Cats are curious little creatures that like to curl up in a countless number of interesting places. Maybe you have a cat who enjoys squeezing into the corner of a cabinet for a snooze, or you have a cat who prefers to sleep under your bed as opposed to on top of it. Wherever a cat's unique sleeping spot may be, the one place that they seem most content is nestled right on their owner's clothing. It doesn't matter if it's an old pair of workout leggings or a newly worn cocktail dress, if it's yours, chances are they'll lie on it.
As it turns out, there are some pretty good reasons as to why our feline friends exhibit this behavior, other than being just plain cute (and mildly annoying if your cat sheds a lot). To learn more, POPSUGAR enlisted two experts to explain this uncanny cat habit.
Maureen Murithi, DVM, a veterinary spokesperson for Excited Cats, noted that cats view their owners as part of their family and use the power of scent as an important distinguishing tool. "Their [owner's] clothes often carry their scent, which in the cat world they use to recognize their owners," Dr. Murithi explained. "They would therefore prefer to lay on their clothes as they feel safe and comfortable, as they see the clothes as their own or part of their family."
Chris Roth, DVM, an in-house veterinarian for Pets Best, echoed this sentiment and shared that cats may find comfort in lying among their owner's clothing items. "Especially when we're out of the house, items like a pile of our clothes can provide security and even reduce feelings of anxiety for our pets," Dr. Roth said.
Dr. Murithi added that, in addition to seeking emotional and physical comfort, cats exhibit this behavior because they actually want to mark their territory. "Cats use pheromones to communicate as well as mark their territory," Dr. Murithi said. "Them laying on their caregiver's clothes leaves their scent, therefore, marking it as theirs." Which, actually, is kind of sweet!