The look of pride and joy on a mother’s face while her baby sleeps in her arms never fails to warm the heart.
And many cat owners feel the same way too when their cats sleep in their arms like a baby.
It is a special bond between the cat and cat owner that takes on a unique language of its own.
Cats sleeping in their owner’s arms like a baby is often linked to a strong bond, trust, and feelings of security. This behavior is influenced by factors such as the cat’s early life experiences, personality, and even the owner’s personality.
Here at Pets Beam, we’ll uncover the reasons behind this adorable and endearing habit.
Why Does My Cat Like Sleeping In My Arms?
I love all animals in general but I do find that cats have many complex behaviors that are both complex and puzzling.
Here are a few reasons why your cat sleeps in your arms like a baby.
Strengthening The Bond
You must have heard it being mentioned a thousand times that cats are aloof and independent.
That’s not entirely true.
Cats do possess a softer side that is only shown to people that they prefer to bond with. They have a great capacity to bond with their human owners.
Even though cats are solitary creatures, they can live in perfect harmony in a community or colony.
Cats are big on smell and they bond mainly by exchanging scents with each other.
When your cat sleeps like a baby in your arms, it is in fact strengthening the existing bond it has with you.
Your cat has many scent glands on its face and rubbing its face on your arms is one way of leaving its smell on you.
Doing so allows your cat to capture your pheromones on its body too.
Don’t be surprised to see your cat nuzzle your armpit to capture all the odors in that area.
For Snuggly Warmth
Do you know that your cat has a higher resting body temperature than you?
It ranges between 100.5 F – 102.5 F (38.1C – 39.2C).
For a human, that means you’re having a fever but for cats, it’s time to snuggle up and sleep.
Cats run hotter due to having a higher metabolism rate than humans. They can fully digest a meal within 10 hours.
Their hunting methods also require the body to give them quick strong bursts of energy to catch the prey.
Cats in their quest for seeking warmth, are drawn to sources of heat to maintain their higher body temperature and stay comfortable.
Many cats enjoy basking by the window or fireplace just to get a little warmer.
They can also vary the amount of blood flow to their ears to regulate their body temperature.
And if you do not realize it by now, you make the perfect human blanket for your cat.
Your cat sleeping in your arms like a baby allows it to draw on your own body heat.
This keeps your cat warm and toasty, especially during colder months.
Trust And Security
You need to be aware of the fact that out in the wild, your lazy cat can turn into a lethal little predator in a heartbeat.
The prey drive in cats is very strong that they hunt for both food and pleasure.
However, your cat is also cognizant of the fact that it isn’t the biggest and baddest predator in the neighborhood.
Cats are often preyed on by foxes, eagles and other larger animals.
Sleeping poses a risk for most cats especially when they are in deep sleep. They won’t really be aware of what’s happening around them.
This instinctual need for safety and security is ingrained in their DNA.
Your feline friend will usually seek out enclosed spaces or higher ground before it settles into sleep.
My cat loves sleeping in boxes and on my kitchen counter.
Studies have shown that indoor cats look to their owners for comfort and security.
And it knows and trusts that by sleeping in your arms, it will be safe from any potential danger.
Familiarity Breeds Comfort
Cats are creatures of habit and they thrive in familiar environments.
If you are new to owning a cat, you will soon realize that your cat has a set daily routine that it likes to follow.
Any disruption to that schedule can leave you with an unhappy and annoyed feline.
When it comes to dinner time for my cat, he will always eat a little bit first.
Then take a dump in his litter box before coming back to finish up the rest.
If this is how your cat has been sleeping ever since it was a kitten, there’s no reason for it to change it up as it gets older.
Are There Benefits Of Having A Cat Sleeping In My Arms?
Here’s the good news.
Not only is sleeping in your arms beneficial for your cat, you too can derive some benefits from that.
There’s nothing quite like having your cat come and wanting to snuggle in your arms after a long day.
Having your cat sleep in your arms can be a comforting source of emotional support for you.
Improved Mental Health
Studies have shown that having a close bond with a pet can have a positive impact on mental health1.
When your cat sleeps in your arms, it contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being.
I love my dog to bits but he doesn’t make quite as good a snuggle buddy as my cat.
Maybe he farts too much as has coarser fur.
My cat just feels like a fluffy velvety cloud.
And he has another secret weapon that my dog doesn’t have.
The rhythmic sound of your cat’s purring can also be soothing and help you drift off to sleep more easily.
Do you know that a cat’s purr is medically therapeutic for illnesses in humans?
The purring happens at a frequency that helps to promote healing and tissue regeneration.
Cats not only purr when they are happy but also when they are sick.
Can I Get My Cat To Sleep In My Arms?
Here’s the bad news.
If you are a big-time cat hugger like me, it can be very difficult to train a cat to sleep in your arms if it doesn’t want to.
Not all cats like sleeping in their owner’s arms like a baby.
Just like how I don’t understand how some cats love sleeping under a blanket while my cat hates it to the bone.
I have tried all ways and means to turn my cat into a lap cat over the years but that’s just not his style.
What you can do is try and make it enticing enough for your cat to want to cuddle up with you.
Give it a lot of praise and pets when it snuggles up to you.
Make your cat feel welcome but don’t force it if your cat doesn’t want to.
Cats choose how they want to sleep and there’s pretty much the golden rule.
What Other Positions Do Cats Like To Sleep In?
An average human spends about 26 years sleeping during their lifetime.
It might seem like a lot but it is still nothing when compared to a cat.
Cats cat easily spend two-thirds of their life sleeping. It is easy when sleeping 15 – 20 hours a day comes so naturally for them.
There are many other sleeping positions that cats are known to sleep in:
- The Loaf: A tucked-in position where the cat resembles a loaf of bread, keeping warm and agile.
- The Crescent: A curled-up shape with the tail wrapped around, conserving heat and feeling secure
- The Sprawl: Cats lying on their side or back with legs stretched out, indicating safety and comfort
- The Belly Up: Cats lying on their back with belly exposed, showing trust and relaxation
- The Superman: Lying on the stomach with legs stretched out, perfect for quick naps and staying alert.
- The face-plant: Cats sleeping with their face buried in their paws or pressed against a surface for security.
- The cuddle puddle: Multiple cats snuggling together in a pile for warmth and comfort.
Why Doesn’t My Cat Sleep With Me?
Most cat owners that I know always like it when their cats sleep with them. The only ones that don’t like it are slightly allergic to cats.
As much as your cat likes being near you, sleeping with you might not be its cup of tea.
It could be that you move or snore too much in your sleep which makes it very disruptive for your cat.
If you have family members at home, it could be that your cat prefers to sleep with one that it has the strongest bond with.
Don’t be too upset if your cat doesn’t want to sleep with you, it is just being a cat.
Why Does My Cat Have To Be Touching Me When It Sleeps?
I notice that my cat likes to reach out and touch me when it is sleeping.
He likes putting one of his paws on my hand or leg. On some days, he uses my arm like a bolster.
This mimics the close-knit relationships they have with their littermates or mother in the wild.
1. Cheryl M. Straede &Richard G. Gates M.D. Psychological Health in a Population of Australian Cat Owners