Cats spend a lot of time sleeping, so it makes sense that they would seek out the most comfortable place to do so. While they might be more inclined to sleep in your bed than on a sunny window ledge, you can rest assured that they’ve given every napping spot in the house a try before selecting one.
While it may seem like your cat is following some sort of inner cat compass, there are a few reasons why they choose certain spots for sleep. First and foremost, they need to feel safe, which is why they’ll often opt for a hiding spot with a view over their territory and escape routes in case a predator wanders by. This is also why they tend to pick spots that are off the ground — their great-grandparents slept this way in order to stay safe from prey.
Another reason why your cat might choose to sleep near you at night is that they’re at their most vulnerable while sleeping, and the warm body heat from you can help them feel secure. They’ll probably sleep closer to your feet than your head, as this will reduce their body heat loss while still keeping them close.
As for that affectionate head-bumping you might notice during these cozy encounters, it’s actually a way for them to exchange their scent with family members (it’s called ‘head bunting’). While many people think that this is a form of aggression, it’s really a means for your cat to bond with you.