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Cats Sleeping Positions: What Do They Mean?

4 min read

You’ve probably seen your feline friend resting peacefully in lots of different positions, but did you know that cat sleeping positions have meaning behind them? From being stretched out with their bellies exposed, to curled up in a cat loaf, it’s easy to wonder why they’re sleeping like that, and we have the answers for you!  

Whether they’re fans of their cat bed, or prefer the luxury of a sofa, we’ve listed all the cat sleeping positions for you here so you know what to expect at each stage of their sleep. 


Top 10 Cat sleeping positions and what they mean 

We want you to understand your feline friend as much as possible, so we have put together a list of the top cat sleeping positions and what they mean, so you can understand how your cat is feeling when you catch them mid sleep!  

1. The Loaf

The cat loaf is a sleeping position you will see many cats adopt. It quite simply looks like a loaf of bread, except it’s your cat that resembles the loaf! Your cat will keep their front paws curled underneath the body. If you catch your cat sleeping in the loaf position, know that they are relaxed, but are ready to spring into action if needed.  

2. Belly Up

If you have a furry friend that loves a good belly rub, then you may have seen them sprawled out on their bed of choice, on their back, exposing their stomach. This sleeping position for a cat, would leave them extremely vulnerable in the wild, so if your pet tends to choose to sleep in the belly-up position, then this means they feel incredibly comfortable and safe around you. 

3. Eyes Half Shut

From time to time, you may have noticed that your cat looks as though they are squinting or, just about to fall asleep, with their eyes half-closed. If your cat is sleeping in this position, it may be because they feel they are in an environment where they need to be able to act quickly, as they don’t want to be met with any potential threats at the last minute.  

4. Curled Up

This cat sleeping position is the most common, and is also known as the crescent. The reason why most cats tend to sleep curled up is to protect themselves while maximising body warmth. If you notice your feline friend sleeping in this position, they may be feeling a bit chilly, or it may be a sign that they are feeling a little vulnerable, and sleeping in such a position helps them feel more secure and safe. 

5. Side Sleeping

This sleeping position is one of the most comfortable for our furry friends. When your cat is spread out on their side, they are often in a deep sleep. If your cat is an avid side sleeper, then this means that they really do trust and feel comfortable around you, as this is one of the cat sleeping positions that leaves your feline friend most vulnerable.  

6. The Acrobat

This is a sleeping position that may appear incredibly uncomfortable, but it’s quite the opposite. There isn’t any real reason why cats choose to sleep like this, the only thing we can assume is that it is comfortable, as many tend to sleep in this position. If you see your cat sleeping with its back and front legs pointing different ways, and head twisted around, know that they aren’t in any pain, but quite the opposite!  

7. Hiding Their Face

You may have noticed your cat sleeping with their face covered, it looks adorable at first glance, but there are a few reasons behind this sleep position. If they appear to just be covering their eyes, then this may be because they are trying to keep their nose warm, and are blocking the light from their eyes, so that it is nice and dark.  

But, if they appear to have their head buried into their arms, then this is a sign that your cat doesn’t want to be disturbed, and wants to be left in peace to enjoy their nap.  

8. Up-right Seated Position

Some cats sleep like old men, in an upright seated position. Some may have their tail hanging between their legs in this position, others may have it wrapped round their paws, and they may have their tummies exposed. However, even though many cats choose to sleep like this, they won’t stay in this position for any longer than 20 minutes. The up-right seated cat sleeping position is one of those “ready for anything” sleeping positions.  

9. Superman

The superman can be a bit of a comical sleeping position, especially if you have a particularly furry feline friend. This cat sleeping position is when your pet is stretched out, whilst laying flat on their belly, with their paws stretched out too. This is another deep sleep position and also shows that they are very relaxed.  

10. Tucked In

Many cats like to sleep in the comfort of blankets, beds, cushions and throws. So, don’t be surprised if you find that your cat has managed to squeeze its way under your duvet to have a nap. This sleeping position is a body heat maximiser, and a position that comes naturally to many cats, as their natural instinct is to find somewhere safe and secluded to sleep.  

Why are there different cat sleeping positions?  

Just like us humans, cats like to change how they sleep from time to time, they may have become uncomfortable, or just want to adjust themselves. However, there are some weird and wonderful ways that our feline friends sleep.  

There are also natural instincts that are at play when it comes to different cat sleep positions. Cats do have social connections with their owners, and seek out warmth from body heat when they are sleeping, this is why they may sometimes choose to cosy up next to you, or sit on your lap when they decide to go for a nap.  

In other cases, their natural roots come into show. Cats historically, are natural predators, so they need to make sure they are paying close attention to their surroundings, and as a result of this, they may choose a ‘ready for anything’ sleeping position.  

Cat sleeping habits 

Cats are most active at night time, and tend to sleep most throughout the day. Of course that doesn’t mean they won’t wander outside from time to time in the daylight. So are cats nocturnal? Actually they are crepuscular, meaning they are particularly active at twilight. 

During their most active stage in the evenings, your cat may expend a lot of energy patrolling their territory or hunting. So, if you wonder why your cat naps a lot throughout the day, it is because they are getting all their energy back for the night ahead.  

There are many different cat sleeping positions, and you may even find that some cats like to sleep in drawers, cardboard boxes, bags and even pillowcases. It’s safe to say that it is best to check inside things before closing them and using them. Being able to understand what your cat is feeling when they are sleeping gives you a better understanding of your cat’s body language.  

Now that you know all about cat sleeping positions and what they mean, why not check out our article on cat proofing your garden, for when your feline friend goes about their night time antics, next.