Why Does My Cat Sleep on Me When I’m Sick?

why does my cat sleep on me when i am sick

You’ve got a nasty cold or flu. You’re sneezing, coughing, your nose is plugged up, and you might have a fever too. All of a sudden, your cat goes from sleeping on its own to sleeping on your body or near you. Why does my cat sleep on me when I’m sick? It’s actually a very interesting topic.

Cats Usually Sleep Alone

What is very important to note here is that cats usually sleep alone. They like the quiet and they don’t like disturbing sounds, so they’ll often sleep solo. This is important because it is not usual for cats to sleep on you, or even in the same room with you for that matter.

Why Your Cat Sleeps on You When You’re Sick?

There are four main reasons why your cat may begin sleeping on you or near you when you are sick. Let’s take a quick look at each one.

You’re a Comfy Pillow

One reason why your cat might sleep on you when you are sick is because you are very warm. When we get sick, our body temperature will often rise, sometimes quite significantly. This is of course a fever.

If you are sick, not moving much, and very warm (more so than usual), your cat may be looking at you like a heated and super comfy pillow. They may actually be taking advantage of your fever for their own comfort.

They Can Feel Your Emotions

Cats are known for being sensitive to emotions and they are known for being able to read human sentiment. In other words, when you are sick, you probably don’t feel great in terms of your mood. Being sick can make you feel annoyed, angry, or just depressed and bad in general.

Cats are quite intuitive, and they may very well pick up on this. Therefore, a cat sleeping on you when you are sick may be attempting to comfort you and trying to make you feel better.

The Change in Routine

Cats are animals of habit and routine. They quickly get used to waking up at a certain time, being fed at a certain time, and being with you at certain times. If you are gone a lot at work, and all of a sudden, due to your illness, you are home a lot, it may be confusing or disturbing the cat.

By being sick and not behaving like you normally would, which includes not maintaining the cat’s schedule, may irritate a cat. The cat may be confused by this sudden change in your and its daily routine, which may lead to it becoming more affectionate and sticking closer to you.

They May Be Able Sense Your Illness

It is shown that cats can sense when people are ill. Dogs for instance are known to be able to smell cancer cells. While there has not been as much research done on this front in regard to cats, there is some pretty solid evidence that dogs are not the only ones who can smell or sense illness.

There have been quite a few instances where people say that their cat noticed that they were ill before they themselves knew. While the proof for this is not 100%, it is reasonable to assume that this is possible.


If your cat sleeps on you while you are sick, it’s not a cause for concern. They aren’t telling you that you are dying, or anything else like that. Chances are that you just feel nice and warm, and that the cat wants to provide you with a bit of love and comfort.

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