Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs?

Cat behavior is never easy to understand. While there are clingy cats, they are popularly known to be aloof and independent creatures. However, when it comes to their sleeping behavior, they can be cuddly by dozing off between their owners’ legs. So why does my cat sleep between my legs?

Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs?

Have you experienced preparing a warm and comfortable bed for your cat, only to see your cat choosing to sleep on your legs? Here are the reasons for the question, “Why does my cat sleep between my legs?”

For More Warmth

Cat’s normal temperature is higher than human. Maintaining their normal body temperature makes them comfortable, and they can regulate it on their own. But another way to keep them warmer is by sleeping between your legs because your legs are like a warm bed for them, especially since their body temperature drops when they’re sleeping.

Claiming Ownership

Cats are very territorial, and one way for them to claim ownership is by marking with their scent. They mark you with their scent by rubbing against you.

sleeping cat

For Comfort And Bonding With You

One possible reason why cats love to sleep between your legs is they find it comfortable. It’s a way to bond with their owner. 

Also, cats could sense if you are sick. They can recognize human feelings and they provide comfort by snuggling between your legs. 

To Cheer You Up

Aside from cats’ ability to sense feelings, they can also recognize human emotions. They are there for you to cheer you up when you’re feeling down or sad, even without asking for their comfort. If you notice your cat purring and sleeping between your legs while you’re feeling down, it’s possible that they’re trying to cheer you up.

Safety And Security

Your bond with your cat gets stronger if you take good care of them. Because of that, they feel safer and more secure whenever they are with you. Cats are vulnerable whenever they sleep, like any other animals. Thus, sleeping between your legs could mean that they feel safe and secure around you.

The Cat Is Feeling Unwell

While almost all the mentioned answers to the question “Why does my cat sleep between my legs?” are positive, there’s also one reason that it isn’t a good sign. Sleeping between your legs may also mean that your cat is feeling unwell. This sleeping position could mean they are experiencing anxiety and stress. 

Protective Of Their Owner

It was mentioned that cats sleep between your legs for their safety and security. But, they may also do the same because they’re protective of you.  They may be small but they still want to protect you.  

They Like Your Scent

When your relationship with your cat grows stronger, they will start to like your scent. Your scent makes them feel safe and this is one of the reasons why they love to spend time with you and sleep in your clothes.

They can find your scent on your legs which is the possible reason why you would find them sleeping on your legs. Aside from the legs, they also like your toes because that’s where they can find your strongest scent. 

To Sleep Deeply

Cats can take a nap in any place they find comfortable. It is in their instinct to sleep lightly to defend themselves. But if they want to have a deep sleep, they will find a safe place where they can sleep deeply. And one of the safe places they consider is their owner’s legs.

white cat sleeping covering his face

Deep sleep is important for cats to rest their body and brain. It is during deep sleep that a cat’s body can develop, recover, and heal.

Out Of Habit

Probably the simplest answer to the question of why your cat sleeps on your legs is that it is out of their habit. Did you make it a habit to place them on your legs when your cat was younger? If yes, chances are they will still do it when they get older.

If you had just adopted them as an adult cat and they sleep on your legs, their previous owner might have had the habit of placing the cat on their lap. 

It’s An Ideal Vantage Point

Cats consider our legs are considered as an elevated area. Cats like to stay in elevated areas as part of their instinct for awareness and to be away from danger.

Your legs provide an ideal vantage point for cats so that they can see the entire view of the room. This is beneficial for cats, especially those in the wild. It gives them a clear view of what’s happening below them. They’re able to keep an eye on their prey and predators in a high place.

There’s also another reason why cats like high places. Aside from their protection, elevated areas are usually warm and private.

Conclusion: Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs?

Who says cats are aloof all the time? Despite having a reputation to be distant and independent, cats can be cuddly sleepers too!

Doesn’t it melt your heart whenever your cat sleeps between your legs? While there are many possible reasons why they do that, one important note is they do that because they trust you. They feel safe and comfortable around you for them to be vulnerable like that. 

If you don’t like having your cat sleep on your lap, make sure to get them a comfortable bed. You can buy them a heated pad so that they can still feel warm.


At The Lovable Cat, we believe that every cat deserves to be loved and cared about.

Quick Links