CattyCorner: Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Head?

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on September 8, 2020

Greetings, my pawsome human minions and cat cohorts.

Forrest Wisewhiskers here, back again with some cat knowledge for the humans.

Our topic today comes courtesy a lady I know as my Auntie. She’s mom’s sister or something and likes to come hang out sometimes.

Auntie has a cat and she often questions me about the things her Snookums does. Snookums is still a young thing and much of her zany ways could be attributed to her kittenhood, but as she’s aging, it means my advice for Auntie is taking on a new dynamic.

cat sleeps on head

Not so much the kitten anymore, Snookums is starting into adult behaviors which means she has reasons for most of her actions now. When a kitten does something seemingly weird, its easy to shrug and say, “Kittens are crazy fluff balls.” But as a grown, more refined creature now, Snookums usually has motivation behind her actions.

Which means Auntie’s latest inquiry can be answered with more than the ‘kittens will be kittens’ explanation. Her question? “Why does my cat sleep on my head?”

I had to snicker into my paw at this. I actually do this to my dad, but he has no idea. He sleeps so hard he’s never even noticed me on the pillow with him before. And I’ll tell you why I, and Snookums, both enjoy the pillow life.


Why Cats Sleep on Your Head

Staying Warm

Felines run warmer than humans, with the average normal cat body temperature measuring between 100.5°F and 102.5°F. But when we snooze, it can be hard to maintain our warmth as our predator muscles are at rest. Plus, humans tend to make it colder in the house at bedtime, so the normal couch sleeping spot gets way too drafty for comfy rest.

So, where’s the warmest place we can find? That’s right, on the pillow next to your head, making you the ideal feline warmer.

cat sleeps on head

Your Busy Legs

Cats tend to keep pretty still when we sleep. Humans don’t. Why must you fidget so much?!?

This question is aimed at my mom, in particular. It’s like she’s chasing mice in her sleep, her legs stay so busy. Which means I get kicked if I’ve tried to get comfy at the foot of the bed. No thanks. I’ll take your pillow instead. I know I’m not the only tabby with this issue.


We Like You

Cats also choose to share your pillow with you because we like you, okay, we love you. You’re our favorite person and we want to be near you. You make us feel safe and we also enjoy protecting you while you remain in your vulnerable state. Alright, that’s it, I’m done being gushy.

cat sleeping on head

How To Relocate Your Cat From Your Pillow

Here’s a few simple tips for you if kitty’s pillow hogging is making sleep a catastrophe:

  • Set a cushy, warm bed just for kitty right next to your pillow. When she climbs aboard the pillow, set her in the new bed and make a big deal over how precious she is in said bed. This will be a process. We kitties enjoy taking to things in our own time, as you well know.
  • Before you go to bed, wear kitty out with a playtime session. Grab his favorite toy and keep him pouncing until he’s ready for a nap.
  • Move dinnertime a little closer to bedtime or offer a filling snack not long before bed. A full tummy makes catnapping even better.


You may or may not succeed in getting your cat off your head at night, but just remember, you make kitty feel safe and that’s why your head makes a purrfect pillow.

Just make sure you’re getting enough sleep so you don’t forget to feed the cat.

Feature Image: @ruiqi.huang.5201/Instagram

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