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Home > Cats > Do Cats Like Pillows? Feline Facts & Preferences

Do Cats Like Pillows? Feline Facts & Preferences

cat sleeping with one eye open

By now, you already know your kitty is a massive sleepyhead. Most cats sleep from 12–18 hours a day.

They also sleep in the strangest places: that empty plant pot lying out in the sun, the windowsill, a laundry basket, a narrow railing with their legs hanging down. And occasionally, they’ll sleep on your pillow, too.

But do cats actually love pillows?

It turns out cats enjoy sleeping on pillows, but not just because it’s soft and comfortable (although that’s a plus). The answer is more complicated than that, and it concerns how your cat perceives pillows.


The 6 Reasons Cats Love Pillows

For cats, a pillow is not just a pillow. It represents some things from security to warmth to socialization. Let’s take a closer look at why your cat loves to sleep on your pillow.

cat sleeping on a pillow
Image Credit: Darkmoon_Art, Pixabay

1. Your Cat Loves You

The first reason cats love pillows is also the sweetest. When your cat sleeps on your pillow, they could be trying to socialize and bond with you.

Contrary to their aloof reputation, cats are quite social creatures. In the wild, they live in closely-knit groups called colonies where everyone looks out for each other.

When your cat sleeps on your pillow, they try to recreate that close, colony-like bond with you. They feel safe and protected when they’re close to you, and sleeping on your pillow is their way of saying, “I trust you.”

2. Pillows Are Warm and Comfy

Like most cat owners, you already know that cats are obsessed with warmth. They love basking in the sun, sitting close to heaters, and snuggling up in warm blankets.

So, it’s no surprise that they love your pillow, too. It’s cozy and warm, especially when sleeping on it. And for cats in colder climates, it’s even more important to find a warm spot to sleep.

cat resting on pillows
Image Credit: Oliveshadow, Shutterstock

3. Pillows Make Your Cat Feel Safe

Another reason cats love pillows is because it makes them feel safe. Have you ever wondered why your kitty prefers sleeping on high surfaces? It’s because they can see everything from up there, including potential threats.

Sleeping on your pillow puts your cat higher up, just like sleeping on a high shelf or the back of a couch. They can keep an eye on everything from their vantage point, and they feel more secure knowing they can escape if needed.

Some cats also feel safer around their humans and trust them for protection. Therefore, you’re a source of comfort to them. Because your pillow smells like you, it gives them a sense of security even when you’re not around.

4. Soft Pillows Feel Like Their Mother’s Fur

Pillows also remind your cat of their mother’s fur. For kittens, their mother’s fur is the ultimate source of warmth and comfort. It’s where they feel safest and most protected.

Pillows mimic a mother cat’s fur by its soft texture, so it’s no wonder they love sleeping on them.

kitten sleeps on the owner's pillow
Image Credit: Yavdat, Shutterstock

5. Your Cat Is Marking Your Pillow as Their Territory

Cats are very territorial creatures. They often mark their territory by rubbing their body against things, including furniture, doorways, and, yes, even pillows.

As a result, your cat may be sleeping on your pillow to claim it—and you—as their own. This is especially true if there are other animals in the house. It’s like saying, “This is my spot, and don’t you forget it.”

6. Pillows Are Downright Comfortable

Finally, let’s not forget the most obvious reason cats like pillows: pillows are just plain comfortable! They’re soft, fluffy, and welcoming; after a while, you sink right into all that warmth and softness.

cat sleeping on pillow
Image Credit: Bogdan Sonjachnyj, Shutterstock


Should You Let Your Cat Share Your Pillow?

Now that we’ve established that cats love pillows, you might wonder if it’s okay to share your pillow and bed with them. The answer is, it’s up to you!

According to this survey, 65% of pet owners share their beds with their pets. Roughly 32% of those responders said that sleeping with their cats actually improved their sleep quality.

This is not surprising. Lots of science-backed research has already proven the health benefits of having a cat, which include but are not limited to:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Longer and more restful sleep
  • Improved mental and emotional well-being
  • Lower feelings of seclusion

Therefore, your cat is not the only one reaping the benefits of sharing a pillow. You do, too.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to share your bed with your cat. Like most cats, your kitty is crepuscular, which means they’re most active at dawn and dusk. No one likes waking up to cat zoomies in the middle of the night!


Wrapping It Up

If you have a furry pillow hog, now you know why. Cats love what pillows offer—warmth, security, comfort, and a sense of home, especially when you’re using the pillow, too.

So, the next time your cat snuggles up to you on the couch or steals your spot in bed, just remember that they’re not being rude. They just really love pillows (and you).

Featured Image Credit: photochur, Pixabay

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