Why Do Cats Sleep On Their Owners?

Most cat owners are the first to admit that, more often than not, their furry companions will choose to sleep or nap in a private, quiet, hidden nook of the home.  However, they will choose to sleep on their human’s chest or lap at some time.

Many assume that this is a way of bonding for cats, which, in a way, it is.  But it is more a result of a biological instinct.  There are several reasons that your furry companion may do this, a few of which we will look at below.

Image: Pinterest


Cats possess glands all over their body that releases a scent or pheromone.  When your furry companion chooses to rub up against you, they are marking you and letting others of their kind know that you are part of their pack—the same way those cats in the wild mark their pack members to distinguish them from others.  When your cat sleeps on you, they are assured of your smell of familiarity and that you are safe.


By their very nature, cats are drawn to the warmth and will seek it out in any form.  Warmth will induce both sleep and relaxation in cats, and let’s admit it, there are few places in the home that is as warm to a cat as that of laying on top of their human.  Warmth is imperative to cats, and they will seek out the warmest spots available to allow them the sleep they need to remain healthy.

Image: Union Lake Pet Services


Animals are never more vulnerable when they are sleeping—and that goes the same for cats.  Because they see their owners as those who provide safety, they will choose to sleep near them, if not on them.  Kittens are used to sleeping in a pile with their siblings as they grow.  Humans make a great substitute in a house with no other felines to snuggle with.