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Do Cats Protect You When You Sleep?

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

a white British cat lying on the bed between child's feet

We know that cats love us in their own special way, but we naturally wouldn’t assume they’d guard us the same way some dog breeds do. It turns out that a cat’s loyal behavior doesn’t manifest in quite the same way as a canine. With this in mind, it makes us wonder whether cats have their own way of protecting us while we sleep or if they genuinely couldn’t care less. While some cats will protect us while we sleep, how they do so, plus the individual, cat are two factors that affect the answer to our question.

Will Cats Protect Humans While They Sleep?

Cats are always being given a bad rep for being independent and standoffish, but there have been studies proving that a relationship between a cat and a human can be similar to relationships between two humans. In fact, cats often have similar personalities and behaviors as their humans. If you’re protective and loving towards your cat, that means that they will likely feel or act the same way toward you.

Felines are notorious for running away when they’re afraid. After all, the term “scaredy cat” has to come from somewhere. Even though a cat might flee in the presence of danger, it doesn’t mean that they don’t look over you while your guard is down. Instead, humans should try to use their cat’s natural instincts for danger and their body language to their advantage. Cats can sense even minor changes in their atmosphere, so having a pet cat isn’t all that different from having a guard dog. Just because they don’t bark when they see an intruder doesn’t mean they aren’t warning you.

white fluffy cat lying on bed
Image Credit: C. SHII, Unsplash

Cat Behavior While We Sleep

We’re not saying that every cat will protect their humans at night. However, it is safe to say that some cats will look over their owners while they sleep. Have you ever wondered why your cat sleeps near your feet or on top of a cat tower at night? Being in the same room as you is their best way of protecting the both of you.

Cats are well aware that they, and their humans, are vulnerable when sleeping. Staying close by is one way for them to protect themselves at night. The area that they choose to sleep in can offer them a good view of the room so that they can be alerted at the first sign of trouble.

Do All Cats Protect Humans?

As much as we wish they would, not every cat is going to feel responsible for protecting you. Cats don’t think the same as humans and there is still a part of them that will prioritize their survival over the survival of others. At the end of the day, cats are simply following their instincts and doing whatever they can to survive. While some cats will alert their owners of danger, it doesn’t automatically mean it is out of love. Some cats are just smart enough to realize that if anything happens to you, they might not be getting their regular supply of food. This isn’t to say that they don’t feel affectionate towards you; it just means that their brains are wired differently than ours.

Cat waking up its owner sleeping in bed
Image Credit: Kasefoto, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

Cats are often given less credit than they deserve. You might not be able to count on them to save you from an intruder like some dogs, but quite a few of them will watch over you at night and make sure that their homes are protected. Cats have different ways of alerting humans to danger. Understanding their body language can help you realize when something isn’t quite right. Know that cats are very different from other pets, and just because they don’t alert you the way you’d expect them to doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about your well-being.


Featured Image Credit: Natasha Zakharova, Shutterstock

Hallie Roddy

Authored by

Hallie has been a proud nature and animal enthusiast for as long as she can remember. She attributes her passion for the environment and all its creatures to her childhood when she was showing horses on weekends and spending her weeknights devoting her attention to her pets. She enjoys spending most of her time in Michigan playing with her two rescue cats, Chewbacca and Lena, and her dog, Cl...Read more

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