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Why Does My Cat Sleep Facing The Door?

If your cat is sleeping facing the door you may feel that it is a bit odd, leading you to wonder why… 

Why does my cat sleep facing the door?

Sleeping while facing the door allows your cat to listen for threats so that if anything comes through that door they will be ready. Sleeping while facing the door makes them feel safer.

So, now that you know. But, is this behavior normal? Is it dangerous? Why does my cat even sleep near the front door? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Is it normal for a cat to sleep near the door?

A cat sleeping beside a door.

A cat sleeping beside a door.

This is completely normal behavior, especially if you’ve just moved into a new home or if you haven’t had your cat for very long. While some cats will eventually relax and stop being so picky about facing the door when they sleep, don’t be surprised if your cat does not. Cats are cautious predators and they like to be ready for anything!    

Is it dangerous for my cat to sleep near a door?

Generally, no, but if the cat is in your room and the door opens inward, there is always a risk that if someone else opens the door that it might accidentally hit your cat. With an open doorway, the only potential danger is that you might step on the cat if you get up in the middle of the night.

Beyond this, some cats have been known to attack the ankles of guests who startle them walking by the door, but that really depends on the cat and their age. This type of behavior, when it happens, normally occurs with younger and more playful cats.

Why does my cat sleep by the front door?

This can occur for a number of reasons, but more often than not it is simple curiosity. Your cat has excellent hearing and can hear things going on outside, and so the front door area might simply be a more interesting place for them to sleep (especially around 5 AM when the birds start singing!).

Another reason that many cats do this is that they want to go outside and they intend to ‘make a run for it’ as soon as you open the door. Cats get bored, just like humans do, and if your cat has already explored the house thoroughly then they are probably curious about what is outside.

This is fine if you regularly let your cat out but if your feline friend is strictly an ‘inside cat’, then keep your wits about you when you go to open that door!

Do cats sleep with you to protect you?

A cat staring while lying in bed.

A cat staring while lying in bed.

Yes and no. Your Cat trusts you completely, otherwise, they would not sleep so close. By sleeping close to you, your cat feels safer in that they have an ‘ally’ with them to act as an extra line of defense if their home territory were to be ‘invaded’.

That said, it is certainly possible that your cat might believe that they are protecting you, we simply don’t have any way of being certain that this is the case.

Do cats always sleep in the same place?

Cats are creatures of habit. While they don’t always sleep in the same place, most cats do like to find one or more favorite places to sleep where they feel safe. A big part of it is how the place smells to your cat.

When your cat rubs against you or against furniture, they are passing along scent markers that help them to feel comfortable.

Places, where cats like to sleep, will have been heavily rubbed and marked (and will probably have a bit of shed fur scattered about in the bargain!). While they might not sleep in one single place every time, the odds are that they have 2 or 3 favorite spots and if they are sleeping then you will almost always find them in one of these spots.

Why does my cat sleep facing away from me?

Don’t take it in a bad way – when your cat sleeps facing away from you, they are paying you the highest compliment. Predators don’t make it a habit of exposing their backs to anyone or anything that they don’t trust. By sleeping facing away from you, your cat is demonstrating that you have their love and complete trust.

The same applies if your cat sleeps facing you with an exposed belly. Your feline friend is showing you that they consider you family and that they trust you with their life.

Why does my cat sit by the front door?

If your indoor-only cat has suddenly developed an interest in the front door, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are preparing to bolt. Most likely there is another cat hanging out and spraying in the yard or there may be a cat in heat nearby that they have heard which has piqued their interest.

With spraying in the yard, even though we can’t smell it, a cat’s sharpened olfactory senses will definitely pick up the scent and your cat will view this as an ‘invasion’ of their territory. If it’s a cat in heat, you will probably eventually hear them, as they get quite vocal.

Finally, it might just be that they are a little bored of the house… you can try getting them a few new toys or having some play sessions with a laser pointer to see if this behavior stops. If it does, then you have your answer!

Why does my cat stare at the doorway?

Cats get bored just like we do and the doorway, solid and opaque as it is, is still a source of entertainment. Your cat can hear sounds through it that might not register to you or I and even though it looks solid, air can and does get through and that air is going to carry interesting scents from outside.

It may be that your cat wants to go out or feels curious and it might even be that they feel threatened by what they smell outside and simply wish to be ready if anything comes through that door.

If my cat sleeps closer does that mean it trusts me?

 Yes. A cat will not sleep close to you if they do not trust you, and even if they make a habit of sleeping close to you (rather than next to you), this is still a mark of trust and over time you can bet that they are going to move closer.

Cats are predators, as we’ve mentioned before, and it goes against their instincts to sleep near a person or another animal that they don’t trust – they simply won’t do it. The fact that your cat is close shows that they love you, view you like family, and that you have their complete and utter trust.

Why does my cat guard my bedroom door?

Your cat is being vigilant for themselves and for you as well. This is a sign of affection and trust, as the odds are that in guarding that door, they are presenting their back to you – something a predator never does unless it’s with family or another animal that it trusts implicitly.

So, while their obsession with guarding the door might seem a little weird, you should be flattered.

Your cat is showing you that they love you by helping to ensure that the both of you are safe and sound in your shared home.

Lindsey Browlingdon