Why do cats sleep at the foot of the bed?

Every cat parent knows that there is a true hierarchy in the house and cats sit at the top, probably judging you. But when they have thoroughly worn themselves out from their observation of their human roommates, it’s time to curl up and pass out.

Cats average about 15 hours of sleep per day, and most of it seems to take place in the least convenient spots possible—for you. For your cat, there’s always a method behind the madness. It may not seem like the most comfortable spot once you’ve all snuggled in for the night, but for some reason, cats really do love sleeping huddled around your feet at the end of the bed. Why?

Here are 5 reasons why your cat sleeps at the foot of the bed.

1. They like to keep tabs on the room.

Security is the name of the game when it comes to survival. The closer a cat is to the entrance and exit of a room, the better they can see who comes and goes. In a large percentage of bedrooms, the foot of the bed is the closest point to the door that’s still reasonably comfy compared to the floor—so it makes sense that your feline friends make it their perch for the evening. 

It’s simply easier to make a quick getaway when you can easily hop down and out of the room with few obstacles. 

2. You aren’t in the way as much down there.

Cats aren’t exactly known for their tolerance of being disturbed as they sleep. As you toss and turn at night, your upper body tends to take up a lot more space than your feet. Moving your arms and rearranging blankets and pillows happens mostly in the top half of the bed, so hunkering down for the night at your feet might be the option that causes the least amount of disturbance. 

Your cat is smart and knows that is they want to maximize their comfort, they need to grab some more space. 

3. Your cat may be a little territorial. 

You may be tempted to think the bed you paid for belongs to you—but you’d be wrong. Your cat may have decided they are merely allowing you to share their bed. If this is the case, and you’re worried about keeping your cat out of your bed, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to sleep in a different place. 

Make sure that you get your cat a comfortable bed in a quiet, peaceful spot. You can also leave their favorite treats in the bed to help them associate the two. 

4. It’s cooler down there. 

The further out you get from your core, the cooler your limbs will be. Most of your body heat is sitting toward the middle of your body, and the middle of your bed. While cats love a warm body to cuddle up to, they also don’t want to over heat. Sleeping near your feet helps them still feel close to you, without actually having to deal with your night sweats. 

5. They’re actually being considerate. 

Cats aren’t often labeled as thoughtful creatures, but there could be a lot of consideration motivating where they sleep. Most cats are pretty alert at night time and want to come and go as they please. If they sleep toward the end of your bed, they have an easier time getting up and down without waking you up.

Should cat owners let their pets sleep in bed with them?

More than half of patients seeking help for sleep disruption attribute the issue to sharing their space with a pet. If you’re losing sleep at night because of your cat, it might be time to evaluate if you need to seek another arrangement. You don’t have to lock your pets out of your room, but it may be best to get them their own space to sleep in. 

Here are a few other things to consider when sharing a bedroom with your beloved animals.

If you love sharing your bed with your animals—go for it! You may want to invest in a protector just in case of accidents, and make sure to wash your sheets regularly to avoid allergens and mites. 

And if you really want to treat your feline friend, make sure you're both sleeping on a Tuft & Needle.

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Shelly Weaver-Cather
Shelly Weaver-Cather

Shelly Weaver is part of the Content Team at Tuft & Needle, leading the writing and editing of our blog. Not quite a Phoenix native, (They take that sort of thing super seriously.) Shelly has spent most of her life in the Phoenix Metro area and has no plans of leaving anytime soon. She made the unexpected jump out of wedding photography and onto T&N’s team in 2016, and found a passion for the people that keep the lights on. She still finds herself shooting in her free time, though these days there are less bridal portraits and more masterpieces of her first child, Duke, a lab-pit mix with an unparalleled love for both T&N mattress hogging and couch destroying.

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