territorial living beings who need to claim their area by marking it with their scent, especially if you have more than one cat. So if you ever asked yourself why my cat sleeps between my legs, on my head, neck, or the bed, that usually means that she is marking you and your bed. Basically, all of that belongs to her.

You should be flattered, as she wants every cat to know you are hers.

Or maybe your cat sleeps with you because she thinks the bed is hers and you are on her territory, perhaps even bothering her during sleep. However, your cat is so comfortable with you that she trusts you when the vulnerable time comes, the sleep.

Their rubbing against you and your legs or headbutting might seem like cute signs of affection. And don’t get us wrong, we are not excluding that, but it is probably that sometimes they want to leave a scent on you. Their scent glands release pheromones. Those pheromones on you mean that they marked you and you are a part of the group.

They sometimes even scratch the bed clothes in order to scent mark them.

For us, it might be strange that they want to claim that they own you, but in this way, they make sure that you’ll give them all the love and attention they deserve. Cats want to have you all for themselves.

RELATED: Why Do Cats Sleep At The Foot Of The Bed?

5. Deep Sleep

Why does my cat sleep between my legs – reason number five: Your cat wants a deep sleep.

Cats can take a catnap anywhere they find a comfortable enough place to sleep on. That may be the couch, floor, bookshelf, etc. They need that time to rest. But if they seek a deep sleep, they’ll look for a safe place where they can fully relax. And what could be the safest place to fall into a deep sleep than between their owner’s legs?

Deep sleep is crucial for cats. During this stage of sleep, cats’ bodies develop, grow and heal. Deep sleep is essential as they regain their energy and promote physical recovery. After sleeping, they feel alert and fresh.

A spot between your legs provides everything your cat might need to fall into a deep sleep. And if your cat often does that, your legs will be marked with her scent, so it offers her comfort.

How to know that your cat is in deep sleep? Their body position is relaxed, and they seem unaware of their environment. Cats often put their paws on their face to block the light, and they don’t want to be disturbed while feeling extra cozy.

When the cat is in a deep sleep, they’ll cycle between deep sleep and REM sleep. REM sleep is crucial for learning and memory. If you see your cat twitching in her sleep, this may be the sign that your cat is in REM sleep and probably is dreaming something.

RELATED: Why Is My Cat Purring Constantly?

6. Bonding Time

Cat Sleeping

Why does my cat sleep between my legs – reason number six: Your cat is trying to bond with you.

Many people think cats are aloof and not so affectionate when showing love and feelings. But if you see your cats sleeping between your legs, you probably think, “How is it possible”? Cats are both affectionate and social, and often when they choose to sleep between your legs, they’re trying to make a connection with you.

To better understand this, we need to introduce you to a behavior called pillowing. What does pillowing mean? Pillowing is the behavior when cats curl up with each other to sleep. If you have more than one cat, you’ve probably seen this.

They purr in sync when they sleep curled up to strengthen their bond. This can also be related to kittens and mom cats, who usually communicate and show love in this way.

However, if your cat is the only cat in your home, your cat is probably using you as a substitute, as her feline friends are not there. I wouldn’t be bothered with this behavior as the cat is trying to tell you that she loves you, needs you, and enjoys being curled up and cuddling with you.

RELATED: Why Does My Cat Love Belly Rubs?

7. Great Vantage Point

Why does my cat sleep between my legs – reason number seven: Your cat sees everything from that spot.

Your cat may choose to sleep on your legs, not between them. This option is excellent for them as they are warm, cozy, and safe. However, this spot provides them a good vantage point as they want a great view of the environment around them.

Their instinct is to sleep on some high surface. As in the wild, the cats are often on raised platforms, aware of the situation and watching out for prey and predators. Even though your domestic cat is not in danger, they have the same feeling and seek high places to sleep.

Your legs may not seem high in the room; however, they’re taller than the floor, and provide a sense of security. So it is a win-win situation for them, and it is comfortable, and they see everything happening around them.

RELATED: Do Cats know When You’re Sleeping?

8. Anxiety & Stress

Why does my cat sleep between my legs – reason number eight: Your cat is anxious and stressed.

As pet parents, you need to be aware that sometimes, your cat’s sleeping position has a reason that is not good. A stressed and anxious cat can often become clingy and territorial, resulting in sleeping as close as possible to its owners.

If you wonder if your cat is anxious or stressed, look for other signs such as sleeping more than usual, increased vocalization, not using litter boxes, and other behavior changes. Observe your cat and see if these symptoms show up in your cat’s behavior.

If the stress is the reason your cat is sleeping between your legs, you should try to see the cause of it so you can eliminate it. Maybe you got another pet or a new member in the home. Cats can be jealous of babies, but minor changes in your home like new cat food or litter may cause your cat to feel stressed and anxious.

If possible, remove the cause of your cat’s stress to help your cat feel comfortable again. You can also try and provide high and edged places, so your cat can hide if she feels that she is in danger or threatened.

Cat trees, puzzles, and toys are also great options. If you provide your cat with this, you may help her deal with separation anxiety when she’s alone at home.

RELATED: 8 Best Tall Cat Trees

Is It Normal For Cats To Sleep At The Owners Feet?

Most of the time, it is entirely normal and acceptable if your cat is sleeping between your legs, on your legs and feet. And you don’t have to worry about it unless your cat is troubling your sleep schedule with cat sleeping positions.

However, there is a slight chance that your cat is sleeping and seeking warm spots to rest if she’s feeling unwell. Cats would rather hide and suffer in silence than seek your help.

If you notice your cat behaving differently than usual, like uncontrolled vocalization, not drinking or eating, it is advised to seek advice from your vet. They will examine the cat to rule out any medical issues or injuries that need to be treated.

Many cats sleep in their usual favorite spot, and to figure out why that is so, you’ll understand your feline friend much better, and then you won’t have to worry all the time.

What To Do If Your Cat Is Sleeping On Your Legs?

cat sleeping on owner's lap

If you’re comfortable with your cat sleeping between your legs and happy with that bonding time, then awesome. However, not every cat owner has a healthy sleep, and it might be tiring to have your cat waking you up constantly in the middle of the night.

If that’s the case, you may need to find an alternative for your warm legs. You may look for a cat bed with a heating pad; that way, your cat will be cozy and warm at the same time, far from your legs. You can also place a t-shirt; your t-shirt will have your scent on it, and it will help your cat feel secure and like she’s sleeping on you.

I can assure you that a heated cat bed with a soft, plush outer layer will make the difference. You can find them on Amazon, and a new cat bed will soon become a favorite sleeping spot.

If you’re not into buying that kind of stuff, try creating a heated bed for your cat:

• Get a heating pad that can be used in the microwave, and put it on your cat’s bed. That is a great alternative source of warmth

Use some of your clothes that you won’t wear anymore, it carries your scent, so it is best to put them on the heat pad. Your kitty will sense, and it will give her comfort.

The cat’s bed needs to have high sides to provide security to your cat. You can try and place the bed in the cardboard box.

• It would be best to place that bed on a high surface, such as a chest of drawers or bedside table. Your cat needs to be aware of the environment around them, so when they’re high, they see everything.

However, if you want your cat to sleep near you but don’t prefer the spot between your legs, you may try to use remote training. You’ll reward your cat when she sleeps next to you, and the cat will understand that sleeping near you is better than anything. Plus, the cat will get treats.

Even with all this advice, your cat will need some time to get used to a new sleeping spot. If your cat refuses to sleep anywhere other than your bed, we advise putting a heating pad on the corner of your bed as far as possible from you, and hopefully, she will get used to being close to you, but not so close.

Check out to see how to keep your cat off the bed.

What To Do If Your Kitten Is Sleeping On Your Legs?

This advice can’t apply to tiny kittens who seek protection at a young age. If your kitten is to spend the first night in a new home, you probably want her beside you, on your bed. However, you shouldn’t do it as your large bed can be stressful to them and they can fall off the bed in the middle of the night, ooorr, your little kitten may have accidents in your bed.

So, where should you let your new kitty sleep? Your kitten should sleep in a single room with all the essentials such as a bed, water, food, and a litter box. And note that you need to free the space of all toxic substances and trailing wires.

When it comes to bed, kittens love everything adult cats love, warm, safe, and cozy beds. Make sure you choose the bed that fits your cat, as the big bed can make your kitten feel unsafe and uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

grey Cat Sleeping on owner's lap

I hope you got the answers to the question: Why does my cat sleep between my legs? However, you need to remember that each cat is individual, and we can never be entirely sure why they do things the way they do.

But, most of the time, your cat sleeps close to you because you’re her favorite human, and she trusts you. You provide her with security and warmth, and she just wants to be as close as possible to you. And that is the sign that you have a great connection with your pet cat.

Even with all this advice, your cat will need some time to get used to a new sleeping spot. If your cat refuses to sleep anywhere other than your bed, we advise putting a heating pad on the corner of your bed, as far as possible from you, and hopefully, she will get used to being close to you but not so close.

But if you’re happy with your cat sleeping with you, let her and enjoy all of the cuddles your kitty has to offer. If not, try to use the advice we mentioned above and hope for the best.

If you’re, as a pet owner, genuinely concerned with your cat’s behavior because it is unusual, try contacting the cat behavior expert to discuss all the factors.

Related Content

• Why Do Cats Sleep At The Foot Of The Bed?

• Why Does My Cat Sleep With Me And Not My Husband?

• Why Does My Cat Only Like Me (And Nobody Else)?

Iram Sharma

Fur-tunare enough to have had cats her entire life, Iram has spent years learning about these fluffy little hunters. Today, Iram is a professional veterinarian and a passionate cat mom who uses her skills to help felines in need. Surrounded by her own feline friends, Iram shares her knowledge and experience with all cat lovers.

Recent Posts