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

Why Does My Cat Jump on Me While I'm Sleeping?

Why do cats jump on people while they’re asleep?

Most people who live with cats have experienced it. You're sleeping peacefully when suddenly, a heavy weight lands right on your body or head. Tickly kitty whiskers are thrust in your face, and you're wide awake.

Learn why cats jump on you when you're sleeping and what you can do to curb the behavior.

Cats May Wake You up Because They're Bored

Some cats pounce on their owners while they're sleeping because they're looking for some attention or they're feeling bored. This may especially be the case for young cats or those that spend a lot of time alone during the day.

If you think your cat is waking you up out of boredom, try engaging in a vigorous play session with him right before you go to bed. Get some interactive wand toys and some throw toys, and make sure he has a good romp. At the end, let him "catch" and "kill" the toy you're playing with and then give him a treat or small meal.

In the wild, a cat would expend a lot of energy catching prey, eat, and then take a bath and sleep for a while to replenish that energy. When you do the play followed by treat plan above, you're imitating that natural instinct, and your cat should sleep better at night.

Cats Might Wake You up If They're Hungry or Thirsty

If your cat gets hungry or thirsty during the night, she might pounce on you to let you know she needs something. If you think this might be the case with your cat, make sure her water bowl is full before you go to sleep and try to put down her last meal soon before or at your bedtime.

Another thing you can do if you think your cat gets hungry or thirsty at night is purchase a water fountain and an automatic feeder. You can program the feeder to dispense a small meal early in the morning so you can sleep in.

Your Cat Might Just Want to Be Near You

Your cat loves you and, especially if you're gone a lot during the day, nighttime might be her chance to hang out with you. Since she can sleep all day while you're away, she might not understand why you aren't interacting with her during the night when you're home.

If you think your cat might be pouncing on you while you're sleeping because she wants to be near you, you can try setting up a super cozy cat bed near you and rewarding her when she gets into it. You can also put a scratching tree next to your bed, so she feels close to you but isn't right on top of you.

You Might Wish to Keep Your Cat Out of Your Room at Night

If you can't get your cat to stop pouncing on you at night with the above tips, you may want to train her to stay out of your bedroom. Just closing the door might be enough to keep some cats out, but if yours scratches at the door or sits outside it and meows, you might need to do more.

Try putting a baby gate down the hall from your bedroom to keep your cat as far away from your bedroom door as you can. You may need to play white noise in your room to block out any sounds she might make down there while she's getting used to the new situation.

You can find more information about sleeping with and around cats here: "How to Train Your Cat to Let You Sleep."

You May Also Like These Articles:

Why Does My Cat Chew on Electrical Cords?

Common Cat Behavior Problems and How to Solve Them: Slideshow

Feliway - A Useful Tool to Help Treat Stress in Cats

Hoarding Behavior in Cats

"Love Bites" or Softening You up to Eat?

Does Your Cat Have Separation Anxiety?

Stress in Cats

Normal Cat Behavior

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at CatHealth.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.