Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Legs? 10 Reasons Why

Have you ever sat on the couch, bed, or perhaps at your desk, with a furball purring peacefully on your lap and wondered to yourself, “Why does she do this, Why does my cat sleep on my legs?”.

Well, you’re not alone. While many cat owners are more than happy to curl up with their kitties, there is often the mystery of why cats enjoy sleeping on their human’s legs. Often your cat will have a beautiful, comfy bed all to itself, but would rather join you in your bed and stretch out over your legs.

So let’s dig a bit deeper into why cats do this, and whether it’s something you should be concerned about, or just thankful for.

Grey lazy cat sleeping on woman's knees in the room, close up

Why Does My Cat Sleep On My Legs – Is it Normal?

If you’re concerned about your cat’s behavior, rest assured that sleeping on your lap or legs is purr-fectly normal. There are many reasons why they would pick this specific sleeping spot, but regardless of the motives, it’s a habit that many felines have and is not a cause for concern.

However, if your cat seems to be unwell, and is a lot more needy than usual, keep an eye on her to see if a vet is needed. A quick home check up should help you know if it’s something serious or just an off day that requires extra loving.

Woman and cute cat sitting on rocking chair with blanket why does my cat sleep on my legs

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Reasons Your Cat Is Sleeping On Your Legs

Some kittens will start sleeping on their owner’s legs from an early age and may continue with this habit into adulthood. Other cats might start up the habit later on in life. Here are a few reasons why your kitty would be sleeping on your limbs.

1. Your Legs Provide Warmth

The thighs are one of the closest places to the body’s core, so they have a comforting warmth about them. Your cat may be cold, or just seeking out that comfort to sleep.

When you find human babies sitting and sleeping in their mother’s laps, this is often for the warmth and comfort that your cat is looking for.

Happy young woman swapping the TV channels , relaxed on the bean

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2. They’re Looking For Safety and Security

As their human, your cat will often look to you when they’re not feeling well or things are uncertain. Sleeping on your body can make your kitty feel safe and secure.

If they’re looking for a spot to sleep soundly, knowing that nothing can hurt them, you’re their best bet.

3. They’re Comforting You

It’s been found that cats can sense their human’s emotions, which means happy, sad, and even sickly. If you’re ill, or not feeling great, your cat may pick up on this and want to cheer you up.

By laying on you and purring they’re trying to comfort you and make you feel better.

Grey lazy cat sleeping on woman's knees in the room

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4. They Just Want To Be Close To You

Much like humans enjoy the feeling of their loved one nearby, cats do too, and that loved one is you. Often just the feeling of being near their human can make a cat feel snug and content.

Sleeping on your legs allows them to feel your presence while they’re peacefully napping. 

5. It’s A Good Viewpoint

Cats have instincts that make them wary of any dangers, and falling asleep requires a feeling of security. From your lap or legs on the bed or couch, they have the perfect view of the room around them.

If something were to startle them awake, they’d be able to see if it was a danger to them almost immediately.

Cute blonde woke up in her bed, comfort of home, bedroom and the cat

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6. Your Legs Are The Most Accessible

It makes sense that your cat would want to sleep on or near you, but why your legs? Quite simply, this is often the most accessible part of your body, no matter the circumstances.

If you’re sleeping in bed, your legs provide a good space that probably doesn’t move as much as your head. And when you’re seated, your legs are the most level space for a ball of fur to curl up on.

7. They’re Used To Being Lap Cats

Sometimes the simple answer to why a cat sleeps on its human’s legs is: habit. If you used to pick your cat up and put it on your lap when they were young, they will typically continue to do this as they get older.

And if you’ve adopted them as an adult, then perhaps their previous owner sat with them on their laps.

8. They’re Territorial

Cats rub themselves on humans and furniture to mark their territory, so they may also be laying on their human servants to claim what’s theirs. You may find this more when there are multiple cats in a household, and one is a bit more possessive.

Beautiful young woman holding cat isolated on white

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Or maybe your feline can smell that you’ve been a little too friendly with the office cat. Your cat may also lick your nose to mark its territory.

9. They’re Stressed

If your cat doesn’t usually jump on you and they’ve started to, it could be that they’re experiencing some kind of stress. This can come from being sick, in pain, or just having something disrupt their daily life.

It’s important to make your kitty feel safe and loved in these cases and try to give them the security they need.

10. They Like You

This seems obvious, but it must be noted that if your cat, or any feline for that matter, is sleeping on top of you, they must be quite fond of you. This can be a major badge of honor, and is big if you’ve just brought a kitten home, adopted an older cat, or perhaps are cat-sitting for a friend.

Beautiful asian girl kissing american shorthair cat

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Final Thoughts

If you’re reading this with a purring ball of fluff fast asleep on your legs, consider yourself lucky. No cat would feel comfortable doing this with someone unless they truly liked them, and felt safe with them.

Reach down and give them a loving stroke on the head – just for being their cute and cuddly selves.

If your cat has been sleeping on your legs more often, and it’s becoming a problem, hindering your work or causing leg cramps at night, try to give them affection while they sleep next to you instead.

woman asleep with grey cat in arms

Find them a soft toy to sleep next to, or putting one of your old T-shirts in their bed could also help.

But if it’s not causing any inconvenience, then the only advice I can offer is to savor the love that you’re getting from your finicky feline.

Please Note: This Why does my cat sleep on my legs 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.

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