Why Does My Cat Sleep Pressed Up Against Me?


Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me? This is the question that almost every cat owner asks himself. That means the cat is probably not sleeping in her bed, and every night snuggles into your bed and sleeps as close as possible to you. And it is that close that you can’t move because you’ll probably disrupt her sleep.

There are many possible reasons why your cat is sleeping so close to you but bear in mind that adult cats usually behave as they behaved when they were young kittens. So if you let your cat sleep with you while she is young, she’ll probably continue to do that.

Even though you are a cat person, that behavior might be uncomfortable for you. Your feline friend chooses you to sleep on instead of all the cozy things in the house, from perches to their soft bed. We will now see what could be the reasons for such behavior!

Why Do Cats Sleep Pressed Up Against You?

cat sleeping on girl's shoulder

Why cats sleep pressed up against you probably has to do with the fact that the cat chose you as her human.

Now, straight to the point to see many reasons cats sleep pressed up against you.

1. Security

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me – reason number one: Your cat is looking for security.

Cats will always look for the safest place. When they hunt, they’ll seek a place to hide, and when they are in the house, you are their safe place.

Their nature was to hunt, and even though they were at the top of the food chain, they must watch out for danger. And if they are around their humans, they can feel safer.

Sleep is the time when everyone is vulnerable, so if your cat is seeking to sleep close to you, that means that she trusts you, and you probably let her sleep there when she was just a little kitten, and when they are kittens, their sleep means that they gather up with other litters close to mom.

Those moments are their first socialization, which they might prolong when they become adults. So one reason for that behavior is definitely because they need security and are comfortable that way.

The relationship you have with your cat is probably adding to that behavior. As a cat lover, you probably treat your kitten as a part of the family. She can sense love.

Cats are crepuscular animals, and when night falls, they need some security, which is one reason cats want to sleep with their human. Your cat might even sleep on your neck or your head.

2. Hormonal Changes

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me – reason number two: Your cat is going through some hormonal changes.

This reason can apply only if your cat hasn’t been spayed. The cats in heat or pregnant cats may start laying on you all of a sudden and trying to sleep close to you as much as possible.

Studies show that cats become demanding, affectionate, and constantly seeking affection in these periods. Cats can even become more loving while they’re pregnant, while on the other hand, there are cats that may start acting aggressively.

So maybe your cat is pregnant or in heat, and she’s seeking attention no matter your sleep. If you doubt, you can always take the cat to the vet.

You can get her spayed if you don’t want future pregnancies, or if she’s pregnant, then you’re lucky as the vet will help you with the process, and the pregnancy will go as safely as possible.

3. Territory

cat sleeping on owner's lap

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me – reason number three: Your cat is marking her territory.

Cats are territorial creatures and need to claim their area by marking it with their scent. So if you ever asked yourself why my cat is sleeping on my head, neck, or the bed, that usually means that she is marking you and your mattress; 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 bedclothes to mark it.

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

4. Warmth

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me – reason number five: Your cat is seeking warmth.

Your cat is looking for a heat source when she’s ready for another round of catnap. They’ll always seek the warmest place to lay. Sometimes you find them next to the radiator tuned to warm every part of their body, under the pile of laundry, near the stove, where the sun is setting, or between the cushions.

I think you already got it. When you sleep and cover yourself with the quilt and the blanket, your cat sees it as a perfect place to snooze and leech off your body heat. They are not bothered with themselves pressing against you while sleeping as for them, regarding sleep, warmth comes first.

The well-known fact is that they like it warm. Their body temperatures are several degrees higher than ours, so it is no wonder they want to snuggle in a cozy and warm place.

Their average body temperature is around 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and when they sit close to you, they maintain that temperature without even trying.

Note that if you live somewhere where it’s pretty cold, the fur on your cat might not be enough to warm them. So cats may find it difficult to sleep anywhere in your house except your bed, and they choose to lay on you or your side to keep themselves warm. This could be great for you too, but if you are not a restless sleeper.

5. Bonding Time

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me – reason number five: Your cat is trying to bond with you.

Many cats have the reputation of being aloof and not so affectionate with people. But, if your cat is sleeping next to you, would you think that? They are both social and loving and try to bond with their owners.

Mikel Delgado, the cat behavior consultant, says cats usually love to do “pillowing” when it’s time to sleep. What does pillowing mean? That is the behavior when a cat uses another cat as a pillow. Cute, isn’t it? However, if there are no cats in the house, they choose their human as their pillow buddy.

This part of your cat’s bonding with you is her saying: I love you, and I need to be close to you and enjoy the time with you.

If I were you, I wouldn’t protest much, and I would cuddle with my cat and give her belly rubs at bedtime.

RELATED: Why Does My Cat Love Belly Rubs?

6. Comfort

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me – reason number six: Your cat is seeking comfort.

Cats tend to seek places to sleep where they know they are safe. Even though cats have playful nature and are very active from time to time, in reality, they are lazy, and they love to sleep till dusk shows up.

You’ve probably found your cat sleeping in unusual places, but your favorite place to sleep seems to be your cozy bed.

So they choose the most comfortable place for them all. That option may not be the most comfortable option for you; however, as they try to find the best position on the bed, they may wake you.

Maybe the cat’s bed that you purchased for your new family member isn’t as comfortable as you think, so you may want to find a bed that is comfortable as your bed for your feline friend.

Another thing your cat is comfortable with while sleeping with you is your beating heart which reminds your cat of the safe sleep with a mother cat and siblings, ultimately providing her comfort.

RELATED: Why Is My Cat Purring Constantly?

7. Love

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me – reason number seven: Your cat loves you and wants to show you her soft side.

Yes, we know cats are seen as “tough guys,” but that is just the cover-up. The reality is that your cat loves to be in your company, and if you are often outdoors, your cat will miss you, and logically she’ll try to spend as much time as possible, even if that means sleeping so close to you. Your cat is probably unaware you’re sleeping, so don’t be mad at her if she comes to show you, love.

If there are other cats around your cat, they will probably lie down together to get comfy and to get warm. But if your cat is the only cat in the house, the cat will knead, lick, rub and lie down with you, considering that you are another cat.

But this is a good sign of a healthy relationship, and you might enjoy that. The cats have a stronger sense of smell, so they are maybe used to your scent and drawn to it.

Next time the cat lies on you and starts purring, don’t move; let her sleep for a little bit at least.

What Does It Feel Like When A Cat Sleeps Up Against You?

orange cat sleeping on hand

If you allow your cat to sleep with you on the bed, you need to bear in mind that there are pros and cons to it.

While your meow mate is someone you adore, sometimes it is not the best option for you and your cat to sleep together, especially if you have trouble sleeping.

There are many studies on this subject as this cat behavior is very interesting to many of us. Research is done to find out the effects of sleeping with pets on humans. The studies showed that dogs as pets had a better impact on sleeping patterns than cats had.

That’s why we’ll see the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping with your furry friend.

Advantages

Health: while some cats can be troublesome in sleep, you need to know that cats positively impact human health and well-being. The study shows cat owners tend not to take medication for disturbing sleeping more than non-pet owners.

What does that mean? That means that your cat sleeping next to you might help you to sleep better and be well-rested in the morning. However, that also depends on your cat’s and your sleeping positions.

Stress relief: Studies show that when we pet our cats or dogs, they release oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, and that hormone also lowers our stress levels. I think we found the recipe for perfect sleep. What do you think?

When cats are content, they purr; it is said that their purrs are essential for our health, not just theirs. The exciting thing is that the frequency of the cat’s purr can help to promote the repair and growth of fractured and broken bones and muscle and ligament damage. Can you believe it?

Bond: If your cat chooses to sleep next to you, that means that your cat is comfortable, and she trusts you, you, of all human beings. If you allow your cat to sleep next to you in your cozy and fluffy bed, you may not regret it at all.

Disadvantages

Disruption: A study shows that cats are equally disruptive as humans and, unfortunately, associated with feeble feelings of security and comfort than dog and human partners.

Nonetheless, this depends on every individual. Some cats may enjoy sleeping on a human’s feet or head, while others are likely to sleep next to their favorite human. Others cats may be calm sleepers and not disturb the sleep of their pal.

Hair: This is one of the cons if your cat is long-haired; that can cause a lot of molting in your bed. That will be increased when the shedding season comes. So it is good to keep that in mind when you think of sleeping next to your cat.

Hygiene: That is a whole other matter. Hygiene will be a big problem if your cat is an outdoor cat; cats can sometimes be dirty and pick up parasites. And I’m sure you wouldn’t love that in your bed.

Indoor cats are somewhat better for bed; however, you need to ensure that your cat is vaccinated and dewormed; that way, you’ll be safe from parasites and everything. Then you can let your cat snuggle in your blanket and fall asleep with you.

Activity: If you have an active cat, and by active, we mean even hyperactive, that might be a problem because your cat may have trouble sleeping still. And if you have to get up early in the morning, you won’t be rested, so you might think twice about letting your cat into your bed.

Allergies: some people tend to have cat allergies that are not felt throughout the day. However, if your cat is sleeping so close to you, it may cause allergies to worsen.

We’ve seen that many reasons show that sleeping next to your pet will positively affect you; however, some reasons show you the other way around. Nonetheless, you and your cat need to make a deal that will be best for both of you.

What To Do If My Cat Is Ruining My Sleep?

cat sleeping with owner

Even though there are many reasons to let your cat sleep cuddled up next to you. Unfortunately, your cat’s not-so-good habits keep you from getting quality sleep, for example, howling for attention, toe-biting, kneading your chest, scratching the sheets to wake you up, etc.

Your sleep routine may not quite match your cat’s sleep patterns, and your cat can be very active during the evening and morning hours. But you don’t have to worry much as the cats are highly adaptable to our routines.

You can try to encourage a restful sleep by playing with your cat. Try a hunting game with her favorite toys so she can burn off extra energy. Then feed her, and you’ll both be ready to snooze off in a matter of seconds.

If your cat is food motivated, one way could be that you feed your cat at night. You can set up an automatic feeder that will go off every one to two hours. That way, you’ll sleep non-disturbed while your cat will be occupied with a magical gadget.

You may also try a morning distraction. It would be great if you had a chance to set up a bird feeder outside of the window. Your cat will be occupied with those creatures, probably leaving you alone in the morning to get some extra sleep.

However, if your cat has found her way to your bed, keep your bedroom door slightly open so that if your cat wakes up, she can get out without making many noises.

Another solution is a heated pet bed, protecting your cat from your cold bed.

However, if neither of these solutions helps, I know this may sound harsh, but you’ll need to ban access to your bedroom altogether. If your cats start to act hysterical during that, you might need to check up with the vet to help you and give something to your cat for relaxation.

Check here to find out how to keep your cat off the bed!

To Wrap Up

gray cat holding hand

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me, and how do cats choose who to sleep next to is pretty much summed up.

I hope that his article helped you with what troubled you. Bear in mind that cats are unique in their way, and we can never be 100% sure why they do something the way they do.

Remember that cat is doing all that because you’re her person, and she trusts you and loves you so much that she wants to sleep as close to you as possible. That is a good sign.

For instance, I wish that my cat has the wish to sleep in my bed close to me, but that is not the case. Most of the time, I’m the one that seeks to be close to her. And maybe, just maybe, she wonders why this weirdo is constantly pressed against me?

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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.

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