Why Does My Cat Lay On Me?

I will not lie, I love it when my cat sleeps on me and cuddles me. It gives me such a warm feeling to have the furry lump lie on my back or stomach. As a cat parent, you probably love it too (I do not see why you wouldn’t). But loving it is beside the point here. Given that you are reading this you want to know why does my cat lay on me? It is fun and you love it no doubt, but you just need to understand what is going through your cat’s mind right? Well, let us find out.

But before we get to that let us have a look at how your cat recognizes you are its owners and feels comfortable enough to lay on you.

Now let us get back to it, why does my cat lay on me? Well, like with everything else cats do, there are numerous reasons why this may be the case. I personally love to interpret it as my feline’s way of expressing its love for me. But unfortunately this is not always the case.

Your Cat Just Wants to be Warm

If you are a morning person, you might have noticed that your cat loves to catch the first ray of light in the morning. Whether the light is shining on the window box or on the floor, your cat will be there to soak it all up. This is because your cat, like all other cats likes to sleep and rest in warm places. And come to think of it, who likes sleeping in the cold?

When the sun goes down and the heat is done, your cat can either find some heat by lying close to the radiator, or on top of you. If it has to choose, it will choose you as it is far more comfortable on top of you.

You Are Comfortable

Most cats (regardless of their how affectionate the cat breed is) tend to sleep for about 15 hours on a daily basis. With such long resting hours, your cat is obviously looking for a comfortable spot to sleep. Laundry baskets and sofas are comfortable. But you are far more soft and cosy, especially when covered by several blankets.

It is All About Affection

If you are like me, you have an 8-5 job. And at times even have overnight shifts. When you finally get back home, all your feline wants to do is be close to you. You will notice your cat following you around everywhere you go and when you finally sit or lay down, it will climb on top of you. The simple explanation to this is that your cat loves you and it had missed you. So the next time your cat climbs on top of you, be kind enough to pat and pet it and show that you reciprocate its affection.

It Loves the Natural Sounds your Body Makes

As I pointed out earlier, cats have a heightened sense of hearing. It can hear with great clarity the sound of your heart beating. This sound is soothing to your cat. Additionally, the rise and fall of your chest as you inhale and exhale is enough to put your cat to sleep.

Do Cats Recognize Their Owners?

The simple answer to this is yes. Cats are able to recognize their owners and differentiate different persons in a family. Cats are evolved predators. As such, their senses are far more developed that those of humans. Their senses are also slightly different. Your cat will use these senses to recognize you. Most cats depend on their hearing more than other senses.

It is believed that cats can see even in total darkness. Since this makes cats seem like they have super powers, most people tend to believe it. But this is not the case. They can see in very low light but not in complete darkness (there is a difference). This is made possible by the part in the retina referred to as the tapetum lucidum which bounce the light back to the retina helping cats to see remarkably well at night. During the day however, their sight is compromised by the same part that enhances their night vision.

With regards to smell, cats can also detect your scent through their mouth courtesy of the Jacobson’s Organ which is available on the roof of their mouth. Every human has a distinct scent which cats can smell and differentiate using this organ.

Why Does My Cat Knead on Me?

If I ate a cookie for every time my cat kneaded on me, I would probably be obese or have diabetes. Generally, cats love to knead on their owners. They love to stretch out their paws and rhythmically close and open the toes while pushing slightly on the skin. Just like when my cat lays on me, I love it when it does this as well. Too bad it does not seem to understand when I tell it to keep kneading. It is more like an instinctive behaviour for my cat.

This behaviour seems to have its roots from kitten hood. As a kitten, your feline kneaded its mother to stimulate the production of milk. As the kitten nurses, they are flooded with happy hormones and with time they learn to associate kneading with happiness, food and safety.

When your cat is kneading on you, it is telling you that it feels safe and is content when it is around you. Interestingly, cats also seem to produce a special and unique chemical, from between their toes, that is used in territory marking. As such, there are also chances that your cat could be marking you as its territory. It is sort of warning other cats to stay away from you, you are spoken for.


This is the sharpest of all sounds. They can perceive even the slightest of noises and can determine its source. Your cat can hear three times higher than you can. With their accurate hearing, they can detect the tone in your voice, how heavy your footsteps are and other sounds. In my case, I notice that my cat runs towards the door when I am making my way to the front door. It does not get up and head for the door when my neighbour (who is considerably bigger and obviously heavier than I am).

Do Cats Love Their Humans?

Yes, your cat does love you. But no it does not express its love like dogs do. It expresses its love and affection like a cat. Dogs and cats are different animals. While a dog is vocal in its show of affection, cat’s expression of affect is almost like a whisper.

So how do cats express their love? The most common method is by purring. When a cat purrs, it is like it has a motor inside it that produces the soothing sound. The vibrations are almost hypnotizing. Additionally, they show and express their love by running up to you and rolling. Last but not least, they do this by bunting and scratching. Do note that the scratching at times can get out of control. To ensure that the scratching is not destructive, you should get a scratching post, or cat scratching tree for your cat.

Bottom Line

So when a friend asks you why does a cat lay on me? You will have something to explain why his/her cat is behaving like this. All in all, you have got nothing to worry about. Enjoy every moment of it like I do.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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