Why Cats Like To Sleep On Their Humans

If you’ve had the pleasure of caring for cats before, you may have encountered a cat or two that enjoyed sleeping on you.

Growing up, I had an orange tabby cat that loved to sleep right on my head. When I moved him off so I could breathe, he’d resort to sleeping on my back or down my feet instead. The point is, he loved to sleep on me.

Photo: Raw Pixel

I never thought about why that is, but it seems it’s a question that many people have! After all, cats are stereotyped as being cold and aloof. Why would they want to sleep on their owners if they didn’t care at all?

Cat expert Jackson Galaxy is here with some answers. In a video shared on his popular YouTube channel, Jackson says:

“So, why does your cat sleep on you? Let’s break it down and give you the best answer so the next time your cat sleeps on you, you can go, ‘Oh, I know why you’re doing this.'”

Photo: YouTube/Jackson Galaxy

The first reason cats like to sleep on humans is because of warmth. Cats seek out warmth, like from a sliver of sunshine on the floor, to a heat vent, or even a computer. But what’s arguably warmer than all of those things? Human body heat.

Beyond that, cats are also incredibly territorial. Jackson explained that “Cats are always leaving scent on things…They’ll just sleep on top of you and they’re always leaving scent on you…That’s what they’re doing when their body rests on you.”

Photo: Unsplash/Ludemeula Fernandes

Another reason cats might want to sleep on their humans is because of safety. Having a human to cuddle with can be reminiscent of kittenhood and cuddling with their mom and litter.

Lastly, a cat may just want to be close to its human because it loves them.

Jackson said:

“The bond is really tight between you and your cat. We think about them as being aloof, independent, you know, they don’t really care about us. Those are the things that non-cat people will say about cats. But the fact is, this is a demonstration of the opposite. They really are seeking out not just your companionship, but your love, what you bring in terms of safety and security and warmth and and, you know, kittenhood and all that stuff. But it all just translates into, ‘My cat loves me.'”

Photo: Unsplash/Kate Stone Matheson

Of course, not all cats sleep on top of their humans. Jackson was sure to add that cats are individuals and they all have different preferences and habits. He said, “If you look, your cat is going to send you signals that they love you and it doesn’t have to be sleeping on top of you all the time.”

Check out the full video below:

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