Cat Sleeping: What Does It Mean When Your Cat Sleeps on You?

Cat Sleeping on Top Of You: What Does It Mean When Your Cat Sleeps on You?

What does it mean when your cat sleeps on you

Did you just wake up to your fluff ball comfortably lying down on top of you? You must be wondering why your cat is sleeping on top of you. Is she not feeling well? Does she need love? What does it mean when your cat sleeps on you?

You might love it when your cat sneaks up to snuggle you in the bed, or maybe you are not a big fan of your cat lying on top of you at night. You might ponder that you have set up a comfy bed and perches for your cat to comfortably sleep in, but she is choosing to climb on top of you to slumber in despite all these options. Why?

Cat Sleep Pattern Is Different From Humans

If you really want to learn why your fluff ball is choosing to sleep on you, you need to understand the difference between the sleeping patterns of cats and humans.

It is no secret that cats love to sleep. They sleep all day—the average cat sleep is around 15 hours, but some cats may sleep up to 20 hours a day. On the other hand, humans have an average sleep of around 7 hours a day.

Unlike humans, cats are crepuscular, meaning that their circadian rhythms direct them to sleep at night and during the day and be awake at dusk and dawn.  This is why many cat owners complain that their cats are sleeping all the time.

But do you ever notice that on a small disturbance, your apparently dead asleep cat is wide awake and alert like anything? It is because, unlike humans taking one long block of sleep during the night, cats take catnaps. They remain in light sleep mode, rarely going into a deep sleep. This instinct traces back to the hunting nature of cats.

Actually, in the wild, cats have to forage for their food. At the same time, they are also always under threat from other predators like coyotes and wild dogs. This is the reason that they conserve energy so that they can make a good run for, as the case may be, the hunt or life.

A cat is most vulnerable when sleeping. Therefore, cats often choose to sleep on their owners, where they feel fully protected. 

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Sleeps on You?

Cats love to sleep with their favorite humans, on their chest, back, and sometimes pressed up with their legs. While some cat owners love this, others might expect a bit more space. Whether you love it or not, you must be curious to know what does it mean if your cat sleeps on you?

Let’s explore.

Your Cat Loves You

What does it mean when your cat sleeps on you

Why does my cat sleep pressed up against me? Have you ever pillowed your head upon your favorite person’s arms or legs? Just like pillowing is your way of bonding with your favorite person, your cat sleeping on your chest might also be trying to bond with you and tell you that she loves you. This mostly happens when you keep only a single cat, who has no other four-legged companions to engage in pillowing with.

She Might Be Seeking Warmth

What does it mean when your cat sleeps on you

Have you ever noticed your cat basking in the sunlight or running to catch the first ray of light entering the room in the morning? You might have noticed them lying on the floor or sitting by the window, trying to soak up all the sunlight. But when the sun is down, and there is no warmth, your cat might prefer to sneak up with you instead of lying alongside a radiator. Your warm body snuggled up beneath bedcovers appears to be the coziest place on earth for your fluff ball.

Need for Security

As discussed earlier, cats have an ingrained instinct to stay on alert all time and seek secure places to slumber in. What could be a more secure place for your cat other than your lap? As mentioned, cats are most vulnerable while sleeping. This is why your cat prefers to sleep with you. She feels in safe hands, where she can go into a deep sleep.

It Might Be the Hormones

Cats love to interact with their humans. After seeing and interacting with their favorite humans, their oxytocin level rises. Interaction with owners triggers a 12 percent increase in oxytocin levels in cats. In a behavioral study, two groups of adult cats (pet and shelter) were presented with four different stimuli: Cat food, toy, scent, and social interaction with humans. The study substantiated that cats prefer interaction with humans over other stimuli, including food, toys, and scents. Sleeping on your chest or pressed against your body is a cat’s way of cherishing your company.

Cat Is a Social Sleeper

Actually, kittens are inherently social sleepers. In their early days, you might have noticed your kitten snuggling up to their mothers. And when their mama cat is not around, they start snuggling up to their brothers and sisters. They not only like the warmth of others’ bodies, but also enjoy the rhythmic heartbeats and breathing.

What does it mean when your cat sleeps on you

Cats Are Territorial Creatures

Just like their canine cousins, cats are very territorial creatures. Their act of sleeping on the other side of your bed or lying on your back might be their way of declaring that the bed and you belong to her. Unlike dogs, cats mark territory by rubbing their heads and feet on things. Actually, cats have glands in their heads and paws that release pheromones to mark territories. Using these pheromones, cats send messages to other cats. If she sleeps on you, she may have marked you as her own territory.

So, what does it mean when your cat sleeps on you? As we discussed, it is pretty normal—in fact, it is her way of showing love to her owners.

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