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Why Does My Cat Lay On My Chest? (Kitty’s Top Place to Sit and Sleep)

Posted in: Cat Care - Last Updated: April 8, 2022 - Author: Dexter Jones
Posted in Cat Care 
Last Updated: April 8, 2022  
Author:  Dexter Jones
why does my cat lay on my chest

Many cats love laying on people, I know mine does! As soon as I sit down my two pounce on me and make themselves comfortable. They feel especially attracted to the chest for a number of reasons. 

Us humans find this bonding experience nice and soothing too. But have you actually ever asked yourself, why does my cat sleep on my chest? 

Sometimes, though, you may not want to have the time for your furry friend to climb on your chest. Plus, us cat owners all know how hard it is to remove them once they are settled in. I absolutely hate doing it.

Luckily, there are some simple ways you can discourage them from climbing on us. 

(But deep down, I bet you don’t want to stop them anyway!)

Why Does My Cat Lay On My Chest? (in short)

Cats love to rest on their owner's chest. The main reason is that it fosters a strong bond between you and your cat.

why do cats lay on your chest

Most people adore feeling their kitty snuggled on their chest. It is a way they can show affection and reassure it that it's in a safe place.

Eventually, it strengthens the bonding and builds more trust between cat owner and its pet. 

Why Does My Cat Sit On My Chest: The Reasons

Of course, there are other reasons why cats love spending time on people's chests. So let's take a look at why do cats lay on your chest:


Cats aren't the most social animals, however, they like to share love and spend good time with their owner.

This explains why they rub their cheeks against people and lay on them for a 20-minute nap. 

Their favourite place to snuggle up on is chest. 

It makes cuddling with you easy and allows you both to create and share a strong emotional bond.


Your chest provides more heat than any other body part. 

This draws your feline to your chest as it loves sleeping in warm places. This makes its sleep deeper and longer-lasting.

And it's not about the napping part only. Your kitty may snuggle up on your toasty chest anytime it feels cold. 

It uses your body as a radiator to bring its own temperature back to normal.

why does my cat sleep on my chest


Your chest offers your cat what other parts of your body don't - the pleasant feel of your heartbeat.

This is a killer argument for your feline to settle down on your chest. 

Aside from providing a nice massage, your heart vibrations remind the cat of its mother back in the times when it snuggled up to its body as a kitten.

It brings back good memories of care, affection and nourishment. 

Your cat rewards you for this pleasant feeling with purring. You will definitely like those soothing vibrating sounds.


One of the reasons cats prefer their owner's body for rest and sleep is safety. 

Your cat believes that laying on you will protect it from enemy attacks. It considers you a guard who will watch over it while it's sleeping. 

Moreover, your smell is familiar and calming to your kitty which helps it fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.


By occupying your chest, your feline marks it as its territory, leaving its scent on it. 

It is a sign for other cats that they'd better stay away. This type of behavior is explained by the territorial nature of cats. 

They leave their cat pheromones in favorite places or on members of the pack to claim their ownership over them.

In case of domestic cats, they apply their scent on you to declare you their possession or at least a valuable resource they wouldn't want to share with anybody else.

If you have more pets, it might be that two or three of them try to fight for your attention, and specifically for a spot on your chest. 

If that is the case, you should forbid all cats from lying on your chest.

Should you keep your cat off your chest?

Cats cause no harm if they lay on your chest for a short period of time. It's a pleasant and soothing experience for both you and the feline. 

However, it's not quite recommended to let your cat sit on your chest for a long time. A heavy cat on your chest will press upon your lungs, causing breathing difficulties. 

Also, but this is a minor thing, your kitty may scratch you by accident and claw your clothes. 

why does my cat sit on my chest

If the cat loves tossing around and moving position frequently, it can make you wake up often, reducing your sleep quality.

If your cat staying on your chest gives you more discomfort than pleasure, try to persuade it to give up on this comfy spot. 

Buy a new cat bed and place down a piece of clothing infused with your scent. When your cat steps on your chest, gently push it into the new bed. 

Praise it, pet it, and give it cat treats for sleeping on it. After a while, you will stop seeing your cat climbing on your chest.

Why Does My Cat Lay On My Chest? The Verdict

I hope that answers the “why does my cat lay on my chest” question for you. 

It really is logical and quite sweet actually. Cat’s sleep on your chest so they can be close to you, show some love and share a caring bond with you.

Personally, I really think it is one of the best things about cat ownership. 

There is nothing quite like a kitty hug.

About the author

Dexter Jones has been a solid member of the ‘Mad Cat Dad’ club since time began! Dexter has been a keen cat writer for many years and lives in Croatia. He lives with his two tabby cats, Milly & Marly, who also flew in from the UK to start their new Adriatic island life together.