Why Does My Cat Sleep Above My Head?

Why Does My Cat Sleep Above My Head

Cats, those mysterious and independent creatures, frequently confuse us with their habits. Many cat owners have reported that their feline companion likes to sleep over their heads. Cats appear to enjoy elevated positions, whether perched atop a cushion or tucked on the headboard, especially for snoozing.

In this article, we look at the intriguing reasons why your cat likes to sleep over your head.

Understanding Feline Behavior

Before we get into the exact reasons for this behavior, it’s important to grasp certain fundamental elements of feline behavior. Cats are territorial creatures with a natural preference for high vantage locations.

In the wild, lofty perches provide a safe vantage point from which to examine their surroundings, monitor potential predators, and rest peacefully. This instinctive tendency is firmly ingrained in domestic cats, influencing their choice of resting places in human houses.

Reasons Why Cats Sleep Above Your Head

Security and Comfort:

Cats are creatures of comfort, and sleeping above your head may provide them with a sense of security. Your head represents a high, safe perch where they can feel protected and undisturbed. Being close to you also offers reassurance and companionship, which can help them relax and feel at ease during sleep.

Temperature Regulation:

Another reason your cat may prefer sleeping above your head is for better temperature regulation. Heat rises, and your head naturally emits warmth, making it an attractive spot for your cat to snuggle up. This proximity allows them to benefit from your body heat, especially during colder nights, keeping them cozy and comfortable.

Bonding and Affection:

Cats are known for their affectionate behavior towards their human companions, albeit in their unique way. Sleeping above your head can be their way of expressing closeness and affection. It’s a gesture that signifies trust and intimacy, as they choose to be in close proximity to you even during vulnerable moments like sleep.

Marking Territory:

Cats have scent glands located in various parts of their bodies, including their paws and cheeks. When your cat sleeps above your head, they may be marking you and your sleeping area with their scent. This behavior serves to establish territory and ownership, signaling to other animals that you belong to them.

Curiosity and Observation:

Cats are naturally curious creatures, and sleeping above your head allows them to indulge their curiosity while remaining close to you. From this elevated position, they can observe their surroundings with ease, keeping an eye on any potential sources of interest or activity. This satisfies their innate need for stimulation and mental engagement even while they rest.

Mimicking Natural Instincts:

In the wild, cats often seek out elevated perches to rest, hunt, and survey their territory. By sleeping above your head, your cat may be instinctively replicating this behavior, even in the domestic setting. It’s a remnant of their wild ancestry, where high places offer both safety and strategic advantages.

Minimizing Disturbances:

Cats are creatures of habit and can be sensitive to disruptions in their environment. By sleeping above your head, they can avoid disturbances such as sudden movements or noises that may occur at ground level. This elevated position provides them with a sense of control and security, allowing them to rest undisturbed.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Sleeping on Your Head

Provide Alternative Sleeping Areas:

Cats are creatures of habit, and they often return to places where they feel comfortable. Set up cozy and inviting sleeping areas in different parts of your home, such as cat beds, blankets, or designated cat furniture. Experiment with different textures and locations to find what appeals most to your cat’s preferences.

Use Deterrents:

Cats are sensitive to certain smells and textures. Consider using deterrents such as aluminum foil, double-sided tape, or citrus-scented sprays on your pillow or headboard to discourage your cat from sleeping on your head. These deterrents can make the area less appealing for your cat without causing any harm.

Establish Boundaries:

Training your cat to respect boundaries can help prevent them from sleeping on your head. Use verbal cues, such as “off” or “down,” paired with gentle redirection, to guide your cat to alternative sleeping areas. Consistency is key, so be patient and persistent with your training efforts.

Provide Mental and Physical Stimulation:

Cats are more likely to seek alternative sleeping spots if they’re mentally and physically stimulated throughout the day. Engage your cat in interactive play sessions, provide opportunities for exploration, and offer toys that encourage independent play. A tired and mentally satisfied cat is less likely to seek out your head as a sleeping spot.

Reward Desired Behavior:

Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool in modifying your cat’s behavior. Whenever you notice your cat sleeping in one of the designated areas instead of on your head, offer praise, treats, or affection as a reward. This helps reinforce the desired behavior and encourages your cat to continue using the alternative sleeping spots.

Create a Comfortable Environment:

Make sure the areas where you want your cat to sleep are comfortable and inviting. Keep them clean, free of loud noises or disturbances, and at a comfortable temperature. Adding soft blankets or bedding with your scent can also make these areas more appealing to your cat.

Consult with a Veterinarian:

If your cat’s behavior persists despite your efforts to discourage it, consider consulting with a veterinarian or a professional animal behaviorist. There may be underlying medical or behavioral issues contributing to your cat’s preference for sleeping on your head that require further evaluation and intervention.


The habit of cats sleeping above our heads is a fascinating aspect of feline behavior that reflects their innate instincts, preferences, and affectionate bond with their human companions. From seeking security and warmth to marking territory and indulging curiosity, there are various reasons why your cat may choose this particular sleeping spot.

Understanding these reasons can deepen your appreciation for your feline friend’s unique behaviors and strengthen the bond you share. So, the next time you find your cat perched above your head, take comfort in knowing that it’s simply their way of feeling safe, comfortable, and close to you.

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Hello there! I'm Madhav Mantri, the person behind this PetSavvy Solution blog. I'm a digital marketer and a pet enthusiast too! I spend my time making sure everything here is interesting and helpful for you and your pets. I love sharing cool stuff about pets, from the latest trends to heartwarming stories and useful tips to keep our furry friends happy and healthy.

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