Why Cats Crave Full-Body Contact

Hangai Lilla

2024. June 29 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Do you know the moment we’re talking about? When you’re stretched out on the couch or bed, and your purring feline friend seems to have a special radar, immediately showing up to snuggle against you or lie beside you. They do it so they can touch you with their entire body.


In the following, we’ll uncover why a cat needs this form of physical contact. Spoiler alert: it’s one of the cutest things cats do and another proof that they feel just as deeply for their owners as dogs do.

This cat kills two birds with one stone

Why does your cat long for this type of physical contact?

Cats’ body temperature averages between 38.3-39°C, which makes them constantly seek warm places to maintain this temperature. That’s why they suffer less in summer despite their fur and why they often lie in sunlit spots in the house. And that’s why they lie on you too. The body heat of a beloved person is very precious to a cat. However, when your cat lies on you, it’s more than just a desire for warmth. If they didn’t trust and love you, they wouldn’t lie on you.

And here’s the other reason: your cat craves full-body contact because you provide them with a sense of security. Watch any wildlife documentary, and you’ll see lions and wolves snuggling and huddling together with their family members. This strengthens the bond between them and enhances their sense of security. Full-body contact is thus one of the sweetest things your cat can gift you, a profound love message that says: you calm me, I trust you, you make me feel safe.

Can’t be close enough

What if your cat just watches you instead of cuddling?

As you know, no two cats are alike. Some cats, due to past traumas or simply their personalities, are content just being near you and observing what you’re doing. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as your feline friend seems healthy otherwise. If they are not aggressive when you try to interact with them, don’t spend most of their time hiding, and have a healthy appetite.

If your cat suddenly becomes distant after being a snuggly kitty, it might be worth a visit to the vet. It could be due to their age, but there could also be an underlying health issue.

cat loves the warmth cat owner relationship happy cat

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