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Why Has Cat Started Laying On You All of a Sudden? 13 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

woman holding a phone stroking orange and white cat on her lap

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Despite the stereotypes surrounding cats, they are not antisocial animals. Cats are social creatures that need companionship just as much as we do, although they may show it quietly, by doing things such as laying on their loved ones.

However, constantly laying on you may not always be your cat’s way of being social. If this is a sudden behavioral change, there could be other reasons behind that change. If you want to know more about what they could be, both good and bad, you will want to keep reading below.

The 13 Reasons Your Cat Has Started Laying On You All of a Sudden

1. She Is Displaying Affection

brown and black cat lying down on the bed with a woman
Image Credit: Oleg Ivanov, Unsplash

Your cat laying on you could be due to her desire to display affection.

There are several ways that cats show affection, from rubbing up against you to hanging out around you. Laying on top of you is one of the many subtle ways cats like to show how much they care.

If this is relatively new behavior, it may be that your cat is learning to trust you and being more open with you. Consider yourself lucky! It is an honor to be bestowed a cat’s complete affection, as it is not given as easily as some animals.

2. She Likes the Warmth

Is it getting chilly where you live? While you may be bundling up with sweaters or blankets to beat the chilly weather, your cat cannot do the same. So, she may start laying near or on you to absorb some of your body heat.

If you want to help your cat keep warm even when you are not around, you may consider investing in a heated cat bed. These cozy cat beds are an affordable solution to your cat’s cold problem, and you can rest easy knowing your cat is not freezing while you are away!

3. You Help Her to Feel Safe

woman cradling a black and white cat
Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Pexels

Cats are creatures of safety and comfort. Therefore, they often find hiding spots for nap time, such as under your bed or in a closet.

If you make your cat feel secure, she will want to be around you more often. This includes during one of her many naps, where she may lay down on you before dozing off. It is a pretty big deal to earn a cat’s trust, so be sure that you continue to prove yourself worthy of that trust.

4. She Likes the Sounds Your Body Makes

It may sound silly, but there is a good chance that your cat is sleeping on top of you because she likes to listen to your body’s sounds.

Living creatures tend to make noise even when we aren’t trying to. Our breathing or shifting makes small noises, and even the organs in our body can make sounds. If your cat is lying on you often, she could be interested in the little sounds that your body produces. (See #7 below, as well!)

Just like we are enamored with our cat’s purring sounds, they can be equally fascinated by our sounds!

5. She Wants to Help You Feel Better

woman stroking black and white cat
Image Credit: Sam Lion, Pexels

If you have been struggling through a stressful life event, your cat could be laying on you to offer comfort.

A recent study found that cats can recognize emotional distress in humans and respond accordingly.1 If you have been battling difficult emotions recently, your feline friend likely realizes this and has been laying on you as a form of comfort.

Cats are not just cute and cuddly creatures; they are companions. Nothing shows their heart more than their efforts to soothe us when we are distressed.

6. She Is Pregnant

If your cat’s behavior has dramatically shifted, it is possible that she is pregnant. Of course, if your cat is spayed or is a male, that is not a possibility.

If you think your cat is pregnant, there are a few other symptoms you can look out for. For instance, her temperament may change. She may become more affectionate, such as laying down on you more often, or she may become more aggressive or withdrawn. If you suspect that your cat is pregnant, you will want to set up a consultation with your vet to confirm the pregnancy and set up a birth plan for your cat.

7. You Are Pregnant

pregnant woman on sofa holding a cat
Image Credit: Vlada Karpovich, Pexels

If your cat is not pregnant, but she insists on laying on you specifically, there could be a chance that you are pregnant. Of course, this is less likely than most of the other possibilities on this list, but there is still a chance.

While there is not much hard evidence that cats can effectively determine whether a person is pregnant, some suggest that cats can pick up on subtle symptoms of pregnancy quicker than some humans can. If your cat is detecting these early signs, she may be sticking closer to you as a result.

8. She Wants Attention

While there are plenty of complicated reasons why your cat may be laying on you, it is more than likely that she simply wants attention.

Although cats value their space and alone time, your cat also wants to feel loved. If you have been preoccupied lately or she is feeling neglected, she may be clingier to try and make up for it.

If you dedicate regular time and attention to her, the clingy behavior will likely lessen as she feels more and more loved.

9. She Is Being Territorial

fluffy brown and black cat holding on to person's leg
Image Credit: Andrew Kota, Pexels

If you have recently introduced a new pet into the household, your cat may be laying on you constantly as a form of territorial behavior. She may be refusing to “share” you with the new pet.

Other signs that your cat may be displaying territorial behavior include rubbing herself on objects to mark them, clawing furniture, urinating outside of the litter box, and attacking other pets.

The best way to prevent territorial behavior from occurring is to properly socialize your cat. It is also essential to separate the pets in question and slowly reintroduce them to each other so they can gradually adapt to each other’s presence.

10. She Is Growing Older

While changes in your cat’s behavior could be attributed to pregnancy or a territorial instinct, it could also be due to age.

If your cat is growing older, her habits are likely to change. For instance, she is more likely to nap often and less likely to run around. Although aging is a gradual process that rarely comes with sudden change, there are issues related to aging that could affect her behavior. Feline cognitive dysfunction is an example.

11. She Is Feeling Anxious

woman holding a gray and white tabby kitten
Image Credit: Mel Elias, Unsplash

Your cat may be acting clingy due to anxiety. Whether she is feeling frightened temporarily or more chronically, anxiety may cause her to stick close to you.

Some signs that your cat may be experiencing anxiety include hiding, excessive eating, inappropriate urination, or displaying aggression and other changes in their behavior. If your cat is exhibiting signs of stress or anxiety, try to soothe her. If anxiety persists in your cat, you should consult your vet to devise a treatment plan.

12. She Is Suffering from Separation Anxiety

Although many believe cats are aloof and unwilling to socialize, that could not be farther from the truth. Cats need socialization just like dogs and humans, meaning that they can just as easily develop separation anxiety.

Signs that your cat may be dealing with separation anxiety include frequent meowing, destroying things, and constant contact with their people. If you suspect separation anxiety is the root of your cat’s behavior, you should speak with a professional to receive proper treatment for your pet.

13. She Is Sick

sad orange tabby cat lying down and being petted by a hand
Image Credit: Alexander Andrews, Unsplash

Illness may be another way to explain your cat’s odd behavior. It is often difficult to tell when a cat is not feeling well because they actively work to disguise their discomfort. If you think your cat is ill, you must pay close attention to her to spot any other signs that she is unwell.

Some symptoms of a hidden illness include changes in feeding habits, changes in drinking habits, constant meowing, not using the litter box, poor grooming, vomiting, and diarrhea. Mood changes may be another indicator that something is wrong. If your cat is more sullen, aggressive, or clingy than usual, she may not feel well. Talk to your vet as soon as you think something may be wrong with your cat.


Cats are funny creatures with no lack of odd habits. If your cat is laying on you, it is likely an innocent show of affection or a cry for attention. However, if you think it indicates something more severe, do not hesitate to contact your vet. Our cats rely on us to care for them, and it is up to us to discern normal cuddling from something more serious.

Featured Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Pexels

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