Why does my cat sleep above my head? Decoding feline behavior

Why does my cat sleep above my head? Decoding feline behavior

Cats have been coexisting with humans for thousands of years, and their behavior is still a mystery to many cat owners. One such behavior that cat owners find intriguing is when their furry feline chooses to sleep above their heads.

In this article, we will take a closer look at why cats sleep above their owners’ heads and what it means in the feline world.

The Evolutionary Reasoning Behind This Behavior

Cats are natural predators, and in the wild, they would sleep in high places such as trees and rocks to avoid predators. Sleeping up high ensures their safety and provides a bird’s eye view of their surroundings. This evolutionary reasoning could explain why your cat chooses to sleep above your head at night.

The Significance of Smell in Feline Behavior

Cats have an excellent sense of smell, and they use it to identify their owners. Sleeping above your head allows them to be close to your scent all night. This proximity to your scent helps them feel safe and secure around you, making them more relaxed.

The Need for Warmth and Comfort

Cats, like humans, enjoy being warm and comfortable in their sleeping space. The head is a warm, cozy spot, especially with a human pillow and blanket, which could explain why your cat prefers to sleep in close proximity to your head. Additionally, the sound of your breathing could serve as a lullaby for your feline friend as they drift off to sleep.

The Importance of Territory in Feline Behavior

Felines are territorial creatures, and they like to assert their dominance. Sleeping above your head could serve as a way for your cat to assert its dominance and claim its spot as the top predator in the house. To a cat, your head is the highest point in the house, making it the perfect space to claim.

The Role of Attachment in Feline Behavior

Cats are social animals, and they love to spend time with their human companions. Sleeping above your head could be a sign that your cat is attached to you and enjoys spending time in your company. Additionally, it is a way for your cat to show affection and appreciate your companionship.

Understand Your Cat’s Sleeping Habits

If your cat chooses to sleep above your head or in any other unusual place, it signals that your cat is comfortable and feels safe around you. While this behavior might be strange, it is nothing to worry about. However, it is essential to understand your cat’s sleeping habits and preferences to ensure they are comfortable and happy in their sleeping space.

Creating a Comfortable Sleeping Space for Your Feline Friend

To ensure your cat is comfortable, here are a few tips:

  • Provide your cat with an insulated and cozy bed they can call their sleeping space. Cat beds with little walls that they can snuggle against are ideal.
  • Ensure that their sleeping space is warm enough, especially during the colder months. You can achieve this by placing a soft blanket or pillow in their bed.
  • Avoid disturbing your cat while they are sleeping, as this could irritate them and make them uncomfortable. Instead, wait for your cat to wake up naturally.

When to Worry About Your Cat’s Sleeping Habits

While it is normal for cats to sleep in unusual places, there are a few things to watch out for. If your cat suddenly starts sleeping in a new location, it could signal an underlying health issue. Other concerns to watch out for include excessive meowing, pacing, or appearing restless while sleeping.


In conclusion, your cat’s decision to sleep above your head or in any other unusual place is not something to fret about. Instead, this behavior indicates that your cat is comfortable and feels secure around you. Understanding their habits and preferences will help ensure they get a good night’s sleep and remain happy and content.

Common Questions About Feline Sleep Habits

  • Why do cats sleep curled up?
  • Cats sleep curled up as it provides them with warmth and security. Additionally, it allows them to conserve space and protect their vital organs while sleeping.

  • Is it normal for a cat to sleep all day?
  • Yes, it is normal for cats to sleep up to 12-16 hours a day. This is because they are crepuscular creatures, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.

  • Why do cats sleep in corners?
  • Cats sleep in corners because they feel safe and secure in confined spaces. Corners provide them with a sense of security, making it an ideal sleeping spot for them.

  • Why do cats sleep on their backs?
  • Cats sleep on their backs when they feel secure and comfortable. It is also a way for them to regulate their body temperatures and stretch their muscles while they sleep.


  • Harvey-Smith, L. (2012). The importance of body posture in cats. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 27(3), 126-130.
  • Bradshaw, J. W., Cameron-Beaumont, C., & Theodorou, K. (2019). The importance of scent in feline behaviour. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 21(7), 614-626.
  • Overall, K. L. (2013). Clinical behavioral medicine for small animals. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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