Why does my cat lay on my chest? You may have had this question before as well, and it might be something you never really knew.
There are many different reasons why cats do the things that they do, and there is even a science behind it. Here are some of the possible answers to this very common question.
When your cat lays on your chest, you don’t immediately assume that he’s trying to sleep. You think, “Hey, I haven’t had a heart attack yet, why does my cat need to lay on me like this?”
Why Does My Cat Sit On My Chest?
Your Cat Loves You
Let’s begin with the obvious. This may seem straightforward, but a physical contact from your cat may be as simple as them expressing their affection for you. Consider it their way of hugging or cuddling you.
So you may consider yourself a devoted cat owner if your fur-baby cuddles up on your chest or a limb.
They’re Suckers for Some Warmth
It’s no secret that cats prefer to snuggle up in warm areas to sit, rest, and sleep. They’ll be happy on a sunny windowsill or on their human’s chest (or any other body part for that matter). Who can blame these tiny opportunists? Body heat is typically the most consistent source of warmth.
They don’t appear to mind any movement from their heated surfaces, though. As a result, if you don’t sit still, they’ll swiftly move on to the next most warm location.
When you wake up, that may be a bright windowsill or even your place on the sofa – after all, you warmed it up so wonderfully.
Let’s face it: having a fluffy little warmer cuddled up on your lap may be just as relaxing. Not only does it provide a really pleasant environment, but having your feline partner in close proximity to you may be quite reassuring.
If you’re worried about your cat but it’s late at night or you can’t get to the vet, check out Vetster — online licensed veterinarians that can schedule appointments and have medications delivered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Your Heartbeat Soothes Them
This isn’t a strange conclusion to arrive at. It’s possible that your kitten associates it with resting near to their mothers and hence with emotions of safety. Isn’t that how we probably treated them as kittens, tucking them close beneath our chins?
These physiological rhythms may be highly hypnotizing and relaxing, reminding them of their parents’ soft purrs.
While these cats are quite autonomous, reverting to ‘childish’ kitten behavior is a regular occurrence and may provide a secure haven for them.
Cats have a playful, childlike side that shows through in the way they express or experience affection.
So, if you see your kitten is feeling vulnerable or scared, love them like you would a human kid. Snuggle them up and keep them dear to your heart.
Your Cat is Trying to Claim You
Your cat attempting to claim you is really charming, if you think about it. They’ve been known to sleep on everything from cat toys to beds to your clothes. This is due to the fact that cats are highly territorial creatures.
They demarcate their territory by releasing smell or just sitting and claiming possession of a specific location. So the next time your kitten lands on you, you may presume they’ve uttered something along the lines of “my.”
They Seek Security or Comfort
As previously said, cats have a deep relationship to odors, and our chests definitely smell like ourselves. Scents that are familiar to your cat go a long way toward reassuring him.
As a result, it’s not unusual to find them among heaps of your old clothes. In fact, you could find yourself ‘donating’ your favorite sweater to your cat, who will wear it for the rest of his life.
Cats are also born with the inclination to remain on the lookout for predators. If they don’t feel safe, this might be quite stressful for them.
So when your cat rolls up on you, it’s a huge compliment because they’ve decided you’re the safest place in the planet.
They’re marking their territory
Cats, according to PetMD, are territorial creatures. They mark their territory with their smell to claim it. As a result, when they lay on top of you, they’re effectively claiming you—and your bed—as their own. Apparently, we should be gratified by this conduct.
It’s a bonding exercise
Cats have an undeserved image for being haughty and unapproachable. However, as cat owners, we know this is far from the case. Our cats are as gregarious as they are affectionate. They seek to form a connection with us.
It’s not uncommon for cats to engage in “pillowing” at bedtime, according to cat behavior consultant Mikel Delgado, PhD. This is when they utilize another cat (adorable!) as a cushion. If they’re the only cat in the house, they’ll turn to you for comfort.
Your cat’s method of saying “I love you” is through this tactile component of the feline/human interaction. I want to spend time with you and be near you.”
It’s difficult to disagree with that.
It may be hormonal
When dogs are in contact with their owners, they emit the feel-good hormone oxytocin, according to research. It’s unclear whether this also applies to cats, according to VetStreet. But it’s not an outlandish notion.
Should You Stop Your Cat From Sit on Your Chest?
Allowing your cat to lay on your chest is often harmless. However, some individuals find it distressing, especially if the cat is there for an extended period of time. It might be comforting and beautiful to have a cat on your chest, but it can also be painful, especially if you are trying to sleep. A cat on your chest might make it difficult to breathe, especially if it is a big cat. You or your clothing may be accidently clawed by a frightened cat. A cat on your bed might degrade your sleep quality and lead you to wake up frequently during the night. Your cat’s fur and dander may irritate you if you have allergies.
By giving a nice alternative, you may be able to lessen the amount of time your cat spends on you. If you truly want your cat to stop resting on your chest, you might be able to do it. Begin by purchasing a nice, roomy cat bed, preferably one that is heated. Put a worn article of clothing in the cat bed to leave your fragrance. Move your cat to the bed if your cat gets on your chest at an inconvenient moment. While your cat is in the bed, give him or her pets and praise. This could take some time to get up and running. Furthermore, because cats being cats, you may find that your cat prefers an old box or laundry hamper to the new bed.
Should you let your cat sleep with you?
In a nutshell, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Allowing your cat to sleep on your bed has a number of benefits and drawbacks.
Pros of letting your cat sleep with you
Stress reduction. Petting our cats or dogs releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin, according to studies. Our cortisol (stress) levels are also reduced. Sounds like a formula for a restful night’s sleep!
Bonding. If you’ve been out for the most of the day, nighttime can be the greatest time to catch up on some cuddles.
Warm and inviting. When it comes to having your cat lie on your bed with you, there’s no doubting the comfort aspect.
Cons of letting your cat sleep with you
It’s possible that it’ll wake you up. Cats are usually more active in the evening (although they can adjust to your sleep schedule).
Concerns about hygiene. Indoor cats might drag kitty litter into your bed, while outdoor cats can be disease vectors.
Discomfort. It might be aggravating if your cat wants to sleep on your chest or head, especially if he’s overweight. Plus, with each inhalation, you risk inhaling a load of cat hair.
One thing to keep in mind: due to the risk of suffocation, cats should not be allowed to sleep with children under the age of five, and NEVER with a baby. If awakened while sleeping, a jumpy or easily scared cat may lash out and claw the youngster.
My cat is a happy cat, and I do not know why she does that. I don’t know how long it has been happening, but I have always assumed that it was to cuddle up and feel warm. When I think about it, it seems like a very strange behavior for a cat to do, and it is definitely different from the typical “cat on your chest” thing that most people do.