If you have landed yourself a feline enigma or cat-like conundrum, you may be finding yourself bombarded with kitty snuggles.
Most cat owners will be quick to inform you that a cat that loves snuggling, although not rare, is certainly not something you can expect from every furry feline you meet.
If your pet cat is one of the few out there who see invading your personal space as a show of their love, you may be wondering why they are exhibiting such generally uncatlike behavior.
This article lists the top reasons, some scientifically proven, others not so much, why cats snuggle with you.
Your Cat is an Attention Addict
Now, it might not be all that nice to admit, but if I’m visiting a friend and their cat always cuddles me, it makes me immediately assume their kitty is an attention whore. Snuggliness from a cat towards those they are bonded with may not necessarily be counted as attention-seeking behavior. However, if it’s directed at a complete stranger, it may very well be the case.
My cat loves to cuddle with me, and although I enjoy and encourage it, she doesn’t act the same way with any of my friends. She treats them with the same nonchalance I assume most kitties bestow upon their humans.
Cats who go from one stranger to the next, cuddling and purring, meowing and rubbing themselves against them, have probably discovered they can turn complete strangers into mush puddles with their inherent adorableness.
I genuinely believe cats understand that they can trade affection for things like admiration, snacks, and petting. Somewhere in their kitty brains, these attention addicts have discovered if they just act cute enough, just act cuddly enough, humans will adore them, spoil them, and treat them like the feline idols they very much believe they are.
You Make Them Feel Safe (AW!)
Cats are crepuscular animals, meaning they spend much of their day napping and become most active at night, particularly around dusk and dawn. Even if your cat curls up on your bed once you are ready to sleep, most cat owners know that this peace won’t last, and their kitty will be on and off the bed at least ten times that night.
So, if you’re wondering why your cat cuddles with you at night, but never in the day, the answer could be a simple but very heartwarming one; you make them feel safe.
Due to the significantly less domesticated nature of cats compared to animals, they exhibit crepuscular behavior similar to that of their wild cousins. Staying hidden and sleeping during the day is a survival mechanism, allowing cats to avoid running into predators as they only start hunting and being active at night.
Although your kitty may never have encountered anything even a little predatory in the entirety of their life, this behavior is still ingrained in their minds. So, to feel safe while the house is quiet and everyone is sleeping, your cat may cuddle up close to you. Cats may not see us as part of their family in the same way as dogs, but they do understand that their bonded human won’t hurt them and could possibly offer protection.
And so they snuggle as close as they can get to ensure that if anything comes for them in the night, you’ll either protect them or, perhaps, offer the predator a larger, tastier snack.
You Are Their Personal, Bio-Efficient Heater
Have you ever hugged someone on a cold day and then refused to let go because they were just too nice and warm? No? Well, I guess it’s just me then, and you have no idea what you’re missing.
The truth of the matter is, like me, your cat may have discovered soon after meeting you that you are pretty warm to cuddle with. Now, this may not seem like a groundbreaking discovery, but it goes beyond a cat cuddling you just because your warmth makes them feel comfy.
It’s a primary-school level factoid that mammals can regulate their body temperature. However, this process is incredibly energy-consuming and cats, being the cunning, manipulative creatures they are, found a way to save that energy pretty early on in their domestication.
The solution? Bio-efficient heaters, in the form of humans who think their cat is cuddling with them as an expression of love.
If your cat especially likes to snuggle up on your lap during cold days, there’s a good chance you serve no greater purpose to them than providing heat and food. And for this, they may love you, but not because they worship the very ground you walk on as dogs do. It may sound cynical, but if you think about it, you’d probably do the same thing if sitting on random people’s laps and snuggling your face into the crook of their arm wasn’t so incredibly weird.
They’re Trying to Show You Affection (Duh.)
Alright, let’s stop being cynical for a second and consider the possibility that your cat is cuddling with you just because they love you. If you’re a die-hard cat fanatic, you might have skipped to this section and won’t even read any of the other, less cute reasons, and that’s okay.
I have nothing against going through life without once considering your cat may be as manipulative as a two-year-old who gives hugs in exchange for sweets.
However, despite my skepticism, your cat might just be cuddling with you because they want to show you affection. In the end, they aren’t entirely heartless creatures and may indeed have developed a soft spot for their gullible human guardians. How sweet!
They Want Something From You
As I mentioned above, cats may not rival a human’s intelligence, but they sure as hell give us a run for our money when it comes to manipulative behavior.
Just like kids become suddenly sweet and loving when they need something from their parents, cats have learned to exhibit the same affectionate behavior when they want something from their owners. Despite their animalistic form, cats are smart enough to realize a show of cuddliness and love could very quickly result in a treat or some light pampering.
If you’re wondering why your cat cuddles with you when you wake up, this may be your answer. It either wants food, a treat, some TLC, or your undivided attention.
Cats know our little hearts can only handle so much sweetness, and them snuggling up to us just as we wake up, or when we sit down to eat, is their way of making sure they get at least some sort of reward for their efforts.
They May Be Feeling Anxious
If you’re wondering why your cat is suddenly so cuddly, the answer could be that they are suffering from anxiety. Anxious cats often exhibit clingy behavior, which could include too much cuddling and a refusal to leave your side.
Although this may seem cute to humans, it could indicate an underlying problem that is damaging to your cat’s wellbeing. It may be surprising that cats can suffer from separation anxiety, given they don’t seem to need humans to survive. However, if you find your cat cuddling up to you as soon as you return home from work or an errand, this could be the case.
Cat anxiety is usually accompanied by other symptoms like scratching, excessive meowing, and over-the-top grooming.
Even though the cuddling bit might be adorable, if you suspect your cat has anxiety, you should take them to the vet for possible treatment and therapy. No matter how sweet it may seem to us, anxiety is an acute emotional stressor and shouldn’t be left unaddressed in your kitty.
You Smell Good… To Your Cat
Do with this information what you will, but the reason your cat is showering you with cuddles could be because you smell nice to them. Whether or not this is a compliment depends entirely on what type of scent your cat likes. However, judging by the food it may choose to eat and the prey it decides to hunt, I will draw my own conclusions.
The truth of the matter is a cat’s sense of smell rivals even that of a dog’s. It could be the smell of food on your fingers or the fact that your kitty finds comfort in the familiarity of your Chanel No. 5. Whatever the reason, your cat becoming particularly intoxicated by your scent could be why it treats you in the same way Garfield treats lasagna – with utmost adoration and severe addiction.
The cuddliness is simply a by-product of wanting to be close to whatever it is that’s making you smell so good.
They’re Feeling Lonely
If you own a cat, you know the nightly routine. Jumping onto the bed, jumping off of the bed. Cuddling up to your face, then minutes later moving down to your feet. As I mentioned before, cats are crepuscular and will wake intermittently throughout the night.
So, if you find your cat often snuggling near your face at night or meowing in your ear while they do so, they may simply be feeling a little lonely and want to wake you up.
It’s not hard to understand that owning only one cat might leave it feeling lonely once you go to bed and no longer offer it companionship and attention. Your cat may not even understand why you don’t share its sleeping habits.
So, unless you get another cat or decide to live your life in 15-minute intervals interspersed with napping, you may just have to deal with the fact that your cat will snuggle up to you while you are off in dreamland and hope they don’t get desperate enough to scratch or nibble on your ear in an attempt to get you to join them in the world of the living, or at least the world of the sleep-impaired.
They Had a Bad Kittenhood
Cats who were orphaned as kittens, or abandoned as adults, will be far more cuddly and clingy than others.
They are also more likely to experience separation anxiety and try to make up for it by constantly invading your personal space with cuddles and snuggles.
If this doesn’t bother you, there is no actual harm in letting your cat treat you as its emotional support human. However, if this clingy behavior gets out of hand or seems detrimental to your or your cat’s well-being, it might be time to see a vet to help with the situation.
The reality is cats are cuddly for many reasons, and this behavior could either be incredibly cute or borderline obsessive. Whether you enjoy it or see it as manipulation on their behalf, however, is entirely up to you.