Why do cats sleep at the foot of the bed when there are plenty more comfortable places for them (and for us owners) to sleep?
This is one of the many curious behaviors some cats have. I’ve only had one cat over the years that insisted on sleeping at the foot of my bed, but she wouldn’t sleep anywhere else.
I know this isn’t that strange either. I’ve spoken with loads of cat owners who have cats that sleep at their feet overnight.
Even though sleeping nearer to owners, choosing one person to sleep next to over another, and even on their pillows and heads is more common.
So, I started doing some investigating and discussing this behavior with cat owners and have summarized some of the reasons why some cats like sleeping at the foot of beds.
Why Do Cats Sleep at the Foot of the Bed?
Better Visibility of the Door
When discussing this with a friend who is a pet behavioral therapist she said that she thinks one reason is because cats like to have visibility of the door.
Cats need to sleep somewhere they feel safe, it’s part of their natural survival instincts. This still applies to lazy domesticated kitties.
Being able to see the only entrance and exit to the bedroom helps them feel more secure. When I looked at my room, and other rooms, it’s normal for the foot of the bed to be nearest to the door – is this the same for your bedroom layout?
They Get Disturbed Less Than the Top of the Bed
Almost all cats hate being disturbed when they are sleeping, and who can blame them, right?
Your cat probably wants to sleep near you overnight and has figured out that they will get disturbed less at the end of your bed than at the top.
Unless you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome or just fidget loads, it’s a lot safer being near legs than a heavy torso or arms flailing around in the night.
This also ties into the last point about safety and being able to escape should the need arise.
There Is More Room
There is a lot more room at the end of a bed with two or four feet to fight with for space than the middle or top of the bed in most cases.
If you don’t stretch out and hit the foot of the bed there is plenty of room for your cat to stretch out and sleep or to pick a spot and curl up.
As with the other points, you can see how they all tie in. More space, security, and fewer disturbances, the foot of the bed is starting to look appealing!
They Are Being Territorial
Often the reason why cats sleep near their owners is because they are claiming their territory, and thus allowing you to sleep by them.
This may mean they choose to sleep near your head, by your side, at your feet, and by the person they prefer.
It’s a positive thing, so even if it’s annoying at times it does show that your cat loves you and is allowing you to be part of their secure space.
This is just one of the quirks of being a cat owner. It’s hard for non-cat owners to understand, but for me, it’s one of the joys of ‘being owned’ by a cat.
They Are Watching over You
Ultimately, having a cat sleeping at the foot of your bed shows you that your cat loves you and is watching over you.
Couples will often find their cats choose to sleep near one of them or the other. This is a clear indication who they are more fond of, but don’t take it personally.
If you want your cat to sleep on your side of the bed make sure you’re the one giving them the most fussing and handing out their food.
Sounds a little fickle I know, but there is nothing wrong with putting in a little effort for their affection, right?
What Does It Mean When a Cat Sleeps on Your Feet?
If your cat doesn’t just sleep at the foot of your bed but insists on sleeping on your feet this can get quite annoying. I can sympathize too, I had a cat that used to like sleeping on my feet.
The good news is – it’s a sign of affection and trust, it shows how comfortable they are with you and you should see it as a compliment.
The bad news is – it still feels really restrictive. Having your cat show you how much they love you is all well and good, but you just want the freedom to move your feet around in the night.
So, what can you do about it without offending your cat?
Well, you can move your feet every time they lay on them. Cat’s don’t like to be disturbed, I haven’t met many cats that will put up with being shuffled around a lot when they want to sleep.
Or, you can try and fool them by placing a pillow or something rolled up near your feet. Most cats are pretty clever though, they’ll figure out what you’re up to and shuffle over to your feet.
Hopefully, the reasons and explanations in this article have helped you better understand why your cat sleeps at the foot of the bed, wants to be near you while you sleep, or insists on sleeping on your feet.
Cats have their own personalities and behavioral traits. As their owners, equals, or however they see us, it’s our job to work around them.
If your cat is at their happiest sleeping at the foot of your bed that’s how it’s going to be. Make it as comfortable as possible for them.