Common Cat Sleeping Positions & What They Mean

cat sleeping positions

February 5, 2022

If you are a pet parent and share a home with cute felines, you know firsthand about the weird and wacky sleeping positions they do. The various different cat sleeping positions can give you a glimpse into what your four-legged friend may be thinking or feeling. When a pet sleeps, it doesn’t just rest. Through a certain position, a feline conveys its mood and feelings: fear, security, depression, or, conversely, relaxation. Learning about every sleeping position will help you ensure that you and your furkid share an amicable living environment.

We’ve rounded up the list that breaks down the most common cat sleeping positions. Each unfolds the peculiarities of the cat sleeping body language.

Cat Sleeping Positions and Their Meanings

The fact that cats spend most of their lives sleeping is no secret to cat owners. Actually, more than half of cats sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day, and nearly 40% of cats sleep more than 18 hours per day. For their sleep, cats choose standard positions, for instance, curled up in a ball or on their side/back, but sometimes they can be caught in unique places and uncomfortable positions. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the most popular sleeping poses and explain what they say about your kitties.

Curled up Cat Sleeping Position

curled up sleeping cat position
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Undoubtedly, most cats sleep curled in a ball, regardless of the time of year. But why do cats sleep in a ball? The most obvious reason is to conserve heat, as a cat maintains a comfortable body temperature with low energy expenditure. Besides, this sleeping pose indicates the cat’s desire for safety, which is dictated by the survival instinct. On top of that, most felines in shelters and rescues sleep in this position because it allows them to calm down, reduce accumulated stress, and feel confident.

Belly-up Position

Have you ever spotted your cat sleeping on its back? You should feel extremely honored because your pet demonstrates that it feels comfortable and cozy. Carelessly lounging and exposing the most defenseless part of the body – the stomach, the cat shows boundless trust in you and the environment, calmness, and confidence that nothing threatens its life.

Loaf (Sphinx) Position

sphinx loaf cat laying down
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Named after a loaf of bread (because a sleeping feline resembles it and looks adorable), this position is definitely the most liked and shareable on social media as it looks extra cute. A cat sits upright with its eyes closed, tucks its paws under the body, and curls its tail around it. Some people say that your cat tucks its paws underneath it because it feels content and safe, plus it keeps body heat from escaping. Besides, by sleeping this way, your four-legged buddy demonstrates a laid-back but attentive attitude. Therefore, the cat is snoozing and enjoying its life but is ready to spring into action if needed.

Side Sleeper Position

side sleeping cat
Photo by infoxicated on Unsplash

A sideways sleeper is one of the most comfortable cat’s positions. By stretching its legs out in front, a cat enters a state of deep sleep. This sleeping pose signifies that your kitty feels safe and secure at home and shares a strong bond with you. During deep sleep, cats, like humans, see dreams. If you see your pet’s whiskers or paws twitching while sleeping, your furry friend is most likely having a dream at this time.

Paw Across the Face Position

paw across the face cat
Photo by Ludemeula Fernandes on Unsplash

If you see your kitty in this position, rest assured that this is a definite do not disturb sign. A cat puts its paws across the face unconsciously when it is in deep sleep or when it wants to block out bright lights that prevent it from sleeping.

Bottom Line for Cat Sleeping Positions

Thus, different cat sleeping positions will say much about your cat’s emotional and physical well-being. We mentioned the most common cat sleeping positions, but there are more unique sleeping poses that kitties sometimes choose. For instance, the position inside or under something, sleeping on other pets, sleeping next to their pet parents, and near the owners’ feet.

In addition to the sleeping position, you should pay attention to the feline’s ears and tails. If the ears are moving around, it may mean that your kitty is keeping alert for sounds of a threat. If a tail is twitching, it may mean that a feline is not at ease. Understanding the reasons behind the cat’s sleep behavior will help you not only become the best pet parent but also notice changes in the cat’s health and contact the veterinarian on time.

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Featured image by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

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