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Home > Cats > Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs? 3 Vet Reviewed Reasons

Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs? 3 Vet Reviewed Reasons

Kitten sleeps on legs

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Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats sleep most of their days away. Most cats sleep around 16 hours daily on average, but older cats may sleep even more than that. Similarly, most cat parents find themselves tripping over—literally in some cases—their cats sleeping in the most bizarre positions, but what does it mean when your cat curls up in between your legs?

There is an abundance of arguments as to why cats sleep with their owners. Many people view cats as being too aloof for the most obvious reason: they just love you and want to be close to you. But let’s take a look at the most common reasons your cat might curl up between your legs.

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The 3 Reasons Why Your Cat Sleeps Between Your Legs

1. It’s a Source of Warmth

The warmth between your legs may be the reason your cat has chosen to sleep there. Cats love the heat; they’re evolved from desert cats, and they don’t sweat like we do when it gets hot.

Cats can often be found sleeping in a ray of sunlight or curled up next to the heater. So once your cat has realized that your body heat is readily available to them, they’re sure to settle themselves down into your lap or between your legs happily.

Kitten sleeps on lap
Image By: Ermolaeva Olga 84, Shutterstock

2. It Makes Them Feel Secure

Cats like tight spaces as they know what to expect when they’re in an enclosed space. That’s why your cat crawls under your furniture when it gets scared; when you’re in an enclosed space where you can see all four walls, it’s relatively difficult to be surprised by what happens.

Additionally, your cat likely finds you to be a source of inherent comfort. When you’re home and calm, they know everything is okay. In this sense, they’re much like children. So, curling up between your legs gives them three benefits: your body heat, the security of being near you, and the enclosed feeling of being between your legs.


3. It Loves You

Perhaps the most likely reason your cat curls up in between your legs is that they love you. While we could go back and forth about whether your cat just wants a warm place to sleep or they’re predicting your imminent death, it’s more likely that your cat just loves you.

While cats have developed a reputation for being aloof, they’re known to form social connections with their cat parents and often live in social colonies in the wild. While your cat may certainly also be looking for a warm spot to curl up, they may also just be seeking out a connection with you, even while you’re asleep—perhaps especially so, given that cats are generally most active during dusk and dawn when most humans are asleep.

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It can be hard to know what our cats are thinking; they just hide it so well! Luckily, few cat behaviors are as clear-cut as sleeping between your legs. Your cat wouldn’t get so close to you if they didn’t want to be around you; that’s how they got their reputation for being aloof in the first place!


Featured Image Credit: Tami Freed, Shutterstock

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