Why Do Cats Sleep on Your Clothes? (Several Reasons Explained)

By Phil / October 17, 2018
Why Do Cats Sleep on Your Clothes

There’s a reason (and solution) to most, if not all cat behaviors.

So, if you want an answer to – why do cats sleep on your clothes – so you can keep your clean clothes free from fur and not have to tip your cat off to wear your favorite shirt or find your socks, read on for some insight into this common kitty behavior.

Why Do Cats Sleep on Your Clothes?

why does my cat lay on my dirty clothes

Cats Are Attracted to Anything Different

It may not be your clothes per si that your cat is attracted to, but rather the attraction that there is something different to investigate and settle down on.

Other common questions from cat owners revolve around why cats sleep or sit on bits of paper, laptops, cardboard boxes, rugs, and so on.

All of which are items that that stand out as being something out of the ordinary. There are few cats that can resist checking out items, and probably settling down while they are there.

Cats like the Familiarity of Our Smell

I’m not saying you smell. Well, actually I am. We all smell, it’s not a bad thing, particularly for our cats that find comfort with our scent.

Our clothes are some of the items that smell most like us, even clean clothes that have been washed. Don’t forget, cats have a much more acute sense of smell than we do.

This accounts for one of the main reasons why cats choose to sleep on something we come in contact with over somewhere we’d prefer them too, like their beds!

Clothes Are Warm and Comfy

This is an obvious one. Clothes are warm and comfy, that’s why we enjoy wearing them. Well, cats can’t wear our clothes, but they can sleep on them and enjoy the warmth and comfort.

You might notice that your cat is more likely to sleep on wooly or thick items of clothing over thin shirts to back this up, I know this is the case with my cats and why she lays on my clothes for sure.

A solution is to provide comfy bedding and other places for them to sleep, right? Who are we kidding? We all know that cats have a mind of their own and never sleep where we want them too!

Cats Can Nest in Clothes

Why do cats sleep on clean laundry

Along the lines of being soft and comfy, clothes are also easy for cats to rearrange a little to make a perfectly snuggly nest to sleep in.

You may have seen your cat kneading your clothes with their paws, using their noses to rearrange them, and generally manipulating the positioning to make it more comfy for them.

This is a huge plus for them. But it’s annoying for us to find snagging, rips, tears, and other bits of damage their claws cause isn’t it!

They Are Adding Their Scent to Our Stuff

Cats go about their routines each day adding their scents to stuff around the home. That’s why they rub their faces on furniture, you, and other objects.

They feel more comfortable when they have their scent everywhere in their domain. It warns off other cats, and for them, mingling your scent and theirs is how they strengthen their bond with you.

So, when we see clean clothes we are happy they smell fresh and feel great. When cats see our clothes, they see new items that need some of their scent added to it.

It’s Their Personality and Preference

Each cat has their own unique personality. Some of their behaviors and actions can be tied to certain reasons and causes, while some behaviors are just indicative of their own personality.

So, if your cat is always sleeping on your clothes the reasoning may be a combination of the above reasons I’ve covered, along with just being something they feel secure and happy doing.

Meaning, there might be no way to stop them sleeping on clothes. Other than making sure there are never any clothes left out for them to sleep on of course.


Hopefully, you now have some insight into why you always find your cat curled up in a ball sleeping on your clothes.

It almost feels unfair to kick them off now doesn’t it?

Maybe I’m just a little soft and let my cat get away with too much, but I always leave them when they’re happily sleeping. Even if I really need what they’re sleeping on.

As far as stopping or retraining your cat not to lay on your clothes… there isn’t much you can do that’ll be reliable, other than keep all your clothes put away tidily, which isn’t the worst idea.

Do you have any funny or interesting stories, comments, feedback about this topic – why do cats sleep on your clothes?

I’d love to hear about it, just drop me and the rest of the community a comment below, thanks.

PS – You might like reading about why cats sleep under beds and how to stop them.

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