How Do Cats Choose Who to Sleep With?

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You may have just gotten a new cat or have had one in your family for a while now. Either way, you know all too well the unspoken competition to be the cat's favorite person, especially at bedtime. If you are wondering how cats choose who to sleep with, we have the answer right here.

Your cat may choose the person it has the closest bond with to cuddle up with at night. But if you notice that your cat is choosing someone else to sleep with, there may be another reason at play. Here's a list of possible factors -

  • Preferring to be with those that feed them
  • Spending the nice in a comfy spot
  • Strengthening the bond with a particular person
  • Choosing an available and convenient spot
  • Personality issues

How do these factors impact your kitty's sleep partner preference? We will explain each of them in the article below. So please, continue reading.

A cat snuggling on a pillow next to her owner, How Do Cats Choose Who to Sleep With?

How cats choose their favorite person to sleep with

Let's take a closer look at some of the reasons listed above.

A preference to be with those that feed them

A cat sleeping next to her owner on the couch

Cats are hardwired for hunting to ensure that they are able to fill their bellies. Domesticated cats, like your pet at home, know that food comes from a different source. Just like the saying, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach," the same is true for your cat. Your cat may choose to sleep with the person who feeds them every day, as a show of appreciation and to ensure that the food keeps coming.

Choosing a comfy spot

You may be astonished and a little bit disappointed if you know you are the cat's favorite human, but he or she doesn't choose to sleep with you at night. The reason for this could just come down to comfort. Cats like to be comfortable and cozy when they sleep too, and if your bed simply isn't comfortable or doesn't have enough blankets to cuddle up with, your cat might choose to sleep with someone else.

A cute domestic cat tucking in nicely with her owner


Cats develop natural bonds with humans, and if you've had your cat since it was a kitten, the bond could go all the way back to babyhood. When a cat has a bond with someone, that person makes it feel secure and safe. The cat trusts that person and feels its best when that person is near. Naturally, a cat will want to sleep with someone it has developed a strong bond toward.

A cute tabby cat sleeping on the bed

Choosing a convenient and accessible spot

Love and affection aren't the only reasons that cats will choose a specific bedtime partner. Remember that cats love to get up and explore throughout the night. Who your cat chooses to sleep with could be a matter of the most convenient place in the home for nighttime activities.

Does someone in your house leave the bedroom door open while everyone else shuts theirs? Does someone always get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom? They might be a favorite with your cat because it can easily get up to play when the mood strikes.

A cat snuggling on a pillow next to her owner


Like with a bond, compatible personalities have a strong impact on how a cat chooses its favorite person. If your cat is playful and adventurous, you might find that its favorite person is a child in your home. Is your cat more laidback and lazy? He or she may gravitate to the person who prefers to spend the day on the couch. Again, when bedtime comes around, it is only natural for a cat to choose to sleep with its favorite person.

A cat tucking in nicely next to a baby

Why Does My Cat Sleep With Me And Not My Husband?

If you share a bed with your significant other but your cat only wants to sleep with one of you, it might be personality or bond that is influencing Kitty's choice. A cat will naturally prefer someone that they have a stronger connection to. If you notice that your significant other seems to be your cat's favorite but your cat is still choosing to sleep with you, other factors might explain this.

Your cat might like your side of the bed more because it is a more ideal temperature or is softer. Or, your sleeping habits might be more compatible with your cat's so you are a more convenient sleep partner. Of course, many felines simply enjoy hogging the best spot in the bed - right in the middle!

A cute cat tucking in nicely in between a couple sleeping in the bed

Do Cats Get Attached To One Person?

Cats will naturally become attached to their owners. After all, they are the ones who provide them with everything they need for a comfortable life. If there is more than one person in the home, however, you may notice that your cat seems to be attached to one person over the others.

While this is natural and very common, whether or not it happens depends on each cat's personality. One cat may be very attached to one particular person while another cat in the same family regards everyone the same or is attached to a different person.

How Do Cats Choose Their Favorite Person?

While cats are choosy when it comes to who they are attached to, they choose their favorite person much like any other animal or human. Cats will choose their favorite person based on a number of factors such as who they bonded with as a kitten, whose personality they are most compatible with, and who spends the most time with them.

For more on this topic, read "Do Cats Have a Favorite Person?"

Where Do Cats Like To Sleep at Night?

Cats are naturally more active at night so they are likely to wake up many times throughout the night to play, eat, or hunt. Because of this, they likely have more than one preferred place to sleep and will choose a different one each time they go to sleep. Cat owners have observed that their beds, other furniture, and the cat bed are the most popular places their cats sleep.

Why Do Cats Sleep On You?

Your cat may choose to sleep on you as a way to show its affection and deepen your bond. Because cats prefer to be alert and ready for the hunt, sleeping puts them in a vulnerable state. If your cat chooses to sleep on you, it is a good indicator that he or she trusts you and feels safe and secure in your presence.

Why Do Cats Sleep At The End Of The Bed?

Cats like to sleep at the end of the bed so that they can feel close to you while they sleep but still be able to get away easily if they want to get up and explore in the middle of the night. Cats will also choose to sleep at your feet rather than closer to you so they can still sleep with you without getting overheated by your body heat.

Should You Let Your Cat Sleep With You?

Letting your cat sleep with you is a matter of preference. There are a number of reasons why cat owners prohibit their cats from sleeping with them. Allergies, reduced exposure to fleas and other parasites, and not getting a good night's sleep are among the top reasons.

However, there are many benefits to allowing your cat to sleep in your bed. Having a purrball in your bed has a calming effect and you might find yourself able to fall asleep more easily. Letting your cat sleep with you also promotes bonding, especially if you have a busy schedule and can't otherwise spend a lot of time with your cat.

A cat waking up his elderly owner sleeping on the bed

Having said that, some cats can interrupt an owner's sleeping patterns. There are ways to gently teach your cat not to wake you up at night, but this level of training usually takes patience and perseverance. For many, an easier solution is to keep the cat in a separate room during the night.

Read more: How To Stop My Cat From Waking Me Up At Night (step-by-step Plan)

Do Cats Protect You While You Sleep?

Cats are independent creatures, so it may come as a surprise to learn that they are naturally very protective of their family members. If you pay close attention to your cat throughout the day, you may notice that it pays close attention to what you do and may even choose to nap in whatever room you are spending time in throughout the day. This is because it is your cat's natural instinct to defends their territory, and that includes you.

In Closing

Cats are no different from us, or our other pets, in that they naturally want to spend more time with the person they love the most. If a cat has an identified favorite person and also chooses that person for a sleep partner, there is no wonder why.

It is when your cat has an identified favorite person but chooses to sleep with someone else that is confusing. The reason for this choice could be anything from that person having the best bed in the house to that person secretly bonding with the cat over impromptu out-of-bed adventures in the middle of the night. While it is disheartening not to have a furry bedtime companion or not to be a cat's favorite human, don't despair. Your cat likely loves everyone in its family, including you!

4 comments on “How Do Cats Choose Who to Sleep With?

SamPet March 16, 2022
Great post! There are many reasons why kittens love to sleep in our beds and as long as you do not have any allergy or problems with that it is good bonding between you and your cat.
MadyCat April 18, 2021
I have a beautiful marbled, fifteen pound, hybrid-looking mother cat and one of her sons who was born here at home almost 3 years ago (he's now 20 lbs.). She was already early PG when I found her outside. She was not feral and not showing PG, at the time. "Cleo" quickly taught me to keep her litter pan in my bathroom clean--by peeing on my basket of towels. Now, If she gets miffed when I pay more attention to "Tiger," she sometimes wets the last place he lay beside me. I think her behavior not merely due to cleanliness, jealousy or being territorial--"Cleo" just wants me to never forget--she's the "Queen!"
Doreen Dumas March 1, 2021
How often do you totally have to change the cat litter box versus scoop out the poop and the wet ..
    James&Taki March 29, 2021
    I scoop daily and do a full cleaning once a week. This is recommended to prevent bacteria buildup, which is unhygenic and can lead to inappropriate elimination problems (since cats are very sensitive to cleanliness, they won't want to go in an unclean litterbox).

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