I recently welcomed a precious little kitten into my life, and she’s been inspiring me with all sorts of new ideas to write about—the first of which being: why do cats like to sleep under your neck? I’ve seen Tiger Lily often doing this with my husband, and it’s such a cute sight.
My oldest cat, Mr. Purple, is often a fan of sleeping on my head—which is much different than when a cat sleeps under your neck. And this is especially true in the case of a fifteen pound Maine Coon cat with lots of hair preventing you from breathing.
So, if you’ve ever wondered why it is that cats—and especially kittens—like to sleep under your neck—just keep reading!
Nice and toasty
You don’t have to be an expert on all things feline to know that cats simply love to be warm. But, have you ever wondered why it is that cats crave warmth? Well, your cat might be comfy and cozy in your home, but their survival instincts are hardwired into their brain.
Your cat’s ancestors would seek out shelter and warmth when evading predators, and that neck of yours is a nice place for your cat to retreat when they’re ready to take a long snooze. Pepper is a big boy of a cat, and he will still even choose to sleep on my chest with his head nuzzled under my neck sometimes when he goes for a nap. Your cat is the connoisseur of comfort—even if it’s a bit suffocating for you. But since we love our cats, we happily oblige their odd sleeping habits…even if it means we sometimes end up with a rump in our face.
In case you didn’t already know, your head is the warmest part of your body. And your cat knows this. So, that’s why they often choose to get all up in your face when they’re ready to snooze. Plus, your head is much less likely to move versus your arms and legs, and we all know that cats do not like to be disturb when they are sleeping.
Rubbing their scent on you
Kittens like to cuddle up underneath your neck because they love to be warm and like the security that being so close to you brings them. But for adult felines, when they want to curl up under your neck, it’s been suggested that they are doing this because they want to put their scent on you.
Your cat has scent glands on their forehead, as well as on the sides of their face. When they rub up against you, they are technically marking you as they rub on you. And if they’re buried happily underneath your neck, then it’s highly that they’re rubbing their scent on you. Think of it as you now wearing your cat’s perfume!
A sign that your cat loves you
We know that cats will rub up against our legs or stare at us longingly to show us that they love and admire us. But it’s also believed that your cat will sleep under your neck as a sign that they love and trust you. Sharing a snooze with your feline friend has powerful benefits for the both of you, just don’t get upset if 4AM rolls around and your cat is ready to party. If your cat is doing this, we’ve got some tips to help.
For kittens that want to sleep under your neck, I personally believe that they do this as a way to bond with you. And not only that, but I think they find comfort in your beating pulse that they can feel in your neck via your carotid artery. It’s hard not to feel loved and appreciated when a kitten does this, because they’re usually purring loudly for you when they do this, too.