Cats have all kinds of strange behaviors. They will watch you shower, they will stare at the same spot for ages, and they will chase after their own shadow given half the chance.
Similarly, cats will watch their owners sleep. And while they may be staring at you because they want something from you, they may also be protecting you while you are safely asleep. Do cats guard us while we sleep? Are they just that awesome?
Do Cats Protect You When You Sleep?
Cats may protect you while you sleep, so you may find them sleeping in the bed or right next to it, keeping watch. However, not all cats will sleep with you to protect you, and some may just want your companionship and warmth.
Cats tend to adopt behaviors from their humans. If you are caring and loving towards them, they will likely behave the same way towards you. If you tend to do your own thing and let them do theirs, they may be a bit more aloof.
Our feline friends are also very good at detecting danger. Or, what they perceive to be danger. They will run for cover at the slightest threatening sound, and will signal something is wrong with their puffed up tail and thrown back ears.
However, cats will also guard their owners while they are vulnerable: for example, asleep. Your cat may look like they are sleeping next to you, but their ears and nose are scanning for threats at all times, and they will not hesitate to jump on your head if there is something afoot.
In fact, as I am typing this, there is a Sasha washing her behind on my laptop case next to me. Our street gets quite busy at this time of evening, so every time a lorry flies by, she pricks up her ears, looks at me for a second, and then gets right back to business. Just making sure everything is in order.
Are Cats Protective?
Cats are quite as protective as dogs, but they show it in different ways. It’s easy to notice there is danger around by a cat’s body language, so they are protecting us in their own way when they puff up their tail or start meowing.
Cats have been known to commit quite heroic feats: saving their families from fires and intruders. While we may consider them shy, timid or even selfish, they are actually none of that.
Do All Cats Protect Their Humans?
Not all cats will protect their humans. Some will simply prioritize their own wellbeing, while others will go out of their way to alert you of danger.
There is nothing you can do to make your cat protect you. Some of them have just figured out that they need to ensure your safety, as you are their food source. Others cats simply become very attached to their humans, and consider them a part of the family.
However, the cats that don’t protect you don’t necessarily love you any less. It’s just their personality, and all you can do is appreciate them for who they are.
How Do I Know My Cat Is Protecting Me?
You will be able to tell your cat is protecting you by their behavior. If they are close to you and are watching and listening during the night, they are there to protect you.
There are all sorts of protective cat sleeping positions. They can sleep on or around your head. They may sleep at your feet, from where they are able to watch the door. This is considered the prime guarding spot. Or, they may be sleeping near the door, so they can be there to trip up anyone who tries to enter your bedroom uninvited.
Cats also spend a fair portion of the night sitting in the window, that is if they are able to see something through it. If you leave a light on for them, they will keep an eye on the street while you are asleep.
Why Do Cats Sleep With Their Owners?
About a third of all cats will sleep in their owner’s bed. They will do this for mutual protection, warmth, and the extra cuddling time.
Cats understand that both you and them are vulnerable when asleep. They will thus seek you out for protection. They will expect you to protect them from predators, but they will do their bit and notify you when said predators are likely to appear on the scene.
Naturally, cats also appreciate the comfort and warmth that comes with sleeping in bed with you. They will probably want to be alone for some part of the night, but they do like it when you offer an arm or a leg as a pillow.
What Do Cats Do While We Sleep?
Some cats will protect their owners while they sleep. They will also spend a portion of the night playing, napping, and just looking at you. They may of course leave your bedroom entirely, and seek entertainment elsewhere.
Cats spend most of the day sleeping. However, that does not necessarily coincide with the entire night.
Most cats will nap for parts of the night, but they will also spend their time eating, playing and looking out the window, if they can. They may also just sit or lie somewhere and contemplate world domination.
Why You Shouldn’t Expect Your Cat to Protect You
Cats don’t feel emotions the same way we do, and when they are protecting you, it has more to do with their survival than yours. They are just protecting the hand that feeds them.
This does of course not mean your cat doesn’t love you. On the contrary, your cat cares about you very much, unless you routinely go out of your way to annoy your cat.
Cats are just not built like dogs, and they don’t have the same instincts. They are mostly driven by a survival instinct, so they won’t always risk their lives to save yours. But you can expect them to let you know when they’ve sensed something out of the ordinary, don’t you worry about that.
Wrapping It Up
Cats are truly amazing creatures who show us love in thousands of different ways. Protecting us (or simply lying on top of us at the most awkward angle they can come up with) while we are asleep is just one of them.