Why Do Cats Sleep on Your Head?

Have you ever woken in the middle of the night to find your cat sleeping on your head? If you’ve never had this happen before, you must not be a cat owner! There are several reasons why cats do this. In this article, we will explore some of the various explanations for why cats like to sleep on their owners’ heads. So if you’ve ever been curious about this strange habit, keep reading!

Your Head Keeps Them Warm

One of the most common explanations for why cats sleep on their owners’ heads is because they enjoy the warmth. After all, your head is one of the warmest parts of your body! In fact, people lose the most body heat from the tops of their heads (which is why it’s important to wear a hat in the cold). 

Cats are known for being very particular about their environment and temperature. Sometimes it’s too hot and other times it’s too cold. When they sleep next to your torso, they usually find the amount of heat excessive, as the torso is where most of your body heat stays. So, your cat will either move to the foot of the bed for some cooler air, or to your head, where it’s not quite as hot, but just warm enough for their belly. 

They See Us as Another Cat in the Family

Some people believe that cats see their owners as another cat in the family. After all, we do provide them with food, water, a litter box, and plenty of love and attention! 

When kittens are born, they often stay close to the rest of their litter, spending most of their time staying close and warm with other kittens. It’s not far-fetched to think that sleeping on your head is a behavior that cats continue from when they are kittens. They feel comfortable and safe being close to their “family” and see you as another cat in the bunch! 

You’re a Restless Sleeper

It’s not uncommon for cats to become accustomed to sleeping in the same bed as their humans. This can become problematic for cats though, especially if their humans toss and turn in their sleep throughout the night. It’s no fun sleeping nice and sound only to be rudely awakened by a giant arm or leg in the middle of the night. So to avoid being trampled in their sleep, cats will sometimes just seek refuge in the only part of your body that doesn’t move so much—your head. 

Your Head Smells Nice

Cats are extremely sensitive to smells (perhaps that’s why they’re not a fan of dogs). Head smells are generally considered to be quite pleasant for most people (unless you just got out of the gym or something). So it could be that your cat loves the smell of your head so much that it can’t help but want to take a nap right on top!

More scientifically speaking, your head is covered in glands that secrete oils and hormones that your cat can smell. So if your cat really loves you, it might be sleeping on your head just to get a little closer! 

They Feel More Secure 

Cats are sometimes a lot like little kids. They may be afraid of a thunderstorm outside or by the sound of the radiator hissing at night. No matter what it is that scares them, they can always find safety right next to (or on top of) their human. 

When cats feel unsafe or threatened, they tend to seek out a place where they feel more secure. By sleeping on their owner’s head, cats are able to get that extra sense of security and feel protected from whatever dangers may be lurking in the dark.

They’re Marking Their Territory

Cats don’t mark their territory in the same way as most animals. Cats’ sense of smell is so sensitive that if you’ve been near another cat, your cat will know it. Cats are able to smell hormones and pheromones left behind from other cats. This is how they mark their territory. 

So when your cat sleeps on your head, it might be doing it as a way of marking you as its territory. It loves you so much that it wants the whole world of cats to know you belong to it! 

Is it Okay to Share Your Bed with Your Cat?

Some people believe that it’s not okay to share your bed with your cat. They think it sets a bad precedent for the cat and can make it more demanding when it comes to sleeping in your bed, as well as make your cat more dependent on and attached to you.

Others believe that if you establish rules early on, like only allowing the cat to sleep on the bed when you’re there too, then there’s no harm in sharing your bed with your furry friend. Cats just want to feel close to their humans and feel safe at night, and if giving them that opportunity means they won’t scratch up your furniture or wake you up at odd hours of the night, then why not let them?

Do Cats Always Sleep with Their Owners?

Cats are social creatures, and each of their interactions with you is a way for them to bond or express their feelings toward you. Not all cats will want to sleep with their owners, but for the ones that do, it’s a sign of true affection. So next time you’re taking a nap or watching TV in bed, keep an eye out for your feline friend snuggled up right next to you. You might be surprised at just how close they like to be!


If you find your cat sleeping on top of your head, maybe they’re just trying to stay warm. But as you now know, there are a few other possibilities too. No matter the reason, cats sleeping on their owners’ heads is certainly a head-warming habit. If you’ve never experienced this before, make sure to keep an eye out next time you’re snoozing away. You might just find your furry friend sleeping soundly on top of your noggin!