Cats spend most of their time doing exactly as they please, and this attitude extends to their sleeping choices as well. If you have a feline who hogs the pillow, it’s easy to wonder about this behavior. So why does your cat sleep on your head, anyway, and what does this choice of bed even mean? It’s simply another way your cat shows they enjoy your company, even when they’re fast asleep.
Cats Love Warmth
“We lose most of our body heat through our heads and without a doubt our furry pals are sure to sense this and seek out the warmest spot on the bed,” Lucie Wilkins, Registered Vet Nurse & Cat Blogger at Kitty Cat Tree, tells Romper. Your head acts like their personal heating pad. In fact, seeking warmth is one reason cats tend to sleep in small spaces from time to time, too. And chances are, your head is even more comfy than their favorite cardboard box.
You Smell Nice
“Some cats like to sleep on their owner's head because of the warmth and the natural smells of our hair, which might be comforting to your cat,” Dr. Mikel (Maria) Delgado, Cat Behavior Expert with Rover, tells Romper. It’s one way to get a super-dose of your scent. “Your head, hair, and pillow are a concentrated source of that comforting scent and some cats may particularly enjoy that,” Dr. Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM at Better With Cats, tells Romper. It’s an (honestly adorable) sign your cat appreciates you.
The Cat Feels Safe
In many cases, the pillow is simply a safe place for your cat to rest. “Most people turn, flip and even thrash in their sleep but their heads won’t move nearly as much as their arms and legs. Many cats will quickly figure out that the best place to sleep without getting disturbed is your head,” says Dr. Phillips. Hey, nobody likes getting accidentally elbowed in their sleep, even the cat.
Lastly, the answer may not be mysterious at all, as both Wilkins and Dr. Delgado explain: it’s possible your cat simply likes the pillow. In any case, appreciate the cat who sleeps on your head, even if it does leave you with a bit less pillow real estate each night.