How Do Cats Choose Who To Sleep With?

How Do Cats Choose Who To Sleep With?

Picture this: You and your significant other are sitting down to watch a movie. Your cat jumps up on the couch and starts looking for a nice place to sleep. The cat has two options: your lap, or your significant other’s lap.

Contrary to popular belief, cats aren’t actually nocturnal. Instead, they’re Crepuscular. This means that rather than sleep all night or all day, they get their ~14 hours of sleep throughout multiple naps or sleeping sessions.

How do they decide where to lay down? How do cats choose who to sleep with?

Cats Normally Don't Breathe Through Their Mouths

Isn’t it fun whenever the cat chooses you over whichever family member, friend, or significant other is sitting or laying down with you? It doesn’t matter if it’s a new Craigslist Kitten or a fancy Hybrid, it always feels so amazing when they decide to come sleep with you (or on you!)

This is especially true with a very finicky cat. You just want to sit up and point and go HA! I AM THE CHOSEN ONE! (But you don’t want to disturb the kitty)

Here are 4 ways that your cat decides who to sleep with and who gets to be the chosen one. Whenever you’re done here, go read why cats like to sleep between their owner’s legs

Cats Like Whoever Have The Best Scent

It’s no secret that cats have an AMAZING sense of smell. Scents and smells are how cats find food, how they know where their home is, basically how they survive, and even how they communicate with cats and other animals. 

Because scents can affect a cat so much, it should come as no surprise that certain smells can be comforting to a cat. If your cat chooses to sleep with you then one reason why may simply be because they like your scent better. 

I should point out that this doesn’t necessarily mean the unchosen person smells bad, it might just mean that you smell familiar and more comfortable. 

Cats Choose Who Makes Them Feel Safe

Another reason cats may choose to sleep with on person over another is that they feel safer with specific people. The instincts go back to their days as kittens whenever they had to sometimes make subconscious decisions to sleep next to their mommy and littermates in order to feel safe. 

Once your cat is all grown up, they may crave that same level of safety whenever it’s time for a deep sleep. This can result in them choosing someone specific to sleep with. 

Cats Choose Whose Body Warmth Is More Ideal

Whenever your cat goes to sleep their body temperature drops a few degrees. This is why cats always seek warmth and sometimes hide their faces when they sleep. If your body radiates heat more so than the next person then a cat likely might choose you when deciding who they should sleep with. 

Cats Look For Whoever Is Sleeping In A Better Position

Picture this: You’re laying on your back with your knees up and playing on your phone. Your partner is laying on their side dozing off. If your cat is looking for someone to sleep next to then do you think they’re going to climb up your knees or are they going to curl up with someone that’s in an easier-to-get-to postition?

Cats Choose Who Feeds Them

Cats are very food-driven animals. Even the pickiest of eaters is still driven by food. It’s simply bred into their DNA to always make sure they eat in order to survive. It’s because of these food-driven behaviors that cats may sleep with whomever feeds them or gives them treats. 

Don’t mistake this as your cat thanking you for feeding them though! Well, let me back up a bit. Sometimes your cat might show affection as a way to thank you for feeding with them.

One thing is certain, however. If your cat sleeps next to you then they will know the second you get out of bed so that they can start asking you for more food. 

Cats Will Simply Choose Their Favorite Person

Cats and kittens have no problem bonding with multiple people. Having said that, they still may choose favorites from time to time. 

How do cats pick their favorite person? Well, that could be an entire post on it’s own, but it boils down to a few key points that are similar to who they choose to sleep with. Their favorite person might make them feel safe, they might play with them, they might feed them, or they simply might smell better. 

Also, if you got your cat when they were a kitten then it’s likely they bonded with one person more than the other as they grew into adulthood. This bonding and affection can stick with them for the rest of their lives. (This is why it’s incredibly important to NEVER adopt a cat unless you know you can care for them for their entire lives.)

What is the latin name for cat

Why Do Cats Sleep At The End Of The Bed?

We wanted to toss in one more fun bonus fact about cats and sleeping!

Sometimes your cat may jump up on the bed to sleep but they don’t necessarily choose one person to go lay down with. Oftentimes this results in them sleeping at the end or at the foot of the bed. 

You do everything you can to ensure your cat is safe and healthy. However, your cat has thousands and thousands of years worth of survival instincts bred into them. It’s these survival instincts that usually make cats sleep at the end of the bed. 

Your cat does this because they want to be close to you, but they also want to be able to get away easily should they see, hear, or smell anything alarming. 

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Sornbhakkanut Boonprasop

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