If you have a cat, you’ll be used to sacrificing personal space during the day and while you sleep. Many pet owners have always wanted to know why their cat wants to go to sleep on your face. Surely it’s uncomfortable for your cat, and it’s definitely not comfortable for you.
Besides, your cat may not be in this position all night. It’s possible that they got closer when you started stirring. Cats can tell when humans are about to wake up, and that means food and playtime. Your pet is impatient for you to get up and spend some time with them.
Why Does My Cat Want to Sleep in My Bed?
It can sometimes be frustrating when a cat insists on sharing your bed. Despite being tiny, cats somehow take plenty of space and hog the covers. This can cost you a few hours of sleep.
As difficult as it can be, try to consider this to be a compliment. If your cat wants to sleep close to you, it’s a sign of affection and trust.
Cats loathe feeling vulnerable, and they’re never more defenseless than when they’re sleeping. Even though cats have superior night vision to humans, their eyesight is not perfect.
If your cat wants to sleep with you, it’s because they trust you. They have their own bed, which is perfectly comfortable. By sleeping with you, however, they feel protected.
This also cuts both ways. Staying close means that your cat can watch out for any intruders, and protect you. They’ll be sure to wake you if they consider it necessary.
This level of trust and affection can be tricky to earn from a cat. If you manage to do so, don’t take it for granted.
Why Does My Cat Sleep on My Pillow Above My Head?
A cat that wants to sleep in your bed is one thing. Most people will make their peace with this. A cat wanting to sleep on your pillow is another story. This is a real invasion of your personal space.
Cats are drawn to your pillow for three main reasons.
- It’s comfortable. Your pillow is a soft bed for a cat to lie on.
- Your cat can see the door from the top of a bed. They’ll also have time to hide if necessary.
- Your cat can smell your hair from your pillow. This will be comforting, especially if your shampoo has a distinctive scent.
The comfort is entirely self-explanatory. A pillow is typically the perfect size for a cat to get comfortable on. Even with you taking up some of the space, you cat find a relaxing position.
The smell of your hair is also quite unmistakable. Cats feel vulnerable while they sleep. Enveloping themselves in a familiar and comforting scent that they associate with safety relaxes a cat.
There’s the opportunity to make a speedy getaway if needed. You have probably noted that your cat tends to sleep facing a door. If an intruder enters your bedroom at night, your cat has time to react from your pillow.
How a cat reacts depends on the feline in question. Some cats will meow, and wake you as a warning. What’s more likely, however, is that the cat will bolt and hide.
If you manage to find comfort in sharing your pillow, things can get more awkward. Some cats will gravitate to sleeping directly on your face!
Why Does My Cat Sleep on My Head?
A cat moving down the pillow and onto your head can be problematic. There is the risk of your cat stopping you from breathing. Try to relax if your cat does this, though.
There are three explanations for your cat sleeping on your head:
- Cats show their affection by bunting. In this position, they can rub their head against yours. It’s not a head butt. It’s an expression of love.
- Your cat will have noticed that your head is the warmest part of your body. Sleeping on your head keeps cats toasty as the temperature drops.
- Sleeping on your head is safer for a cat. You have to remember how small they are compared to you. Your body could crush them as you roll over.
Your cat deciding that bedtime is an ideal opportunity for bunting is not ideal. It makes sense though, when we apply cat logic. Felines like to express affection on their terms. While you’re asleep, you won’t pet or handle them in return.
Your cat will also value the warmth that comes from your head. After the sun goes down, your cat steadily loses the heat they generated during the day.
Lying on your head will prevent your pet from growing cold. This may not be comfortable for you, but it’s better than any alternative. Cats cope poorly with being cold.
The safety aspect cannot be underestimated. Even the heaviest sleeper will toss, turn and move in their sleep.
By sleeping on your head, your cat picks the one spot that stays still. Even if you turn your head in your sleep, your pet will be safe. This will help them get a good night’s sleep – if not you.
Will My Cat Scratch Me While I’m Asleep?
If you allow your cat to sleep so close to your face, injury is a possibility. This will rarely be intentional though. Unless your cat has behavioral issues, they will not act with such aggression.
Just like humans, however, cats move in their sleep. As Sleep Advisor explains, felines dream, just like we do. A cat’s dream will typically involve replaying the events of their day, though.
Now, has your cat been hunting and playing throughout the day? This is likely. As a result, they’ll dream about this. While they dream, your cat may twitch, and even claw, in their sleep. If you happen to be in the firing line, you’ll be scratched.
If your cat had a frightening experience, they might have a nightmare. Imagine your cat was bullied into a fight by a neighborhood cat. They’ll relive that and react accordingly.
If you are going to allow your cat to sleep so close to your face, you need to risk assess the situation. Ensure your cat’s claws are not too sharp and leave some distance between you.
Does My Cat Watch Me While I’m Sleeping?
It’s common to open your eyes in the morning and find your cat inches from your face. What’s more, you’ll find that your cat’s eyes are staring directly into yours.
Cats sleep close to their humans for safety and security. A vigilant pet may have been watching over you to keep you safe.
If you’ve had a bad night, your cat may also have picked up on this. As Cheat Sheet explains, cats detect stress and negative emotion. If you were tossing and turning, or having nightmares, your cat will have noticed.
What’s most likely is that your cat recently assumed this position. Many cats wake their owners at the same time every day. This is because they know when you’re waking, and get close at this point.
Your cat will be patiently waiting for you to open your eyes, and start your day. Many felines are hungry first-thing in the morning. The sooner you get up, the sooner they’ll be fed.
With this in mind, don’t panic if your cat seems to be staring at you while you sleep. It rarely means that they detect sickness, or have any reason to be concerned. They want their breakfast.
It can be a challenge to share a bed with a cat. It will take some time before you find a position that works for you both. Expect a couple of sleepless nights.
If you can find a routine that keeps you both happy, there are very clear rewards. Most notably, your bond will be strengthened without any effort on your part.
Take the necessary safety precautions associated with keeping your cat so close. Ensure that neither of you are at risk of personal injury through movement in your sleep.
If this is the case, a cat can make a great pillow buddy. They’ll keep you cozy, and feel great about it. What’s not to love about that?