As a cat parent, it’s handy to know as much as you can about your feline, such as how best to care for your cat, and even what their different behaviors mean – like why does my cat lay on my chest?
While there are many myths about cats and how they simply use you for room and lodging, they’re simply not true. Cats are loving and loyal, and they show their affection in many ways such as bringing you their cat toys, following you around, or even – you guessed it – laying on you.
Let’s dive right into some theories surrounding why your kitty may like to lie on you.
- 1 Why Does My Cat Lay on My Chest? 5 Reasons
- 2 Final Thoughts on Why Your Cat Lays on You
Why Does My Cat Lay on My Chest? 5 Reasons
1. Your Cat Loves You
We’ll start off with the obvious. This may sound simple, but a physical touch from your cat can be as uncomplicated as them showing you they love you. Think of it as their way of giving you a hug or a cuddle. Let’s face it they’ve got a crush on you!
So if your fur-baby curls up on your chest or a limb, you can consider yourself a beloved cat owner.
2. They’re Suckers for Some Warmth
It’s no secret that cats like to sit, lie, and curl up in warm places. Whether that’s on a sunny windowsill or their human’s chest (or any body part for that matter), they’ll be content. Taking advantage of their human’s body heat also increases their chance of being petted, so who can blame these little opportunists?
However, they don’t seem to put up with any movement from their warm surfaces. So you’ll notice if you don’t sit very still, they’ll quickly move along to the next best toasty spot.
That may be a sunny windowsill or even your spot on the couch when you get up – you warmed it up so nicely after all.
And let’s admit it, having a fluffy little heater curled up on your lap can be equally beneficial. Not only does it make for a very cozy situation, but your kitty companion being in close contact with you can be hugely comforting.
3. Your Heartbeat Soothes Them
This is certainly not a bizarre conclusion to draw. Your kitten may associate it with sleeping close to their mammas and therefore, associate it with feelings of security. After all, is that not how we may have handled them as kittens – snuggling them right under our chins?
These bodily rhythms remind them of the gentle purrs from their parents and can be deeply hypnotizing and calming.
While these felines are very independent creatures, reverting back to ‘childish’ kitty behavior is a common occurrence and possibly a place of safety for them.
Cats certainly have a playful, child-like side that often manifests in the way they feel or show love.
So if you sense your kitty being vulnerable and anxious, treat them with an embrace you would give a human child. Give them a snuggle and hold them close to your heart.
4. Your Cat is Trying to Claim You
If you think about it, your cat trying to claim you is rather cute. They are known to lie on everything from their cat toys, beds, and even your clothes. This is because cats are very much territorial creatures.
They mark their territory by spreading their scent or simply sitting and claiming ownership over a particular spot. So next time your kitty plops itself on you, you can assume they’ve said the equivalent of “mine”.
5. They Seek Security or Comfort
As mentioned previously, cats have a strong connection to smells and our chests certainly smell strongly of us. Familiar scents go a long way toward making your kitty feel reassured.
So finding them on piles of your worn clothing is not uncommon. In fact, you may find yourself ‘donating’ your favorite sweater to your kitty for permanent use.
Cat’s also have natural born instincts to constantly be alert for predators. This can often be distressing for them if they don’t feel safe.
So when your kitty curls up on you, it is in fact a compliment of the highest degree as they’ve deemed you to be the safest spot of all.
Is it bad if my cat wants to lie on my chest?
Opening your eyes first thing in the morning and seeing a cat face or butt may be the dream for some, but for others, it’s less ideal. And let’s be real, a sleeping feline on top of you all night long may not make for the most restful slumber either. But is it a bad thing?
Essentially, it isn’t a bad thing for either you or your cat if it wants to lie on your chest. However, having a cat on your chest can be uncomfortable for many humans particularly if your cat decides to settle in for some time.
Luckily, there is a compromise to be made, which is sure to leave both parties cozy, happy, and well-rested at the end. This compromise comes in the form of a good cat bed.
Your best bet would be something comfortable, soft, and preferably with a heating feature for your kitty’s maximum pleasure. Throw in that old sweater that smells like you, and you’ve got a winning combo.
And if you put it next to your bed at night, they’ll have the next best thing after your chest. This way, you’ll be able to breathe deeply and freely, and your poor kitty won’t be crushed by an accidental roll-over from you.
Final Thoughts on Why Your Cat Lays on You
It’s no secret that cats have a whole host of quirky behaviors (like eating your hair), but we love them all the more for it. So the short answer when it comes to your fur-babies settling themselves on top of you, is that you’re comfortable, warm, and familiar.
It might not be normal human behavior to sit on top of someone you love but our kitties are different.
It seems cats are more affectionate than some have claimed them to be after all. And let’s not forget, these felines are highly intelligent creatures.
It’s, therefore, no wonder they’d jump at the opportunity for a soft, comforting, heat-generating human form over a regular old cat tree.
So let’s give credit where credit is due. And perhaps embrace these chest moments as good old-fashioned quality time with our little fur-babies.
Please Note: This why does my cat lay on my chest post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on most of the links and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This will not affect the price that you pay. I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.
Meet the Veterinary Expert
Charlotte is a final year veterinary medicine student at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She’s volunteered in her university’s obstetrical clinic, and equine clinic, and is dog mum to 14-year-old Chiki. Charlotte loves to travel and has completed externships in Austria, Spain, and Belgium.
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