My cats spend the majority of their time lazying about the apartment always switching up the places they want to sleep.
Sometimes you can find my cats sleeping at our feet, in their beds, in their cat tree, on our chests, on our laps or even right by our heads.
I always find it weird when I find my cats sleeping on my head. What is it about being up there that my cats enjoy? Sometimes my cats will even wake me up by nibbling at my hair while I sleep.
My mom has even reported that her cat, Walker, often makes his way to her head each morning making sure to let her know that he’s hungry. But does that mean that he wants to eat her?
YOU’RE WARM AND I LIKE THAT
Every summer I have to push my partner over while he sleeps next to me or he will sweat all over me. He just produces too much body heat and I can’t handle it! Now, I am very appreciative of his body heat on those cold winter nights.
Well, similar to my appreciation for my partner’s body heat in the winter, your cats will appreciate your body temperature as well.
Since cats are desert creatures, they love it when the temperature is hot or at least warm. Well, what a better place to get some extra heat than your head?
Humans lose the majority of their body heat through their heads and cats love the idea of that. Who wouldn’t love their own personal space heater?
This is one of the most common guesses as to why cats enjoy wrapping themselves around their human’s heads.
THEY LIKE YOUR SCENT
Cats have a very acute sense of smell. It’s actually one of the scents they use the most frequently to navigate around their world. That’s why cats do things like knead objects in our homes, headbutt us, why they smell our feet, or why they sleep in our laundry baskets.
Your head is not only one of the warmest parts of your body, but it also carries a good amount of your scent.
Similar to how you would smell a child’s head or your lover’s head, your cat may love the smell of your shampoo or general body sweat. This may also prove to be extremely calming for some cats as familiar scents create a sense of security or safety.
YOU MAY MOVE TOO MUCH IN YOUR SLEEP
You may notice that the majority of cats will sleep by their owner’s feet, but sometimes that changes almost out of nowhere. Most cats who are no longer feet sleepers change their sleeping position because you are shifting too much.
Ever notice that your lap cat gets frustrated with you if you shift around, even a little bit? Every so often when I try to adjust my legs a tiny bit to make sure they don’t go numb, Kalista will get upset and will jump off my legs. She’ll then circle around me until I’ve settled myself then jump right back on me. If I move around too much in the next little while Kalista will leave and not return until much later in the day. Kalista only gives me a couple of chances before she gets fed up and moves onto the next thing.
Cats will do the same thing if their human moves their feet/legs too much in their sleep. If you have the habit of moving frequently in your sleep your cat may choose to avoid even trying to sleep by your feet. Instead, they may choose to always sleep on your head or at a distance from you.
Some cats may not mind you moving around, like our cat Beau. Beau is just happy when he is getting held, it doesn’t matter if we shift throughout it. Though, there are certain times where Beau will get annoyed and will verbally let you know he wants you to stop shifting.
I DON’T WANT MY CAT TO SLEEP AT MY HEAD WHAT DO I DO TO MAKE THEM STOP?
If don’t want your cat to sleep on your head it would be best to provide them with another place to sleep. Cats will gravitate towards enclosed areas, areas that have lots of cushion/padding, areas that smell like you,
You can provide your cat with bedding at the foot of your bed, or provide them with a cat cave (check our cat’s favourite cat cave). Some cats, like Kalista, like sleeping in high places such as bookshelves. If your cat is one of these cats, ensure that the high up space is safe for your cat to sleep.
I would recommend staying away from a light bed or carrier as they easily tip over. The only exceptions for this would be if the space was extremely padded.
You can also treat train your little one into sleeping in certain areas. This can be done simply by bringing out the treats every night and placing one or two where you want your cat to sleep. This will start helping your cat associate the area with food and safety. It will also allow them to develop a habit of coming to bed at a particular time each day.
Other options instead of treat training include using catnip, providing a favourite or special toy, brushing before bed or a regular petting session.
It is important never to scold your cat or hit your cat if you are upset at where they are sleeping. This will cause a cat to become fearful or may even traumatize them, creating a negative association with you.
If you are hoping to discipline your cat it would be best to come up with a training word or sound that you only use when your cat is doing something naughty or exhibiting behaviour you want to be avoided. My favourite training word/sound is “uh-uh.”
While it can sometimes be annoying when your cat wakes you up by nibbling on your hair or your nose, it is a good sign that they are sleeping by your head.
When a cat chooses to sleep near you it means that they’ll trust you enough to feel safe around you when they are most vulnerable. Cats who are unsure of their owners or are afraid of their surroundings will often sleep in extremely tight spaces or may hide through the night.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting your cat to sleep by your head at night and nor will your cat take offence if you choose to encourage them to stop this behaviour. Instead, make sure that your cat is provided with an alternative spot to sleep like a cat bed or cat tree.
Never scold a cat physically for choosing a place to sleep as this will cause them to become wary of you or may even grow to dislike you.
So, pet parents, I’m curious about where your cats sleep? Do they sleep by your feet? By your head? Let me know in the comments below!