Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

Why Does My Cat Sleep on My Head?

Why does your cat like to sleep on your head?

Have you ever been woken up because you're suddenly inhaling cat fur? It's a common situation for cat owners; at some point in the night or early morning, your cat ends up trying to sleep on your head.

What on Earth causes this behavior? Why do cats insist on sleeping on their human's head?

Your Head Is Warm

Cats have higher internal body temperatures than we do. A cat's normal temperature is between 100.5 and 102.4°F. It can be more difficult for a cat to keep that temperature while they're resting, so it's normal for them to seek out a heat source outside of their own body to help them maintain their normal temperature.

Since a cat can't pull blankets over herself, she'll head toward the warmest spot available. Humans lose heat through their heads, plus the rest of us is often covered up while we sleep. That's why curling up next to or on top of your head makes perfect sense to your cat.

The Head of the Bed Might Be More Comfortable Than the Foot

If you tend to move around a lot in your sleep, the head of your bed might be more comfortable for your cat than the foot, where there is more movement and disruption.

So your cat might be sleeping near your head because the foot of your bed is like a roller coaster for her.

Your Cat Likes to Be Near You

Your cat might sleep near your head just because she loves you. Nighttime might feel to her like a great time for the two of you to bond, and your head and face are so much cozier to show love to than your feet.

What if You Can't Sleep?

If your cat's nighttime habits are keeping you awake, either because she's sleeping on your head or because she is showing her nocturnal personality and moving around or playing all night, what can you do?

There are some things you can do to get your cat to let you sleep at night.

  • First, provide your feline friend with a warm, cozy bed of her own, near your head.
  • Make sure that your kitty is getting exercise and food right before bedtime. In other words, simulate a successful hunt for her. Do some vigorous wand toy play right before bedtime, so she can feel like a predator, then feed her a nice, yummy meal. This will make her feel like she's caught and eaten her prey, and her next steps will be to groom herself and go to sleep.
  • You can train your cat to stay out of your room at night. For some cats, you can simply close your bedroom door, but if your cat scratches at the door or whines to get in, you can set up a baby gate down the hall so she can't get to your door. Most cats will adjust to the new situation in a few days. Just be sure that your cat has everything she needs (food, water, a litter box, a cat bed, and scratching posts) in the area in which she'll be staying at night.

You can find more information in this helpful article: "How to Train Your Cat to Let You Sleep."

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