If you’re a cat lover, you’ll surely know the joy of a kitty cuddle, but you might sometimes question your cat’s sleeping habits. Cardboard box? Hard windowsill?
Why do cats choose the oddest places to snooze and ignore the luxury cat bed? Well, cat behavior can be mysterious at times, but this sleeping behavior is easier to explain. Cat sleep choices are almost always selfish: they choose the warmest, safest, comfiest, and snuggliest spot they can find.
Cats naturally seek out warm and cozy sleeping spots. Sleeping between you and your partner offers your cat warmth, comfort, and a feeling of safety. If you don’t want to share your bed with your cat, you can try some gentle and respectful ways to move them to a comfortable alternative.
Cats naturally seek out warm and cozy sleeping spots.
Sleeping between you and your partner offers your cat warmth, comfort, and a feeling of safety.
If you don’t want to share your bed with your cat, you can try some gentle and respectful ways to move them to a comfortable alternative.
If you’re waking in the middle of the night to a purr and a furry presence between you and your partner, read on to find out more about why your cat loves to sleep next to you.
Why Do Cats Sleep Near Us, On Us, Or Between Us?
There are plenty of reasons your cat might choose to sleep on your bed. Beds with humans in them are warm, safe, high, and familiar—all things cats love.
The ancestors of our domestic cats lived in desert areas, and cats have a naturally high body temperature, around 100.5oF to 102.5oF (a human’s body temperature is 97oF to 99oF). It takes energy to maintain this warmth, which is why cats are often found seeking out warm places such as a sunny spot or a radiator.
During sleep, body temperature drops, and therefore it is a cat’s natural instinct to seek out a warm and cozy sleeping spot. Living things give off body heat, so it is normal for a cat to seek out some company to cuddle up to, whether that’s the cat owner or another pet. A cat sleeping between two people is enjoying double the warmth.
Also Read: 11 Tips To Train Your Cat To Sleep All Night
Cats love comfort, from soft blankets to a cozy lap snuggle. Although they can contort themselves into a variety of strange sleeping positions, cats often pick a soft and padded bed to curl up in. Your bed, complete with two cuddle companions as well as a mattress, sheets, blankets, or comforter, is ideal. Why would they not choose it?
Also Read: Why Do Cats Curl Into Balls When Sleeping? A Veterinarian Explains
Although cats have long been domesticated and now often live a life of luxury, their survival instincts are still strong. Cats hate to feel exposed, insecure, or threatened, and they are at their most vulnerable when sleeping. Being cocooned between two people provides a sense of security for cats, as they are protected on all sides from any potential approaching threats.
Also Read: Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Head?
Smells And Sounds
Cats love familiarity, and the scents, noises, and movements that you and other members of the household make will be within their repertoire of accepted sensory input. They might choose a different side of the bed if one of you is a restless and light sleeper, but cats get very accustomed to their usual habits.
Cats are particularly sensitive to smell, and your familiar scent will be calming to them. Cats use pheromones as chemical messages to signal safety and comfort, and when they rub their faces and bodies against us, they are coating us with these loving messages.
Also Read: Why Does My Cat Lay And Sleep Between My Legs?
Cats can be solitary creatures, but they are capable of forming strong social bonds. Cats often bond with a specific person in a household more strongly than with others, although multiple attachments are possible. If there is one person who spends the most time with the cat— grooming, feeding, and playtime—they might choose them as the closest attachment.
If your cat follows you around, has a knead on your legs, sits purring on your lap, comes trotting to greet you when you come home, and gives you long slow blinks, you can be fairly certain that they adore you! If your cat sleeps between you and your husband, they might just be trying to display their level of love for you and assert their place by your side.
Also Read: How Cats Choose Their Favorite Person?
Cats love to be up high. It gives them an excellent vantage point to survey their territory and provides a safe haven from predators. Cat beds placed on the floor, therefore, are often given short shrift, with the backs of chairs, the tops of bookcases, or other high surfaces preferred as a resting spot.
A bed is often an excellent sleep space for a cat, as it allows them to be up above floor-level, and is often well situated to be able to observe the rest of the room. Taking their spot up on the bed, between their owners, is a very natural place for a cat to relax.
Also Read: Why Do Cats Lie On Uncomfortable Things?
Before reading too much into your cat’s sleeping habits, consider that it might just be that cats are creatures of routine and your bed is where they are accustomed to sleeping. Cats often get into very specific daily routines, doing the same thing, in the same place, at the same time each day.
This is why cats can suffer from stress and anxiety with only minor changes to their environment. If your cat always sleeps between you, that is where they will always sleep. On you, between you, at the foot of the bed, or on your feet—you get the picture. Once it’s their spot, it’s theirs for good!
Also Read: Why Do Cats Sleep So Much
What To Do If You Want To Change Your Cat’s Sleeping Habits
It might not suit all cat owners to have a furry feline cuddled up between them. Sharing a bed with a cat that may knead your leg in the middle of the night, or meow loudly in the early hours for the breakfast might not be your idea of a good rest.
Cats can be very persistent, so changing a habit such as this can take time and patience. Here are some tips to gently move your cat away from your bed at night:
- Find an alternative bed that your cat likes. This might take some trial and error, but it is worth spending some time to find a bed that your cat really enjoys if you are to tempt them away from yours.
- Place an article of clothing that smells like you (or your partner, if they are more strongly bonded to the cat, or both of you) in the bed.
- Situate the cat bed near your bed, elevated off the floor and near a safe heat source.
- Use pheromone sprays and heating pads to make the new bed more appealing for cats. Never leave anything hot in the cat bed that could cause burns.
- Gently remove your cat and place them into their own bed when your cat gets between you in the bed.
- Repeat as necessary!
This process will take some time and plenty of patience. Your cat will learn to move away from your bed—especially if their sleep is constantly disrupted when they try to sleep there. Don’t punish your cat for repeating the behavior, but remain calm and consistent in your response.
Also Read: 8 Most Common Cat Sleeping Positions and What They Really Mean
A cat sleeping between you and your partner is both a compliment and a perfectly natural cat behavior. Cats love warmth, security, an elevated space, and being near to those they are bonded to and love, so being between two family members is perfect for our cuddly kitties.
If you don’t wish to share your bed with a furry companion, then there are some gentle and respectful ways to move them to a comfortable alternative.
Also Read: Why Does My Cat Sleep On Me?
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my cat sleep in the middle of me and my partner?
Cats love a warm, cozy, safe place to sleep. They also like to be near their trusted, bonded companions, so a cat sleeping with you is a real compliment.
Why does my cat sleep with my husband and not me?
Cats often bond more strongly with one member of the household, for unknown reasons. They might be attracted to his familiarity, his warmth, a certain scent, his sleeping position, or just find him comfy!
Why do cats sleep with a certain person?
Cats like to sleep somewhere warm, safe, and with familiar scents, sounds and movements. If they have a strong bond with someone, they will feel safe and secure in their presence, and therefore relaxed enough to enter into a deep sleep.
Why is my cat obsessed with my husband?
Some cats form very strong preferences for one person. They may be attracted to their particular smell or touch, or how comfy their lap is. They often form strong bonds with the person who feeds them, grooms them, plays, and spends time with them.