Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Pillow? 4 Possible Reasons

Why does my cat sleep on my pillow? If your kitty is trying to claim your pillow as its bed, don’t get annoyed right away. Your furry baby is seeking your pillow since it has your smell and body warmth.

It might be your cat’s way of saying ‘I love you’ before you go to bed. However, you shouldn’t be too complacent as this behavior can also indicate that your kitty is asserting dominance.

why does my cat sleep on my pillow

Why does my cat sleep on my pillow?

Cats are mysterious beings with weird habits, including sleeping on your pillow. This can be due to different reasons, but the following are the most common:

cat sleeping on my pillow

1. Body heat

During a cold night, your kitty will seek the warmth of your pillow. This is the reason why the kitty will squeeze its body into your pillow, especially when you’re sick.

You should know that unlike dogs, cats get very cold easily. They have a hard time balancing their body’s temperature, so you should always give them a heating pad on a cold day. So if your cat tries to sleep on your pillow during a cold night, consider it a call for help.

This is the very same reason why cats love sleeping inside cardboard boxes and your bed.

2. Affection

Contrary to common stereotypes, cats are not always aloof. They can be very clingy to the point that they will sleep on your pillow. Please read here why does my cat nuzzle my armpit.

Sleeping next to you is very comfortable for cats because of your body warmth and the coziness of your bed. Also, the kitty wants to cuddle and be close to you. Soon enough, you will have a purring kitty making biscuits on your pillow.

However, this clingy behavior may become annoying or mess with your sleep. It’s important to do something about it, like what I discussed above.

3. Stress or fright

Cats that are scared or stressed will usually seek comfort in the presence of their owners. But if you’re not around, your feline will look for things that have your scent, like your pillow.

In the wild, cats will look for safe spots where they can hide from their predators. Domesticated cats still carry this trait. If your cat senses any danger at night, it may start to squeeze into your pillow for safety.

Aside from that, you will notice that the cat places its rear near your face. Your cat isn’t trying to upset you. They do this so they will see if danger is near. It also means that your cat trusts you well and knows that you will not hurt him.

4. Asserting dominance

Lastly, your cat might be imposing its dominance by sleeping on your pillow. This could happen if you have more than one cat or just brought a new kitty home.

By sleeping on your pillow, the top cat will show the others that he is dominant because he can sleep near their owner. The pillow also props the kitty higher than the bed and the other felines. Please read here why does my cat sleep with me and not my husband.

If you only have one cat at home, a visitor cat or another animal might be making your kitty insecure.  This will trigger the territorial instincts that will push them to sleep on your pillow.

Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Pillow

Why does my cat sleep on my pillow when I’m not home?

This might be a case of separation anxiety. Single, indoor cats can become anxious when left alone at home. It will cause stress and fright, so your kitty will look for spots with your smell. The smell you left at home will be your cat’s source of comfort.

Your cat misses you so badly that it will nest on your pillow until you arrive home. I recommend you make sure they are well exercised before you leave them alone. Leave them with some interactive toys to keep them occupied while you’re away. This will also prevent stress on the cat.

Why does my cat sleep on my pillow during the day?

Why does my cat sleep on my pillow during the day

You’re not alone as a cat owner who spent a fortune buying an expensive cat bed only for your kitty to sleep on the pillow. Again, this is due to the smell and warmth your pet gets from it. Your pillow may be more comfortable than the bed you just purchased.

Also, you should consider the location of the cat’s bed. Is it too close to the litter box? Is it located on the spot with too much foot traffic? Putting the bed on a different spot may help.

Why does my cat sleep with her head hanging off the bed?

My kitten Watson loves sleeping on our bed and couch, with his head hanging off. Cats find it comfortable, and since they are used to dozing off in weird positions, a hanging head is no longer surprising. Some cats will even slide and fall off.

Some friends of mine said that cats find it easier to sleep with their heads hanging off the edges. They suggest that felines find it easier to stay asleep in such a position.

How do I stop my cat from sleeping on my pillow?

If your cat is invasive of your pillow, you should do something to correct the behavior. Here’s what I did for my cat Watson:

How do I stop my cat from sleeping on my pillow

  • Training. The simple psychology behind this behavior is that cats like things that they find attractive or comfortable. With this, you should make your pillow unattractive and the cat bed more appealing. You can use a citrus spray on your pillowcase to discourage the kitty from sleeping on it.
  • Close the door. The easiest way to block your cat’s access to your pillow is by closing the bedroom door. However, the problem here is if your kitty will cry and scratch on the door. The trick here is wrapping the lower part of the door with foil, plastic, or anything that your cat doesn’t like to touch.
  • Get a heating pad. Cats sleep on your pillow for warmth. To stop them from invading your space, you should get them a heating pad. This will keep the kitty toasty, and you can sleep soundly at night. However, make sure that the heating pad isn’t too hot that it’s already burning your kitty.
  • Get another kitten. If you’re prepared for another pet, consider bringing another cat home. This will keep the resident feline busy and less likely to suffer from separation anxiety. However, you should make sure that the entire household is ready to accommodate another furry baby.
  • Playtime before bed. To prevent your kitty from missing you, schedule a playtime before going to bed. This will drain the extra energy, allowing the kitty to sleep soundly on its own bed.
  • Stop tolerating it. Cats are smart, and they will soon realize that sleeping on your pillow is okay because you’re allowing it. So the next time your cat climbs to your bed and sits on your pillow, slowly remove it out of the way. Say a firm ‘no!’ if your cat tries to go back.


Why does my cat sleep on my pillow? If you’re not at home, it’s possible that your cat misses you. Another reason is that your cat loves the warmth and your smell on the pillow. However, this behavior may become annoying as your cat may try to be on the pillow even if you’re sleeping. The key here is training and setting boundaries.

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