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Why do cats sleep at the foot of the bed?

Cat sleeps at the bottom of the bed

Have you ever wondered why cats sleep at the foot of the bed?

© KateKlim - Shutterstock

Why do cats sleep at the foot of the bed? Every cat owner will have found their cat curled up on the bed but why do our feline friends like to sleep so close to us?

By Natasha James

Published on the 27/02/2021, 18:00

Cats like to sleep – as a cat owner that will come as no surprise to hear! Studies have shown that our feline friends sleep between 13 and 18 hours a day and you’ll no doubt have noticed that they have their favourite napping spots – in particular the foot of your bed.

While cats may seem like classic hunters (if the poor neighbourhood mice are anything to go by), they’re far from the top of the food chain so are, in fact, prey animals too. Cats understandably feel more vulnerable while they’re sleeping so their survival instincts lead them to choose a spot where they feel secure and comfy.

Why do cats sleep at the foot of the bed?

There are a multitude of reasons why cats love the bottom of the bed. Here are the top seven…

1. They trust you to help out if danger arises!

Your cat sleeping at the foot of your bed is actually a clear indication of the trust they have in you. As a prey animal, cats are hyper-aware of their surroundings and any potential dangers. By sleeping at the foot of your bed, not only are they comfortable and warm but they also have an ally on hand to help out in the event of danger in the middle of the night.

2. They can escape at the drop of a hat

If you’ve ever had a ratter dog, such as a Yorkshire Terrier, you may have noticed that they love to sleep under the covers with you. Cats are the opposite to this and, as they rely in their wits and instincts, need to be in a position to make a sharp exit if the need to escape arises.

3. They get all-round visibility

The elevated position of your bed and the unencumbered spot at the foot of it, means your feline friend has a great avantage point for spotting anything untoward. By lying at the foot of the bed, there’ll be no cushions, pillows or blankets for predators to hide behind! What’s more, most beds face the door so there’s a very easy exit. Your cat will keep guard as you sleep but they might scarper rather than alert you to danger...

4. They can keep warm

While cats are always on high alert, vigilance isn’t the only reason why your kitty likes to sleep at the foot of your bed at night, it’s warm and cosy there too! Whether they’re keeping your feet warm or nestling into your neck over the colder months, your cat is as happy to give warmth as she is to receive it!

5. There’s less disturbance

However well you sleep, you’re bound to toss and turn at least a little throughout the night. Your cat is looking for the warmth and security that you bring but not the disturbance that comes from sleeping up close and personal. The foot of the bed is a happy medium and the perfect spot for your feline friend.

6. They get to spread out

While your pillows look undoubtedly inviting (you may find them curled up here during the day), the foot of the bed offers much more space for kitty to stretch out.

7. She gets to claim you as her own

There’s an old saying that dogs have owners and cats have staff! By sleeping close to you, your cat leaves her scent and marks it out as her spot and you as her human. If she sleeps curled up next to your feet then you can be sure your cat loves you almost as much as you love her!

Why do cats sleep under the bed?

As well as sleeping at the foot of the bed, you may also find your cat curled up in a cosy spot underneath your bed. Felines to love find dark and secure spots where they feel safe and concealed. The underneath of your bed is a spot where kitty can hide and be undisturbed until she decides to come out again. Sometimes cats may hide under the bed if they’re ill or pregnant so if you find that your cat is suddenly hiding under your bed for very long periods of time, a trip to the vet could be in order.

Should I let my cat sleep in the bed with me?

Cat owners tend to fall into two categories: the "I’d NEVER let my cat sleep on my bed" and the "I ALWAYS let my cat sleep on my bed". If you fall into the latter category then you may be wondering if it’s okay to let your cat sleep with you. Well, while there are drawbacks to having your cat sleep on your bed (such as disturbed sleep, aggravated allergies and the odd stray cat hair cropping up where it shouldn’t) there are benefits too. Having a cat sleep on your bed will provide you both with warmth, comfort and security - and that can be worth its weight in gold!

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