My Warm, Secure, Cosy Sack of Meat: Why Cats Like to Fall Asleep Near Their Owners

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cat - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.02.2022
Despite being independent in their nature, cats love great company. But who are we kidding? They naturally use us to feel more comfortable at home (not that we mind their presence).
If you are a cat owner, you have probably noticed that your feline friends like sleeping next to you at night (and, if you're lucky – not playing with your toes). However, they do this not only because they like you – feline experts believe there are plenty of reasons for cats to sleep next to humans.
First and foremost, they do it for warmth and security, president of The International Cat Association (TICA), Vicki Jo Harrison, revealed in an interview with Newsweek. While they may choose to sleep on central heating radiators, humans provide cats not only with warmth, but also with a sense that they are protected from external threats.
"When your cat sleeps with you it means that they trust you and feel secure with you by their side. It also means they trust that you will provide an extra layer of defence if needed", Vicki Jo Harrison said.
Some cats may also feel protected by their owners' side from other felines if they reside in the home, another expert, Pam Johnson-Bennett from Cat Behavior Associates said in an interview. This way a cat may feel it won't become a "victim of an ambush" by another animal.
In addition: a bed is also the place with the "most concentrated source of familiar scents", which is important for a cat, Johnson-Bennett said. Vicki Jo Harrison from TICA added that they also spread their own scent by just lying in bed with you, thus fulfilling one of their natural needs – to mark the territory.
But still, for a cat to feel comfortable by your side it needs to have a bond with you. So rest assured that if a cat lies down next to you at night – you're on good terms with it, Harrison noted.
"If your cat sleeps with you, this indicates that they enjoy your company and want to spend time with you", she said.
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