black cat on the corner of the bed with tongue out

Why Does My Cat Sleep on the Corner of My Bed?

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Cats do strange things.

They have all sorts of personality quirks that leave owners scratching their heads.  Our cat does a lot of things that seem to defy definition but we love decoding her foibles and habits because it helps us to understand what’s going on in that furry little head of hers.

It’s probably for reassurance, too.  We want to know that she’s happy and secure living with us.  When we ask ‘why does my cat sleep on the corner of my bed?’ what we really want to know is — she okay? Is this normal? Does this mean she loves us?

Maybe it’s the same for you, too. 

Why Does My Cat Sleep on the Corner of My Bed?

Cats are territorial and feel comfortable in places that are familiar to them.  Scent is an important part of this process.  Humans can’t smell pheromones but it’s how a cat communicates with its environment.  One reason it does this is reassurance.  The bedding smells familiar: it has the cat’s scent and your scent on it.  In the wild, survival would depend on finding safe spaces to sleep.  The more a cat sleeps in that spot the more likely it is to return there later.  Habit and memory will keep the cat coming back even when the sheets have been changed.

The corner of the bed provides the cat with a good viewing area.  It can see who is in the bed as well as who is coming into the room.  From the edge, it can jump off quickly if it needs to.  Cats like to have good vantage points and the corner of the bed is as good a position as any.  This is much harder from the middle of the bed.

 The middle of the bed is comfortable but it’s also softer under the paw. Bedding that gets bunched up is harder to walk across.  Our cat sometimes gets antsy walking into the middle during the night. She moves across tentatively because she can’t tell if its solid enough to walk on or not.  The pattern on the covers can play tricks with her eyes, too. Nearer the edges the bedding is smoothed down and easier for her to walk across.

Cats love sleeping in warm soft spaces but they can get too hot.  Humans emit a lot of body heat and whilst that’s enticing when it’s very cold, it may be too warm the rest of the year.  By staying close but not right next to us, the cat benefits from the warmth without overheating.  

Active sleepers may find their cats sleep at the corner of the bed to avoid being disturbed. In the same way that a cat crying like a baby at night or suddenly zooming around the house would disturb us, our sleeping patterns can disturb cats, too.

Cats sleep on the corner of the bed for several reasons.  It could also just be because they enjoy that specific spot.  Our cat took to napping in the bathroom sink so the foot of the bed isn’t really all that strange.