Have you ever wondered why cats sleep at the foot of the bed? There’s an explanation for this seemingly strange behavior, and we’ll dive into it here. So, are you ready to learn more about cats’ sleeping habits? Then read on!
Why do cats sleep at the foot of the bed? Cats have always been thought of as independent animals, preferring to be left alone to mind their own business.
However, there are some exciting surprises about the feline species that may change your thoughts on the matter when it comes to sleeping habits. Why do cats sleep at the foot of the bed? What can you do about it? How does this behavior compare to dogs and other animals? Keep reading below for some answers!
1) Cats get cold
When it comes to sleeping, dogs tend to doze off just about anywhere, whereas cats prefer specific temperatures. This is especially true if they’re sleeping in a part of your house that gets less sunlight. Cats feel safest if they can be near their owners while they sleep. And because their humans like to keep warm under blankets, it’s no surprise that cats choose to lie nearby instead of on top of them.
2) Cats are territorial
One reason why your cat may choose to sleep in a specific spot is that it’s their territory. Cats see every room as their own, so they tend to mark their territory through spraying, scratching, and other actions.
Just like dogs mark their territories by urinating or defecating, cats do too — they use scent glands behind their ears rather than urine.
This is one of many reasons that declawing isn’t just cruel but unnecessary. There are ways to keep your cat from using furniture as a litter box other than declawing them! Keeping kitty litter boxes very clean (once per day) and outfitting them with deodorizers can help deter bad behavior from happening as often.
3) Laying on your legs helps them cool down
Cats can’t regulate their body temperature as we do. Cats typically have short, stocky legs that can make it hard to move fast enough when they get too hot. One way they regulate their body temperature is by lying on something extraordinary. So if your cat sleeps at your feet and gets up as soon as your alarm goes off, they might be cooling themselves down again before they go hunting.
4) They use touch to communicate
Feline friends may curl up right next to each other as a way to strengthen their bond and mark territory. They also touch each other in their sleep to maintain their pack order.
Some purr while they’re asleep: In humans, it’s thought that we dream while we’re asleep, but we don’t remember those dreams.
Cats may have some dream-life; in fact, recent research shows that felines produce brainwaves during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, associated with dreaming in humans. A cat’s love for your feet is rooted in domestication: Unlike wildcats, which are natural predators, housecats can be quite docile and exhibit limited predatory behavior.
5) They feel safer near their humans
While some might scoff that a cat could ever feel safe with humans, those who’ve spent time with feline friends know they do feel an attachment to their owners.
For example, when placed in an unfamiliar environment, cats are more likely to spend time near their human companion than any other animals present. If cats could talk (don’t worry, we haven’t found a way yet), they’d probably say something along the lines of You’re so much bigger than I am—and capable and confident—so I’m going to stick close to you. In most cases, your furry friend would be right. Hopefully, that doesn’t scare or alienate potential buyers away from your business plan!
6) The carpet absorbs sound, which aids with sleeping
If a cat has been active or upset, it may find it comforting to curl up in a quiet spot where they’re less likely to be disturbed by outside factors.
Curling up under something soft like a blanket or carpet can calm cats and help them go back to sleep. It’s also interesting that many owners report that their pets tend to want to lay on the side of their body where they feel the warmth from their human partner. It could be that being close to our body heat makes us feel safer and more secure, whether we’re awake or asleep. Cats also have some very subtle senses that are undetectable by humans; petting your cat might have an actual physical effect on them when they’re trying to go back to sleep.
7) They like head pats and belly rubs when sleeping
Science says that petting your cat can help promote calmness. If your cat is sleeping, giving them a few head pats and belly rubs can help soothe their anxiety and stress. Head rubs are believed to increase endorphins, while belly rubs release chemicals that make you feel good! The best part?
This doesn’t just apply to dogs! Your kitty will appreciate some love while they sleep as long as they don’t mind getting woken up a little!
8) Moving away might hurt their owners
University research has revealed that some owners feel like they’re losing a part of themselves when they move to a new place. Dr. Karen Allen, who studies animal behavior and cognition, said: When people have long-term bonds with animals, those feelings don’t just go away with a move.
The results were published in Psychological Science. Previous research has suggested that moving house can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes — making our furry friends seem all the more important for keeping us healthy.
It’s not just us owners who benefit from having pets around — scientists believe having a cat or dog can make moving house easier for children as well (although I think it might be worth pointing out that many kids are allergic to animals).
9) Cooler air hits their feet when sleeping under covers
People often assume that cats are drawn to sleeping under blankets because it’s warm and soft, but there’s a more compelling reason. The feet contain an abundance of nerve endings, so when your cat sleeps, they will probably dream about hunting prey.
There will also be a slightly cooler draft for their paws to enjoy as well. It may seem bizarre, but it does make sense!
Why do cats sleep at the foot of the bed?
10) The real reason
If a cat’s owner sleeps in the supine position (on their back), it makes a lot of sense for a kitty to hang out by their feet and make themselves comfortable.
That way, they’re less likely to roll onto said kitty while they’re sleeping. This also makes sense given that sleeping face-to-face with another human is considered an intimate position — not an option if you’re going to share your space with a pet you consider an extended member of your family.
Cats generally want to stay close to their owners when they can, especially if there are other cats in or around the house who might pose a threat — but that doesn’t mean we necessarily have to love it when they choose our bedroom as their permanent bedroom on those lazy Sunday mornings.
11) The dangers of sharing your bed with your cat
Never let your cat on your bed—especially not next to you. Unlike dogs, who’ve evolved to coexist with humans in a very physical way, wild cats are natural predators who don’t care for human touch.
They can give and receive love through petting and cuddling when it’s invited. But sleeping next to a cat is simply asking for trouble since they’re likely to lash out if they feel cornered or threatened by you in their territory (e.g., in your bed). For both you and your kitty’s sake, keep him firmly off-limits when you’re sleeping or taking a nap—it will mean better sleep for both of you!
12) Ways to avoid this problem
One way to deal with a cat sleeping at your feet is to put food away for a few hours before you go to bed. Another option is to train your cat or kitten not to associate sleep time with eating.
The following steps should help: 1) keep your cat’s daily meal times regular, 2) feed in an area that isn’t used for sleeping, 3) don’t give any more attention during meals than you would usually, and 4) if she comes over while you’re eating, either ignore her or toss her a treat without making eye contact or talking.
13) How to move your cat to another room
Okay, so you’ve decided to move your cat to another room or away from your space altogether, and you’re worried about how she’s going to react.
You should know a few essential things before moving here: Cats like routine and don’t like surprises, which means they often don’t react well when things change. Cats also like familiarity, which means they’ll more likely accept changes if they’re introduced gradually.
If possible, try moving them into a new room one night when they’re sleeping (to avoid any accidents caused by stress), and start by leaving out their food and litter box immediately.
14) Create a comfortable space for your cat in another room
Cats are very particular creatures and can’t always be trusted to behave themselves. Some like it warm; some prefer it cool; some want quiet, others don’t mind a bit of noise. It would help if you tried out different places for your cat to make sure he’s comfortable and happy so that he knows precisely where his special place is.
This way, when you go to sleep, he will know where to find his own space and won’t crawl into your bed! Cats have solid territorial instincts (we’re not all crazy), so finding a spot that feels just right might take a little time; don’t give up too soon, or you’ll both end up exhausted!
15) Don’t share your sofa with your cat.
It might look like a cozy, cuddly place to curl up and sleep, but your sofa is not a good choice for your cat. It’s not designed to provide enough support for felines, who tend to sleep on their side or stomach rather than their back.
In addition, research has shown that standard household fabrics harbor all kinds of bacteria—including some types that can give your kitty an infection.
Sure, you may love how your cat looks curled up by your feet as you watch TV in bed every night, but keeping her off your furniture is best for both of you.