Why Does My Cat Sleep With Me and Not My Husband?
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Cats are independent and playful animals, but they are also very affectionate and loving. Many new cat caregivers may not know this and may even be surprised when their cat decides to curl up next to them at night. It's actually very common for cats to sleep on top of their caregivers at night for a number of reasons. However, how do cats choose with who to sleep with?
In this AnimalWised article we're going to explain why your cat sleeps with you and not your husband. Keep reading to learn more!
Why your cat sleeps with you
The first reason as to why your cat is sleeping with you is warmth. This is especially true in the colder seasons. You may also see how your cat will take their naps near the furnace. At night, one of the reasons they will sleep with you is warmth. Not only is your bed nice and warm with all the covers and blankets it has, but so are you! This is why your cat may curl up next to you or on top of you.
Learn more in our article about how to care for a cat during winter.
Another reason is comfort. Cats are all about that high quality sleep. Sleeping with you will guarantee them a successful nap for many reasons, one of them being a comfortable place, such as their caregiver. Being on your chest, feet, arms, etc. will be very comfortable for them and will also give them other benefits that we mention in this list.
As we've mentioned, cats are very loving and affectionate, especially towards their caregivers. You can tell when a cat is relaxed and happy because they begin to purr and ask for affection. This is usually the case when they get ready to sleep with their caregivers. Cats see this as an opportunity to relax, have a nice nap with their favourite human, show their love and receive love from their caregiver.
Learn more in our article where we talk about how cats show their affection.
Another reason as to why your cat will sleep on you at night is their territorial instinct. Cats often have a hard time sharing their territory, both their physical home and their caregiver. This is why cats may have a hard time when you introduce a new cat to their home. Sleeping with their caregiver is a sign that you are part of their pack and, therefore, their “territory”.
Sleeping leaves any animal vulnerable to any type of danger. This is why many wild animals will sleep with their pack, for protection. Your cat's natural instinct will also be to sleep with the person they trust. Cats will most often choose one person in the household with whom they will sleep with each night. They have a strong bond to this person and trust them enough to sleep with them.
We encourage you to learn more in our article where we talk about how to know if your cat trusts you.
Lastly, your cat may sleep on you simply to bond with you. Although many people describe cats as being very independent, the truth is that they truly do depend on their caregivers and care about them a lot. Your cat will always try to find a way to spend time with you. Sometimes you'll be watching tv or working on your computer and they will come to be close to you. The same goes for when you go to sleep. They will take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with you and bond through what they love most, napping!
Learn more in our article about the 10 signs that your cat loves you.
Why your cat sleeps with you and not your husband or partner
Cats definitely pick a favourite when it comes to choosing their preferred caregiver to sleep with at night. They will determine this depending on a number of factors, such as:
- Someone who doesn't move as much when sleeping
- Someone with a warm bed
- Someone they have grown fond of
- Simply by habit
These factors will help a cat determine with whom they prefer to sleep on at night. Once they begin sleeping with one caregiver, it simply becomes a habit. They can also be quite territorial so they will prefer to have one human for themselves. Nevertheless, there are some cats that have been well socialized from a young age that don't mind sharing their favourite human with another cat.
If your cat sleeps with you and not your husband, or partner, it is simply because they feel more safe and comfortable with you. In other words, they have chosen you as their preferred human!
Why your cat sleeps on your head, chest, back or feet
Not only will cats choose a caregiver to sleep with, they will also choose where exactly to sleep. Some cats prefer sleeping near the feet of their caregivers, others choose the neck, head, back, etc. So, why has your cat chosen to sleep on a certain body part?
Your cat can be sleeping on your head for a number of factors. Firstly, the head is usually very warm, especially if you have long hair. It's also a very safe location as it's very improbable that you will turn and go on top of them. Your head is also not as active as your legs and arms, making it one of the safest places to nap. Lastly, our hair tends to smell good thanks to the scented shampoo we use. Another reason a cat may choose this spot to sleep.
Lots of cats choose to sleep on our chest. This is probably due to the theory that cats feel calm when they listen to their caregiver's slow and calm respiratory patterns. However, your cat will only sleep on your chest if they know you don't move around too much when you sleep as this isn't the safest area to sleep on.
Similarly to sleeping on your chest, your cat can feel and hear your calm and slow respiratory pattern. This isn't a very safe place either but it also allows them to observe you and your surrounding, therefore, some cats will choose this area nevertheless.
Cats may choose the feet of their caregivers as the perfect sleeping spot as it is one of the safest areas. If the caregiver moves their feet, cats can easily escape before being hurt. Learn more in our article about why your cat sleeps on your feet.
Other cats will choose to sleep next to their caregivers neck. This area is near the warmth of our heads but is extra cosy for our little cat. It's also a very safe area for them as we don't generally move our neck when we sleep. This way, they're able to be safe, warm and affectionate with us while napping.
What can you do?
Now that we have established why your cat is sleeping with you and not your husband, and even why they choose the spot that they do, we can ask ourselves what can we do about it.
Many caregivers first wonder, is it safe for my cat to sleep with me? The answer is yes. It is completely safe. To understand why, we must understand how cats sleep differently to us.
Firstly, adult cats sleep an average of 12-16 hours per day. This is much more than our average of 7-9 hours. Secondly, cats will sleep these hours through various naps during the day and night. This is unusual for us as we usually sleep 7-9 hours at night and then we stay awake during the day. Cats, on the other hand, will have naps and won't fall deep asleep. We can tell as they can easily wake up due to a noise or the smell of food.
With this being said, your cat won't be sleeping all 8 hours with you. They will most likely wake up early in the morning to go play and eat. This is why it is safe for your cat to sleep with you. Anything can wake them up, such as you moving in bed. Cats are also smart enough to choose an area that is both safe and comfortable for them to sleep in.
If you really do feel uncomfortable with your cat sleeping with you, you can provide your cat with a comfortable cat bed for them and leave a t-shirt or blanket with your scent on top of the bed. Make sure the bed is in a calm, quiet and warm area in your home. Then, simply shut your door before going to sleep. This will leave your cat no option but to sleep by themselves in their own bed.
We encourage you to also watch our video below about why your cat sleeps on top of you and why it's perfectly safe!
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