Why Do Cats Sleep At The Foot Of The Bed?


white cat resting at the foot of a bed

It can be confusing as a feline parent to notice that your cat prefers to sleep at the foot of the bed of all places. Whether you own a full-sized bed or a bigger model such as a Queen or King, there’s bound to be lots of space on the bed.

No wonder many of us get worried when our cats only spend their nights at the foot of the bed where space is limited in our human opinions.

Cats sleep at the foot of the bed due to the usual proximity to the bedroom door as a feline’s natural survival instincts push it to select spots with easy escape routes in case of danger. The foot of the bed can also be cooler than the other parts and offers minimal disturbance to the sleeping cat while providing the opportunity to stay close to you.

Many folks report trying to get their cats to move to another area of the bed without success. They eventually give up and allow them to continue sleeping at that spot or kick them out of their beds completely.

8 Reasons Why Cats Sleep At The Foot Of The Bed

Here are the top reasons why cats sleep at the foot of the bed so you can understand your pets much better.

1. Minimal Disturbance 

The majority of us toss and turn throughout the night and often, it is easy to roll up onto another spot in the bed. Rolling up onto your cat accidentally can startle her from even the deepest realms of sleep.

Cats are smart creatures and know that sleeping beside you will always expose them to an increased risk of being accidentally rolled over. Apart from that, many folks disturb their pets in the middle of the night by snuggling up even when they may not be in the mood.

This is why cats decide to sleep at their owner’s feet as it often leads to minimal disturbance if any at all.

2. Proximity To The Door 

Cats are endowed with some of the sharpest survival instincts which pushes them to always be on their guard even in the comfort of their home. In most bedrooms, the foot of the bed is closest to the door, and laying down there gives felines the ability to escape quickly should any danger pop up.

Sleeping at the foot of the bed also means they can react swiftly should an intruder enter the bedroom in the middle of the night when you’re both in Dreamland. Thus, sleeping at the foot of the bed simply gives cats some sort of security assurance to be able to hit the hay peacefully.

3. Minimal Heat

Do you sleep on memory foamOpens in a new tab.? If yes, you’ve probably noticed the exceptional temperature-sensitivity of your mattress. This property means the sleeper’s body heat gets easily transferred to the sleeping surface upon contact.

This body heat is typically highest at the upper body and around the midriff region meaning a cat that sleeps side by side with a human could end up suffering from unbearable mattress heat. Cats love cool sleeping just as much as humans if not more and this is why they tend to move to the foot of the bed because the human feet are usually one of the coolest parts of the body.

Thus, laying close to the feet can help a feline enjoy a good night of rest even during summer heatwaves. 

4. Marking Their Territory

Cats can be extremely territorial in whichever environment they find themselves. You might think that allowing the feline to sleep in your bed is a treat that should be regarded highly. However, the cat will beg to differ and view the bed as her own.

Thus, your pet will regard the whole arrangement as an opportunity for you to sleep in her bed instead. By sleeping at the foot of the bed, the cat is sending a message that she can choose to sleep wherever she wants and nothing can stop her.

5. Allowing You Uninterrupted Sleep

brown cat at the foot of a bed while a woman sleeps on

Cats can be arrogant pets that regard themselves as the kings in every household they may be. However, they can also be genuinely lovely animals that often make considerate decisions to suit the needs of others.

Your pet feline may view sleeping at the foot of the bed as an opportunity for you to enjoy a good night of rest without interruptions. Even though these animals may sleep for up to 16 hours a day, they often love to engage in other activities, especially at night.

The least they want is to be shackled in bed with you just because they don’t want to disturb your sleep.

6. Protection 

One of the reasons why many of us fall in love with our cats is their tendency to be overprotective. Sure, they may seek to spend as much time as possible with humans they love and can become jealous when their owners fail to give them the necessary attention.

But, cats can also be extremely protective of humans in times of danger. They regard sleeping at the foot of the bed as a means to stay alert and be able to react quickly should anything untoward happen.

Sleeping in that spot is a cat’s way of protecting their human parents from impending danger.

7. Ease of Getting In and Out

It is no secret that cats hate being confined in a specific space for too long because they love the freedom to move around whenever they feel like. Does it get any better than lying down at the foot of the bed?

These creatures love to get in and out of bed especially at night when they’re supposed to be sleeping. Hence, basing themselves at the foot of the bed unlocks the ability to move as and when necessary without feeling too shackled.

8. Floor Visibility

cat standing alert on a bed

Cats prefer getting a bird’s eye view of their surroundings at every point. These creatures also know that they’re most vulnerable during sleep which is why laying at the foot of the bed is such a favorite habit.

It gives them complete visibility of the bedroom floor to be able to monitor whatever may be going on down there at night. This allows cats to catch mice, rats, and insects that might be circling the floor of your bedroom while you’re fast asleep.

Getting complete floor visibility also allows cats to calm down enough to get a good night of rest.

Why Does Your Cat Move From The Foot Of Your Bed To The Head?

As you’re aware by now, felines love to sleep at the foot of the bed for a variety of reasons. However, there are times when they move from that position to the top of your head. This typically occurs on chilly nights when temperatures tumble to unbearable levels.

Moving to the top of your head may provide additional warmth to increase the cat’s comfort and enable them to go through the night unscathed.

Drawbacks of A Cat Sleeping At The Foot Of The Bed

There are a few drawbacks of cats sleeping at the foot of your bed. Shall we take a deep dive into a few of them?

1. Accidental Kicks

Many people report accidentally kicking their cats in the middle of the night when she’s sleeping at the foot of the bed. It is not uncommon to forget that there’s another creature lying down at that side of the bed.

Thus, any form of leg stretching may lead to an accidental kick that can be so bad that it sends the feline right off the bed. The result can be lightheadedness in the cat and even physical injuries that may cause significant degrees of pain.

2. Move From Your Favorite Position

As stated earlier, cats regard themselves as doing you a favor by allowing you to sleep in your bed. This means they choose wherever they like to sleep at the foot of the bed and do everything in their power to continue lying down there.

This may force you to move to another side to be able to accommodate the cat and reduce the risk of accidental kicks. It could take some time before you get used to the new sleeping position leading to temporary sleep disturbances.

3. Anxiety and Discomfort 

Your anxiety levels can spike up with a cat lying at the foot of your bed which may lead to possible sleep troubles. If you’ve accidentally kicked your cat in the past then the fear of a repeat can stay on the mind each time you jump into bed.

This can delay how long it takes to fall asleepOpens in a new tab. while making it difficult to let your guard down even in the middle of the night when you’re supposed to relax fully.

How To Get Your Cat Not To Sleep At The Foot Of Your Bed

If you’re uncomfortable with your cat sleeping at the foot of your bed, it is time to do something about it. A few options available include:

  • Training the cat to sleep in another spot on the bed
  • Getting a separate pet bed for the cat 
  • Kicking it out of the bedroom

Conclusion

Cats sleep at the foot of the bed as a means of marking their territory, offering protection to their owners, or getting complete visibility of the bedroom floor. This position also allows them to get in and out of the bed with minimal disturbance while enabling you to sleep in peace.

Since the foot of the bed typically faces the bedroom door, lying down in this position also gives cats easy access to escape during times of danger. However, if you’re uncomfortable with your pet cat lying down at that spot, you can always kick it out of your bed or the bedroom altogether.

 

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