Having a reputation of rather cold animals, most cats surprisingly enjoy sleeping in the same bed with their owner. Although outdoor cats are nocturnal animals and usually hunt at night, pets who live at home are able to adjust their daily routine and sleeping habits to rest at night, just like humans do. If you ask yourself why your cat chooses to sleep with you, there is no clear answer. The issue is complex and there are multiple reasons explaining why your feline may want to spend time in your bed.
Why do felines choose to sleep in your bed?
It is no surprise that cats are very much independent. Most of them are mavericks who can easily and effortlessly find activities throughout the day to keep their minds busy. A regular day for most domestic cats consists of short, but intensive sessions of playtime combined with power naps that give them an energetic boost. Although during the day, cats usually sleep multiple times for several hours, most of them are also able to spend long hours in your bed at night. Our furry friends love cuddling, snuggling, and soaking up the warmth of your body. Being around you while they sleep makes them feel safe, but also enables them to show who is in charge in your home.
What are the actual reasons why cats sleep with us?
As a pet owner, you would probably like to think that your cat sleeps with you because they love you. This is to some extent true, but there is also a huge number of other reasons explaining why cats ditch their own beds.
Cats love warmth
The natural temperature of an average cat’s body is higher than a human’s and is as high as 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This explains why cats feel better when their place to sleep is warm. Some cats may seek extremely hot spots such as radiators, while others tend to look for surfaces that easily warm up. These include a pile of laundry or your bed. In general, the warmer the material or surface is, the better for your little friend.
Cats are territorial
Cats are territorial by nature. What does this mean? Cats leave their scent around the house to mark their presence and authority. Territoriality is a kind of announcement that a given place or a human belongs to the cat. It is also a sort of warning for others, especially felines, that they should stay away and look for other places to spend time. When you let your cat sleep in your linens, they mark it as theirs. When, in turn, your cat sleeps on you or touches parts of your body, they mark you as theirs. Isn’t that flattering?
Cats prefer to sleep in peace
In the natural environment, outdoor cats are animals who need to constantly keep a watchful eye to stay safe. They are able to rest well only if they manage to find a safe place in which they don’t feel any danger. Although indoor cats don’t need to worry about their life and health at home, they still feel much better when they spend time close to humans. This way they feel protected in case something unexpected happens. When you sleep with your cat, they feel your constant presence, which enables them to wind down.
What is also worth mentioning here is how cats grow up. When kittens are born, there are usually several of them. For the first weeks of their life, they sleep one on another, in a kind of pile, very close to their mama. Once a little cat finds their home with humans, they look for similar conditions to sleep. Therefore, spending the night in a bed with the owner seems to be rather natural for them.
Help your cat bond with you
Sleeping together with your cat is a great bonding exercise. If you want to be on good terms with your furry friend, let them spend the night close to you. Cats, like other pets, need socializing. When they are not the only pet at home, but have a company of other cats and dogs, they usually sleep with them. It gives them not only warmth, but also enables them to increase their mutual bonds and trust. The same applies to you. If your cat loves sleeping with you, consider it as proof that they love you and need this time together.
Cats can be lonely
Even though cats enjoy spending time in solitude, they also need our company. When you spend long hours outside the house, your little buddy may crave your companionship when you get back. This is why, numerous cats, who spend days alone, tend to behave in a very peculiar way.
They may, for instance, follow their owners around the house, fawn all over them, and, of course, sleep in the same bed with them. Do you leave your house early in the morning? You shouldn’t, therefore, be surprised that your cat wants to share a bed with you.
Cats want to tell us something
If your cat has slept with you for several days in a row but has never done so before, something may be wrong. Many cats who suffer from pain or discomfort avoid interactions. However, there are also some who seek contact with humans. If you see that your cat has suddenly changed their habits and has low energy, you should certainly take them to the vet. Keep in mind that an unexpected change in your cat’s behavior may be the first sign that something is wrong with them.
Is sleeping with cats safe?
Many cat owners ask themselves whether it is safe to share a bed with a pet. There are obviously many benefits to letting your little friend sleep with you. For instance, it can be a great stress reliever and one of the easiest ways to bond with your pet. However, there are also some disadvantages. Some cats can be strongly nocturnal, which means it is difficult for them to fall asleep peacefully in the evening. There is also a group of cats, who prefer sleeping on you instead of being close to you. They can, for example, sleep on your chest or belly, which is not comfortable, especially if your cat is slightly heavier.
You need to remember that cats shouldn’t be allowed to sleep with small children. If your daughter or son is less than five years of age, your cat should never sleep with them. Why? First and foremost, there is always a risk of suffocation. What is more, sudden movements of your child at night can frighten the cat. As a result, they can scratch or even bite your little one.
Is there a way to discourage your pet from sleeping with you?
If you don’t feel comfortable sleeping in the same room with a cat throughout the night, there are several techniques that you can use to discourage them from doing so. Firstly, you can give your cat a special heated pet bed and locate it in a separate room. This will provide them with the extra warmth they are looking for. If your cat is not a good sleeper and wakes you up meowing early in the morning, try to come up with some solutions to keep them busy. An automatic food dispenser or bird feeder outside the window used for distraction are just some examples of things that you can take advantage of to keep your cat out of the bedroom.
We hope that now you know that finding your cat sleeping in your bed shouldn’t be surprising. Every cat craves cozy and warm spots to sleep, and your bed seems to meet all their requirements.