Why Does My Cat Sleep on My Legs?

Have you ever sat on the couch, bed, or perhaps at your desk, with a furball purring peacefully on your lap and wondered to yourself, Why does she do this, Why does my cat sleep on my legs?.

There are many reasons why they would pick this specific sleeping spot, but regardless of the motives, its a habit that many felines have and is not a cause for concern. However, if your cat seems to be unwell, and is a lot more needy than usual, keep an eye on her to see if a vet is needed.

A quick home check up should help you know if its something serious or just an off day that requires extra loving. Some kittens will start sleeping on their owners legs from an early age and may continue with this habit into adulthood. When you find human babies sitting and sleeping in their mothers laps, this is often for the warmth and comfort that your cat is looking for.

Its been found that cats can sense their humans emotions , which means happy, sad, and even sickly. Cats have instincts that make them wary of any dangers, and falling asleep requires a feeling of security. From your lap or legs on the bed or couch, they have the perfect view of the room around them.

If youre sleeping in bed, your legs provide a good space that probably doesnt move as much as your head. If you used to pick your cat up and put it on your lap when they were young, they will typically continue to do this as they get older. If your cat doesnt usually jump on you and theyve started to, it could be that theyre experiencing some kind of stress.

Its important to make your kitty feel safe and loved in these cases and try to give them the security they need . This seems obvious, but it must be noted that if your cat, or any feline for that matter, is sleeping on top of you, they must be quite fond of you. This can be a major badge of honor, and is big if youve just brought a kitten home , adopted an older cat, or perhaps are cat-sitting for a friend.

If youre reading this with a purring ball of fluff fast asleep on your legs, consider yourself lucky. But if its not causing any inconvenience, then the only advice I can offer is to savor the love that youre getting from your finicky feline. That means if you click through on most of the links and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission.

Why do cats lay on your legs and feet?

Not only do cats want to keep you safe by sleeping near your feet, but the bottom part of your bed also helps them map out how they could leave your room in a snap. … “While cats may be independent creatures, they are keen on who provides for them and are still quite social,” the animal behaviorist explained.

What does it mean when your cat sleeps on you?

By choosing to sleep on you, your cat gets an extra level of protection and gets to bond with you at the same time. When your cat chooses to sleep on you, it’s her way of saying “I love you. I want to be near you and spend time with you when I’m at my most vulnerable.”

Why does my cat lay on my feet at night?

“When a cat goes to sleep, their guard is lowered and they’re aware that they’re more vulnerable, so often cats may choose to sleep at the foot of the bed for security and safety, to alert you if they sense a threat, and to protect you,” Askeland told POPSUGAR. … Cats sleep near our feet to protect us.

Do cats sleep with you to protect you?

Sleeping with you provides them with security and an extra defense if a predator should launch a nighttime attack. They sleep with you because they trust you, they know you’re not a danger and you can also provide an extra layer of defense if needed.

Your cat likes to sleep between your legs because it is one place where she feels warm, secure and protected. It also provides comfort and warmth while trying to convey to you the message that she trusts you completely.

Your cat chooses your legs as the perfect sleeping spot because it doesnt only radiate warmth but it also gives her a sense of protection and security. Its also interesting to note that cats are nocturnal and they tend to be active during the dawn, thus, sleeping between your legs allows her to snooze while also being able to stay a step ahead from probable danger.

Cats are lovers of warmth and could very well qualify as the original sunbathers as evidenced by their love for snoozing in sunny windows or some spot at home where its directly hit by sunlight. If a cat suffers from stress she tends to become more territorial and possessive and one way of manifesting it is by sleeping between or on your legs. Having your pet cat sleeping next to you or between your legs may seem such a sweet gesture but oftentimes it can become troublesome on your part.

Dont expect your cat to agree on this just as easily but with a little patience shell gradually adapt to the said alternative sleeping spot. If your pet cat freely roams the outdoors then it poses bigger problems as she may be a potential carrier of diseases. Be glad of yourself if your pet cat likes to sleep between your legs because its a sure sign that she trusts and loves you.

However, you may also provide her with an alternative sleeping area within your bed where she may still feel warm and secure while still being assured that youre nearby.

Cats behave differently. They may show their belly to you, blink at you slowly, groom, purr, and rub their cheeks against your body. But why do cats sleep between your legs? If you have a feline at home, you may have noticed that it likes to sleep this way a lot.

When you bond with your feline, you not only make it happy and feeling loved but also improve its health by lowering its blood pressure. The thing is, felines like to rub against the body of their human because they have scent glands that release a pheromone.

Thus, one more answer to the question why do cats lay between my legs? is that it is a sign of marking territory and having a sense of ownership. Thus, answering the question why do cats lay between your legs? from a health perspective, this behavior promotes the felines well-being.

For cat owners its a familiar scene: youre in your jammies, youve finally gotten into the optimal position for sleep, and here comes the family cat to join you. A brief scan of the area is all he needs to determine that your face is the perfect place to park his furry tush.

Cats replenish their energy with several naps throughout the day as opposed to one long block of sleep like humans. Unlike humans, cats are always ready to attack prey or defend themselves against a larger predator.

Even when they may appear to be out cold, their senses of hearing and smell are still sharp enough to spring them into action if necessary. Since cats are always poised for action, it makes sense that theyd seek extra protection by curling up next to their owner. Cats are typically at the top of the food chain, but even still, they have to keep a watchful eye out for danger, explains Dr. Zay Satchu, the Chief Veterinary Officer at Bond Vet in NYC.

Sleep is a vulnerable time, so your cat is indicating that he trusts you and feels content and secure with you. Cats are raised in litters, and when theyre very young until theyre about 12 weeks of age, sleeping usually means piling onto one another near mom, says Dr. Satchu. Its how they are raised during their peak socialization weeks and similar to other things they learn during this time, this translates into lifelong habits.

Your head releases steady heat throughout the night, making your pillow an attractive place for your cat to hit the hay. To avoid being jostled all night by your restless arms and legs, a cat will gravitate towards your head. They may lay on your chest because theyre comforted by the sounds of your rhythmic heartbeat and your steady breath.

Cats likely find some benefit to our very slow and calm respiratory patterns while we sleep, she says. This is when we are at our most calm and most cats tend to echo those same sentiments, even though they get to sleep for a good 18 hours each day! If he turns his back on you as he settles down, hes showing he trusts you and maybe even that hes going to watch the environment for both of you.

One thing to note: Cats shouldnt be allowed to sleep with children under the age of five, and NEVER with a baby because of the risk of suffocation. A jumpy or easily frightened cat may even lash out and scratch a child if startled during sleep. There are, of course, negative bedtime habits your cat may be doing that keep you from getting some quality shuteye: toe-biting, howling for attention, kneading your chest, etc.

Another tip is to sleep with your bedroom door slightly ajar so your cat can slip out without waking you.

1. Your Legs Provide Warmth

The thighs are one of the closest places to the body’s core, so they have a comforting warmth about them. Your cat may be cold, or just seeking out that comfort to sleep.When you find human babies sitting and sleeping in their mother’s laps, this is often for the warmth and comfort that your cat is looking for.

2. They’re Looking For Safety and Security

As their human, your cat will often look to you when they’re not feeling well or things are uncertain. Sleeping on your body can make your kitty feel safe and secure.If they’re looking for a spot to sleep soundly, knowing that nothing can hurt them, you’re their best bet.

3. They’re Comforting You

It’s been found that cats can sense their human’s emotions, which means happy, sad, and even sickly. If you’re ill, or not feeling great, your cat may pick up on this and want to cheer you up.By laying on you and purring they’re trying to comfort you and make you feel better.

5. It’s A Good Viewpoint

Cats have instincts that make them wary of any dangers, and falling asleep requires a feeling of security. From your lap or legs on the bed or couch, they have the perfect view of the room around them.If something were to startle them awake, they’d be able to see if it was a danger to them almost immediately.

6. Your Legs Are The Most Accessible

It makes sense that your cat would want to sleep on or near you, but why your legs? Quite simply, this is often the most accessible part of your body, no matter the circumstances.If you’re sleeping in bed, your legs provide a good space that probably doesn’t move as much as your head. And when you’re seated, your legs are the most level space for a ball of fur to curl up on.

7. They’re Used To Being Lap Cats

Sometimes the simple answer to why a cat sleeps on its human’s legs is: habit. If you used to pick your cat up and put it on your lap when they were young, they will typically continue to do this as they get older.And if you’ve adopted them as an adult, then perhaps their previous owner sat with them on their laps.

8. They’re Territorial

Cats rub themselves on humans and furniture to mark their territory, so they may also be laying on their human servants to claim what’s theirs. You may find this more when there are multiple cats in a household, and one is a bit more possessive.Or maybe your feline can smell that you’ve been a little too friendly with the office cat. Your cat may also lick your nose to mark its territory.

9. They’re Stressed

If your cat doesn’t usually jump on you and they’ve started to, it could be that they’re experiencing some kind of stress. This can come from being sick, in pain, or just having something disrupt their daily life.It’s important to make your kitty feel safe and loved in these cases and try to give them the security they need.

10. They Like You

This seems obvious, but it must be noted that if your cat, or any feline for that matter, is sleeping on top of you, they must be quite fond of you. This can be a major badge of honor, and is big if you’ve just brought a kitten home, adopted an older cat, or perhaps are cat-sitting for a friend.

She feels safe while sleeping there.

One reason why she sleeps on or between your legs is because she feels safe there. This means she trusts you a lot that she finds it safe enough to sleep on or between your legs especially during night time. For her, it’s also a suitable position because she won’t get squished should you roll over during the night.

It gives her a sense of protection.

Your cat chooses your legs as the perfect sleeping spot because it doesn’t only radiate warmth but it also gives her a sense of protection and security. Just as it is when she sleeps inside a cardboard box or underneath a bundle of sheets, sleeping between your legs makes her feel secured. Moreover, it’s an elevated area which is a perfect spot so she can keep an eye for probable danger and “prey”.

She likes the warmth.

Cats are lovers of warmth and could very well qualify as the original sunbathers as evidenced by their love for snoozing in sunny windows or some spot at home where it’s directly hit by sunlight. According to PetMD, a cat’s normal temperature falls at around 102 degrees Fahrenheit so they try to maintain that temperature and warmth as they sleep by snuggling between your legs. Your leg area generates a lot of heat as it has major blood vessels so the next time your cat snuggles up on your legs don’t be surprised and just think of yourself as a heated cat bed of sorts.

She may be stressed.

Another reason why your cat prefers to sleep between your legs is that she may be feeling stressed and anxious lately. If a cat suffers from stress she tends to become more territorial and possessive and one way of manifesting it is by sleeping between or on your legs. She may tend to hiss and even scratch you should you decide to remove her from that certain space.

1. It disturbs your sleep.

Cats are known to be nocturnal animals so they’ll usually be awake during the wee hours of the morning. This can disrupt your sleep if your cat sleeps on or between your legs.

2. It poses some hygienic problems.

Even if your pet cat is an indoor cat there may still be times when she may track dirt, dust, or worse, kitty litter to your bedroom. If your pet cat freely roams the outdoors then it poses bigger problems as she may be a potential carrier of diseases.

3. It becomes uncomfortable for you.

As much as we love our cats, we have to admit that our beds are our sacred sanctuaries, and sleeping time is a luxury. If your cat sleeps on or between your legs it can be very uncomfortable especially if she’s a bit chubby.

Security

Our pets may sleep for up to fifteen hours a day.Since felines trust you as their human, sleeping near you gives them a sense of protection. Also, when they pick your lap to sleep on, it shows the love they have for you. Your lap seems to them as the most comfortable and secure place to sleep without worries.

Warmness

From my experience, my lap is the coziest part of my body for my cats. It is because they are looking for a warm place for a comfortable sleep. Also, they can sleep near your hands to feel warm and maintain their body temperatures. Similarly, your feline may want to nap on your legs to draw some warmth from you.

Special Bonding and Good Health

Why does my cat like to sleep between my legs?” It’s probably because it is a way for your pet to get along with you.

Possession

When I got the third cat, my other two felines were quite jealous. They kept rubbing against my legs with a vengeance, with the lucky one sleeping between them or laying on my lap.

Overall Well-Being

One cat lays only on my legs every time I sleep or rest, while others tend to do it from time to time. Why does it happen?Cats feel adored when we pet them and take care of them, and in return, they want to show some love, too. When getting enough attention from you, cats will not poop all over the house, or destroy household items. Thus, you need to provide them with the coziest place to sleep, whether it is a heated pillow or your legs.

1. They’re seeking warmth

Ever notice how your cat seeks out a heat source when he’s ready for his midday siesta? Perhaps you’ve found him cozied up next to the radiator or burrowed in a pile of laundry.Simply put—cats like it warm.A cat’s normal temperature falls around 102 degrees Fahrenheit, according to PetMD. By snuggling up to you, they’re able to maintain that temperature without much effort. This explains why cats like to snooze in sunny windows or crammed into boxes. When it comes to sleep, warmth is more important than comfort for cats.

2. They’re marking their territory

PetMD also points out that cats are territorial creatures. They claim their turf by marking it with their scent. So when they sleep on top of you, they’re actually marking you—and your bed—as theirs. We should be flattered by this behavior, apparently.

3. Cats look for security

In the wild, a cat will seek the safest place to rest in between hunts. In the home, that place is with you.“Cats are typically at the top of the food chain, but even still, they have to keep a watchful eye out for danger,” explains Dr. Zay Satchu, the Chief Veterinary Officer at Bond Vet in NYC. “Being around their humans, they can rest easier knowing there is some safety there.”Sleep is a vulnerable time, so your cat is indicating that he trusts you and feels content and secure with you. This behavior begins in kittenhood.“Cats are raised in litters, and when they’re very young until they’re about 12 weeks of age, sleeping usually means piling onto one another near mom,” says Dr. Satchu. “It’s how they are raised during their peak socialization weeks and similar to other things they learn during this time, this translates into lifelong habits.”Your cat sleeps with you for comfort and security. After their mother, you’re the next best thing.

4. It’s a bonding exercise

Cats have earned an unfair reputation as being aloof and unfriendly. But as cat owners, we know this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Our cats are as affectionate as they are social. They want to bond with us.Cat behavior consultant Mikel Delgado, PhD, told Catster that it’s not unusual for cats to engage in “pillowing” at bedtime. This is when they use another cat as a pillow (adorable!) If they’re the only cat in the house, they love to use you as an alternative.This tactile component to the feline/human bond is your cat’s way of saying, “I love you. I want to be near you and spend time with you.”It’s hard to argue with that.

5. It may be hormonal

Research has shown that dogs release the feel-good hormone oxytocin when they’re in contact with their owners. According to VetStreet, it’s unclear if this applies to cats as well. But it’s not a farfetched theory.