Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)/Sleeping on me

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Question
Hi Melissa,
I recently got a  female kitten (was told the owners of the mother estimated the age to be 8 weeks old) and I was wondering if its typical of kittens this young to sleep ON their new human. She doesn't sleep near me or beside me, but right on my back or stomach. Its not overly annoying, just a bit concerning as I tend to roll around a lot at night and I'm a bit concerned about rolling on her.
Is there some way to encourage her to sleep on a pillow on the bed, a safe distance from me? Or do I need to completely ban her from my bedroom until she's older?

Thank you very much!

Answer
This is simply her way of claiming/accepting you. There is nothing wrong with the picture unless it is bothersome to you. I would recommend getting her her own bed with stuffed animals to give her the feeling that she's not alone and encourage her to sleep in that instead. It will not be an overnight process as she will feel lonely getting used to other accomodations. It's very similar to a baby getting used to the first time sleeping in it's own room.  

Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)

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Melissa Burg, RVT/Behavior Consultant

Expertise

I have experience dealing with different cat behavior signs, including separation anxiety, possible aggression and the difference between fear aggression and actual aggression, this would include possible feral cats. I also am familiar with the several different approaches to introducing a new cat to the environment as well as how each cat or cat and dog and live comfortable and dealing with litter box issues and help you decide if the problem is medical or behavioral.

Experience

My experience began with my own cats and escalated while working with area animal shelters for the past 10 years. I was able to watch and learn how the cats would react to different stimulus and each other. My experience grew during college and became able to distinguish between medical and behavior issues.

Publications
"Pawfect Pets," a weekly column in my local newspaper with pet health and behavior and training tips.

Education/Credentials
I graduated with an Associate's in Veterinary Technology in 2009 and became RVT in the state of Iowa in 2012 with a focus on Behavior.

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