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Does My Cat Protect Me When I Sleep?

Our cherished kitties can be spotted relaxing or snoozing in various locations throughout the house at all hours of the day. When you are sleeping or napping, though, it is not uncommon for your cat to remain around.

Therefore, might this be your cat's way of guarding you while you sleep? A large number of cats like to sleep close to their owners for everyone's safety.

We will discuss this habit and some of the other reasons why your cat sleeps near to you in "Does My Cat Protect Me When I Sleep?" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

Reasons Cats Sleep with Their Owners

Studies indicate that roughly 34% of domestic cats like to sleep in their owners’ beds. There are several reasons why cats prefer to sleep with their owner rather than in their bed or another comfy location in the home.

Keep in mind that each cat is an individual with own interests and characteristics.

 

Protection and Security

While sleeping, your cat is exposed. In the wild, sleeping increases their chance of being attacked by bigger predators. It is in their nature to seek additional safety and protection when they (or you) sleep.

They are not necessarily keeping watch over you while you sleep, but if your cat sleeps with you frequently, you can rest confident that you are a trusted companion and that they feel comfortable with you. According to your cat, sleeping together provides safety and more security for both you and them.

Companionship

Even while cats are not pack animals with the same social structure as dogs, domesticated house cats nonetheless desire friendship.

They may be a more solitary animal, but years of domestication and coexistence with humans have caused them to develop great bonds to their human companions. Your cat may just like your company and desire to be as near to you as possible.

Comfort

To bring comfort, your cat may prefer to sleep next to you. Cats are conscious beings capable of picking up on human and animal emotional cues.

If you are experiencing anxiety, worry, or other forms of mental anguish, your cat will be able to detect this and may attempt to soothe you while you are sleeping.

Additionally, they may remain close and display various signs of affection. An extra benefit? It has been demonstrated that petting cats reduces stress, improves mood, alleviates sadness, and even reduces heart rate and blood pressure in people.

Warmth

Cats want warm and comfortable places to sleep, therefore they may choose to share your bed for warmth and comfort. Even though their fur coats are designed to keep them safe and warm in inclement weather, cats are descended from desert animals, so it is normal for them to seek external sources of heat to preserve energy and regulate their body temperature. This permits them to focus more energy on survival-related activities such as hunting and protecting their area.

How Do Cats Choose Who to Sleep With?

If you live in a household with others, you may be curious as to how your cat determined with whom to share a bed. If your cat has picked you as their favored human, a number of things may have contributed to this choice.

You Supply the Food

Cats, like other pets, may be highly driven by food. Even we humans are guilty of this, let’s face it. Cats tend to form intimate bonds with individuals who regularly feed them; after all, you are ensuring their survival.

Therefore, if you offer the food, there is a strong likelihood that you will get access to their hearts through their stomachs.

Your bed is the most relaxing.

As previously said, cats enjoy being warm and comfy, and they will seek out the coziest area in the house that meets their preferences. If your bed meets their requirements for comfort, there is a strong possibility you’ll have a furry little bedmate.

You may notice that your cat sleeps near the foot of the bed; this provides them with a better vantage position and a simpler way of escape should things go wrong.

Your Cat Feels Secure Around You.

If you are the one in the household who makes your cat feel the safest, you have a significant impact on their sleeping choices. A cat will not want to snuggle with an individual who makes them feel uneasy.

This sense of safety and comfort has a lot to do with the emotional connection you share with them. If someone in the family is apathetic toward them, they will likely not feel comfortable enough to share their sleeping place.

They have the strongest attachment to you.

Most cats form stronger bonds with a single family member. Obviously, this is not true for every cat, but in general, the cat will gravitate toward the person they consider to be theirs. They are extremely sensitive to noises and odors and can be calmed by your fragrance and breathing and cardiac rhythms.

Cats have been shown to create deep emotional bonds with their owners, and if they are the type to sleep on a human bed, they are more likely to select the bed of the person with whom they have the strongest link.

Some Facts About a Cat's Sleeping Habits

Since we’re discussing sleep, here are some additional facts about cats and their peculiar sleeping patterns.

Cats spend the most of their time sleeping.

Some may not be surprised to learn that cats sleep more than they are awake during a 24-hour period. In reality, the average cat sleeps at least 15 hours every day.

A large amount of daytime sleep is a natural, built-in system that ensures they have sufficient energy for hunting. Obviously, older cats sleep far more than younger cats and can spend up to 20 hours each day sleeping.

Cats are Crepuscular

It is a frequent fallacy that cats are nocturnal creatures, however this is not the case. Cats are crepuscular, which means that they are most active during dawn and dusk. It makes sense for them to remain awake during these peak hours, as this is when their little prey items are most active.

They are Restless Sleepers

Cats are naturally light sleepers. They may be powerful small predators, yet they might fall prey to larger predators or be forced to defend their territory in a natural environment. They must be ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice, which is why little disruptions may instantly rouse your cat.

They Can Dream

Don’t be shy about wishing your cat nice dreams before sleep; it has been demonstrated that cats also dream. According to studies, cats have even displayed hunting activity during REM sleep. It raises the question of what else they may be imagining.

Felines May Snore

On sometimes, cats are even known to snore. Even while snoring is not nearly as widespread in cats as it is in people and dogs, it is nonetheless seen as a typical sleeping behavior. Certain sleeping postures might be a role, and flat-faced breeds seem to be more susceptible to snoring.

They Might Rotate Favorite Sleeping Areas

Cats may not always choose the same location for a nap or protracted slumber. Cats are all about comfort, warmth, and security, and they will seek out the coziest, most secure location.

During your waking hours, when cats are unconcerned with snuggling up to you, it’s not uncommon to discover your cat curled up in strange locations across the home.

Final Thoughts

Does My Cat Protect Me When I Sleep?” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has shown a number of reasons why some cats sleep near their owners, but there are even more. 

Cats tend to remain near to persons who make them feel comfortable, secure, and protected, as they are innately aware that sleeping renders them susceptible.

Therefore, while your cat may not be standing watch over you, ready to attack any possible threat, they may sleep near you to protect you both from any dangers.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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