If you’re anything like us, you swoon a little bit whenever your little tiger heads off to sleep. Doubly so if they take a human form while sleeping. Hats off to them if they get on the bed and bonus points if they start using the pillow. But what about when your cat actually just lays on your pillow and sleeps? Is this a sign of disrespect or utmost affection?
Our cats love to take turns sleeping on our pillows while we’re not home. To ensure we still actually have a clean pillow to rest our heads on at night (they are using litter boxes all day after all), we tuck one pillow under the comforter and leave the other exposed for them to sleep on.
But the real question is, why do they always go for the pillow?
The truth is, it could be for a variety of reasons, and since we’re talking about cats, you know there’s never going to be a straight answer here (they are quite moody), but here’s some of the more common reasons your cat chose your pillow over their cat bed or other common sleeping spot.
They Love You
There, I said it. This is the answer you were hoping to find, right? It’s the most obvious as well. Cats are attracted to your smell, and they can smell you on the pillow. They want to be close to you, regardless of if you are in the room or not.
Cats are known to cling to their owners, and depending on how your cats generally act, this could be the sign they are affectionate towards you. In our house, we have a good variety of cat behaviors. Naz is the biggest cuddler, with Yaki coming in second. Yavapai is not interested in cuddling, and Pima would if he could.
So naturally, Naz is the one we find on the pillow the most. Yaki does as well, but not as frequently as Naz does. And Yavapai, you guessed it, is never found on the pillows.
Now let's get past your cats obsession with you. There’s some other, natural reasons your cat is drawn to the pillow. And that main reason is comfort.
Hopefully your pillow is a comfortable and soft place to lay your head. We know cats love to make biscuits, and that means they need someplace soft and fluffy to work. So the pillow is a natural calling. Creatures of comfort, you can expect cats to go nearly anywhere that seems comfortable or cozy.
And one extra piece to this equation. Your cat will not sleep on your pillow just because it’s comfy. They also need to feel safe and secure, both in their location and their decision. Meaning, you are seen as a kind roommate who will not mind them sleeping there.
They Own The House
This one may sound weird, but it’s really not. Cats are pretty dominant creatures, and do weird things to assert themselves as head of the household. And to do this, that means they need to get their scent everywhere.
Yes, it’s a daunting task for a cat, but they have to do it. Otherwise, it won’t smell like their home. I’m sure you’ve caught your cat rubbing themselves on random objects, or even rubbing themselves on you. It’s their way to assert themselves and ensure they are kings of the house. So your pillow is a natural place for them to claim, as they know you use it frequently.
But just remember, that pillow, much like everything else in your house, really just belongs to your cat.
As a general rule, a cat sleeping on your pillow should be taken as a sign of love and affection, and nothing more. At a fundamental level, you and your pillow are both signs of love and comfort for your cat, which is why they choose to sleep on your pillow and not the floor or any other weird places.
If you caught your cat sleeping on your pillow, odds are they miss you and are thinking about it. That, or you have really good pillows that they find extra comfortable. If you need help getting your cat off your bed, check out our article on how to keep your cat off your bed.