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

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

woman-sleeping-with-her-cat

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 playful while they are awake. They can be loud and annoying sometimes, while they can be cute and cuddly at other times. Luckily, most cats like to settle down at night.

Settling down at night typically means getting into bed. So, you may be wondering, “why does my cat sleep next to me every night? Is their 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 you might have your cat sleeping next to you at night.

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The 5 Reasons My Cat Sleeps Next To Me

1. They Are Protecting Their Territory

One big reason that cats like to sleep with their owners is to protect their territory. They believe the entire house is their territory and 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.


2. They Want to Get Warm

Another reason your cat likes to sleep next to 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 sleeping, just like a heated blanket might. The extra warmth can give your cat the comfort they need to get through cold nights during the winter months.

young boy sleeping beside the cat
Image Credit by: zhukovvvlad, Shutterstock

3. They Need Security

Some cats can feel insecure at night when it is dark, 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 you will leave for the whole day once morning arrives.

Man owner sleeping with a cat on a bed
Image Credit by: NancyP5, Shutterstock

5. They Like Familiarity

Another reason that cat sleeps next to you is that they like familiarity, and going to bed with you every night is familiar to them. If you let your cat sleep with you occasionally, it can quickly become a habit that is not easy to break, especially on nights when 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 your cat picks up outside could be 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, place a sheet or spare blanket over the bed for more protection.

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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 telling your cat to get off your bed before you 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 near your bed, and put your cat’s bed on top. Hopefully, your cat will sleep in their 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 we have provided will help you understand why your cat insists on sleeping with you and what you can do about it if you do not like it.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: ajlatan, Shutterstock

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