Why Do Cats Sleep Between Your Legs?

Cats have some really weird sleeping positions, and looking at my kitty’s flexibility; sometimes I wonder whether she might’ve done well as a gymnast!

Jokes aside, felines love their sleep more than we do, and they’ll want to make sure they’re comfortable while asleep!

I’ve been a cat parent for around 5 years now and I’ve seen many such peculiar behaviors and witnessed more than a dozen of different sleeping positions and here’s why cats sleep between your legs

Cats like to sleep between your legs because it allows them to have their paws in an upright position where you can proceed to give them a cat pedicure since they’re able to seamlessly fit their body into the groove of your two legs while their head, spine, shoulder, hipbone sits comfortably on your lap.

cat sitting in girl's lap

If your cat is sleeping in between your legs, you are not alone! Many cat owners feel so happy when cats curl up around their legs or lay on their bodies for a good nap!

It’s a heavenly feeling to have such an affectionate and adorable companion while being able to provide a sense of security for them.

Table of Contents

8 Reasons Why Cats Sleeps Between Your Legs?

Everyone knows that cats sleep in the most interesting places. You’ll find that your cat sleeps in cardboard boxes while others sleep in your bed. Why do they do it?

Researchers have found that when cats are sleeping between your legs, it keeps them warm, provides a sense of protection which makes it a win-win for you, your cat, and your bed.

It’s true that most of the time, kitties would love to have an entire comfy little bed all to themselves, and some even hate to share their cozy spots with anybody.

However, there are times when cats would rather join you at night in your bed and have a nice human companion beside them.

What’s more, some of you may have even noticed your furry pets stretching their entire body over you or your legs.

These creatures can be so mysterious at times! You might have wondered the meaning behind this peculiar feline sleeping behavior, and it often makes you worry about any possible mental or physical issues.

So, if you’re concerned about your naughty little pet’s behavior, I can assure you that sleeping in between your legs or on your lap is normal.

This posture can be healthy most of the time as it can provide stress relief for your furry friend.

When I say most of the time, I’m referring to those times when cats feel unwell or sick since they can become very needy or emotionally vulnerable, which is when they’ll find your lap or your bed a better place to sleep or rest.

If you see any signs of sickness or peculiar behaviors you’ve never seen before, rush to your vet and seek immediate help. Or better yet, choose a home checkup option to ensure your cat doesn’t have to go outside in such an indisposition.

Your veterinarian would do a quick checkup to determine if anything’s wrong. In short, all they need is a little extra care and support, which may even mean a short leave from work.

Just ensure that your cat feels your love and care. It will make her feel better.

So, here are some of the various reasons your cat is sleeping in between your legs or on your lap.

1. Your Legs/Lap Provide Warmth and Comfort

During the colder months, you’ll find this habit of cats sleeping in between your legs or cuddling you on your lap.

It’s because they like to feel the temperature of your warm body when the temperature outside is low.

“But why my legs?”, you may wonder! The reason is simple. Our thighs remain warm most of the time.

They like to exchange some heat to regulate their body temperature during winter, and it enables cats to sleep more comfortably.

Apart from legs, our laps are also quite the cozy and warm spot.

2. They Want to Comfort You

Yes, that’s true! Quite on the contrary of the above, cats would like to comfort you as well! I’m sure you’ve seen your cat climb up your bed at night time and curl around your legs, especially on your sad days?

You’ll be surprised to know that cats can sense human emotions, including sadness, happiness, or even when you’re sick.

So, the next time you start feeling lonely or didn’t have a great day, you know whom to lean on!

Your cute little compassionate kitty is always there to empathize with you. When my furball does that, just seeing her trying to cheer me up in every possible way makes my day!

3. They Want Security and Safety

When your cat is not feeling well, she’ll often look to you for that much-needed safety and security, just like a child looks to its mother.

Your lap, feet, and chest are the best places for cats to lay on for a secured and comfortable night’s sleep!

No matter how stressed or sick your kitty may feel, she’ll always feel so good on your lap or legs.

4. It’s a Good Spot to Detect Approaching Dangers

Cats need to be aware of their surroundings at all times to defend themselves against any dangers or approaching predators.

Your feet or lap is often the best spot to lay down as it enables felines to have a good viewpoint across your room or outdoors to keep an eye on the environment.

If they can hear certain startling sounds while sleeping, they’ll immediately be able to see what it was and take necessary action!

5. Your Legs or Your Lap is the Most Accessible Spot

Of course, your legs are one the most accessible spots, especially when you are chilling on the couch or lying down.

Besides, our legs give cats more space to take a nap on, no matter whether we’re sleeping or sitting.

Even if you’re lying on the couch with your legs folded, there is enough space for a furball to curl up and sleep!

6. They’re Stressed

If you notice your cat unusually silent or calm, and this is not her normal state, then there may be something wrong with her.

This is similar with cats who are curling around your feet or lap too often than she did before. Cats who are stressed out, anxious about something, or feeling sick will often want to be closer to you.

By embracing you or being nearby makes them feel more secure and safe, especially when something is disrupting them in their daily lives!

In such difficult times they may have been going through, all they need is a little attention and love from you.

7. They’re Territorial

Feline pets have the habit of rubbing themselves against humans, objects, or furniture to transfer their smell to them.

This is a way that they’ll mark their territories to prevent any outsiders from intruding into their space.

Cats lay on their owners to show their possessiveness and claim what belongs to them.

Interestingly, you’ll get to see more of such a possessive attitude when there are numerous cats in your house.

Because felines want to mark and keep their territories separate from other cats as well. Each of them wants to claim their right and position in the household.

Did you know that your pet cat may also sense the smell on your body whenever you’ve petted or been too close to another cat?

In that case, your pet often has the feeling that she isn’t receiving love and attention or that you’ll soon abandon her.

It’s probably due to this inferiority complex or fear of loss that she starts marking her territory by transferring her smell onto your body, such as by licking your hands or nose.

This is a gesture to the other cat you’ve been friendly with to stay away from her owner. Yes, cats communicate in such a peculiar manner.

8. They Have Been Lap Cats Since Childhood and It’s a Habit Now!

Some kitties display this sleeping behavior during their early childhood. However, other cats would continue such habits into adulthood or even start developing them in their later days of life.

Yes, sometimes, habit is the only reason why your feline friend ends up sleeping on your lap or between your legs almost every time.

If you’ve been putting your pet in your lap or letting her sleep in between your legs, and you’ve done so from the cat’s young age, this habit is likely to continue in adulthood as well.

Even if you adopted your furry pet as an adult, and you still notice this habit, it may be because the previous owner allowed it to sleep in such a position.

Scroll to Top