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Why Does My Cat Sleep Next to Me? 5 Reasons for This Behavior

Cats are interesting animals. They are quite independent, yet they insist on regular attention from their human family members. They sleep frequently, but they can be quite playful while they are awake. They can be loud and annoying sometimes, while at other times, they can be cute and cuddly. Luckily, most cats like to settle down at night, just like their human household members do.

Settling down at night typically means getting into bed. So, you may be wondering why your cat likes to sleep next to you every night. Is their own bed not comfortable enough? It turns out that cats like to sleep next to humans for more reasons than comfort. Here are the reasons that your cat might enjoy sleeping next to you at night.

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1. They Are Protecting Their Territory

close up of cat sleeping on bed
Image Credit: Annette Allor, Flickr

One big reason that cats like to sleep with their owners is to protect their territory. They believe that the entire house is their territory, but they also take pride in being a part of the family pack. So, when their family is sleeping, they want to be there to protect them as part of their territory. Their most prized “possessions” are their humans, so naturally, they will want to be near you throughout the night, like they do during the day.

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2. They Want to Get Warm

Another reason that your cat might like to sleep with you at night is to stay warm. Sure, they can get cozy in their bed. But they do not have a heater in their bed. You emit warmth while you are sleeping, just like a heated blanket might. The extra warmth can give your cat the comfort that they need to get through cold nights during the winter months.

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3. They Need Security

tabby kitten sleeping
Image Credit: DarkmoonArt_de, Pixabay

Some cats can feel insecure at night while it is dark, they are alone, and everyone is sleeping. To achieve security, they may sleep right next to a human family member. A cat looking for security tends to meow at the closed doors of bedrooms at night if they cannot get in the room to sleep next to a human. This can make it tough for everyone to sleep until a bed is offered to the cat.

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4. They Yearn for Companionship

If you do not spend much time at home during the day due to work or any other reason, your cat may want to sleep with you at night to get the companionship they crave. They want to be with you all the time. If this is not a possibility, they will take every chance they can get. So, do not be surprised if your cat does not leave your side all night long if they know that you will be leaving for the whole day once morning arrives.

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5. They Like Familiarity

cat sleeping next to owner
Image Credit: Koji Moriya, Flickr

Another reason that cats like to sleep with their human companions is that they like familiarity, and you going to bed every night is familiar to them. If you let your cat sleep with you even just occasionally, it can quickly become a habit that is not easy to break, especially on nights that you do not want them sleeping with you.

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Is It Safe to Sleep With Cats?

It is generally safe to sleep with your cat if they are clean and well cared for. However, dirt and parasites that your cat picks up outside could get transferred to the sheets and pillowcases. Therefore, you should only let your cat sleep on the outside of your blankets to protect the inside where you sleep. If you are uncomfortable with your cat sleeping on your bedding at all, place a sheet or spare blanket over the bed for optimal protection.

Ways to Get Your Cat Out of Your Bed

If you do not want your cat to sleep with you every night, there are a few things that you can try to get them to scram at bedtime. Start by simply telling your cat to get off your bed before you go to sleep. If that does not work, try the following options:

  • Move the Cat Bed. Clear your bed’s side table off or set a TV tray up near your bed, and put one of your cat’s beds on top. Hopefully, your cat will sleep in their own bed and feel like they are sleeping in yours.
  • Close Your Door. Closing your bedroom door is a surefire way to keep your cat off your bed at night. They might meow and yowl for the first few nights, but patience and persistence on your part should curb the annoyance and help your cat accept their nighttime reality.
  • Offer a Bedtime Buddy. Give your cat a new fluffy bedtime buddy to cuddle up with while in their bed. With any luck, they will be satisfied with the warmth, companionship, and security that it offers.

One or all these options may work for you and your cat, so it is a good idea to try them all before deciding which ones are best for your household.

 

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Final Comments

Many people do not mind their cats sleeping with them. However, not every cat owner feels the same. Hopefully, the insight that we have provided here will help you make sense of the reasons for your cat’s insistence on sleeping with you and what you can do about it if you do not like it. How do you feel about cats sleeping with their human companions? Let us know what you think in our comments section.

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Featured Image: NancyP5, Shutterstock