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Why Does My Cat Sleep on My Pillow? 3 Possible Reasons

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

brown tabby cat sleeps on a white pillow under the light of the window

Your cat bonds with you in ways you might not recognize. They also get different things out of the relationship and experience you in a very unique way. Some of our cats like to be as close to us as possible, while others prefer their independence.

When it comes to snuggling up with you, this is probably a welcomed behavior most of the time. But, if your cat is crawling up onto your pillow and you have concerns about why they’re doing this, we’re going to go over the reasons in this article as well as some things you can do to prevent your cat from being on your pillow if you don’t like the behavior.

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The 3 Reasons Why Your Cat Sleeps On Your Pillow

1. Your Cat Wants to Be Close to You

It’s probably no secret to you that your cat just wants to be near you. This means, when it’s time to cuddle up for the night, your cats are right there waiting and willing to be by your side. After all, do you find that your pillow isn’t quite as cozy without your cat? It’s the same concept.

beautiful young woman with cute cat resting at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

2. Your Cat Loves Your Scent

It’s no secret that cats have an impeccable sense of smell. What might be less well known, however, is that your cat likes to be close to you because they can smell you nearby. This might comfort them in stressful situations or simply make them feel better knowing you have their back.


3. Your Cat Wants to Be Warm

Cats require quite a bit of body heat. They get warm easily and like to sleep in places that they know will be warm and toasty. Therefore, your pillow is a great spot to soak up that extra heat. Because not only is the pillow cozy, but you also serve as a heating pad for your purring feline.

kitten sleeps on the owners pillow
Image Credit: Yavdat, Shutterstock

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Should Your Cat Sleep on Your Pillow?

You might know that your cat loves to sleep on your pillow, but should they be doing it? That is something that only you can decide. Some cats don’t take no for an answer, so be prepared to lay down the law in the event you don’t want them sleeping on your pillow.

Even though you want your cat to be very close to you, that doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea to share a space like the head of your bed. Our kitties are constantly going in and out of their litter box, which can unknowingly transmit certain parasites or other germs to your bed.

If you’re putting your face directly on the pillow that has any potential offender, it could cause you to get very sick. Granted, the likelihood that this would happen is very small. But it is a concern for some people.

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How to Keep Your Cat from Sleeping On Your Pillow

If your cat prefers sleeping on your pillow, but you’re really not crazy about the idea, there are ways to try to either make another area more desirable or make your pillow less desirable.

1. Get Your Cat a Bed

You could try to make your kitty cozy by giving them their very own cat bed. They may have a cat bed in some other area of the home, and you could always try moving it to the bedroom at night or whenever your cat likes to snooze to see if they prefer their cozy bed instead.

Finding a bed that your cat truly enjoys can be a challenge. Our Hepper Nest Bed features an enticing, portable design that encourages cats to explore and curl up in. Created with a comfy bowl shape to offer maximum support and a self-warming fleece insert, you’ll have a hard time getting your cat up from their daily naps. 

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2. Put a Cover On your Pillow

If our cat likes to lay on your pillow during the day but not while you’re actually sleeping on it, you can always get a separate cover for your pillow during the day. That way, you can easily change it out and protect the actual part your face goes on to, so you’re not as concerned about germ transmission.


3. Limit Your Cat’s Access to the Bedroom

It might sound harsh, but you can also try to convince your cat to stay elsewhere at night. If they sleep on the pillow during the day, make sure your room is shut when you’re not in it. If you feel bad restricting access, you can always put up your pillow instead.

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Final Thoughts

Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a firmer understanding of why your cat sleeps on your pillow. Maybe you’ve already had that sneaking suspicion, but either way, you can put some meaning behind your cat’s actions.

Sleeping on your pillow might not bother you a bit. But some people are fixated on the potential germ transmission that could happen. After all, even though our cats are meticulous creatures, they still track their litter, potentially infecting you with bacteria or parasites.

There’s no wrong answer here. Whether or not you choose to let your cat on your pillow is completely up to you!


Featured Image Credit: MaguiRF, Shutterstock

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