Cats love to sleep! Most cats sleep for up to 16 hours per day. Some people might think that all cats curl up in a ball when they sleep, but that’s not always the case.
Do you know what your sleeping cat is saying with her sleep position?
Cat sleeping positions and locations all have a special meaning. We’re here to help you decode the different positions. It all has a lot to do with their belly!
Read on for tips on understanding your cat’s sleeping positions.
Common Cat Sleeping Positions
Curled Up in a Ball
Cats curled up in a ball is one of the most common cat sleeping positions. The cat will curl up tight with its head tucked in, paws underneath its head and body forming a circle.
You are most likely to see this position on a cold night when in a deep sleep.
In nature, this position also protects the cat’s vital organs. A cat is unguarded when sleeping and laying this way protects their more vulnerable organs from predators.
By far one of the cutest sleeping positions, this is when your cat will resemble a loaf of bread. The cat will lay upright with its head up and its paws tucked underneath its body.
This upright position allows him to immediately react to any danger or sudden noise with a moment’s notice and instantly jump up. The cat loaf position also keeps their belly warm and protects their organs while vulnerable sitting upright.
The sideways cat sleeping position involves your cat laying on one side with its legs stretched out straight.
Sleeping on their side is also more common when your cat if feeling hot as it also allows cool air onto their stomach.
Belly Up Position
In this position, the cat is laying on its back with its belly in the air. A cat will only sleep in this position when it feels comfortable and safe. A cat’s belly exposes its most vulnerable organs.
So the belly up position shows that your cat is not worried about being attacked in its sleep.
You may startle the sleeping cat and their natural instinct may be to scratch or bite you. This position also allows cool air onto the belly on a hot night.
Eyes Half Shut
Sometimes cats will sleep with their eyes half open. Amazingly, this allows them to watch out for predators while the other half of your cat’s brain technically remains asleep and gains necessary rest. This is know as unihemispheric slow wave sleep.
If your cat is sleeping but half remains awake, they may be worried about something attacking them. This may be visible if your cat is sleeping with its eyes open.
While the purpose of this bonus eyelid is not known for sure, it is suspected to protect the eyes from irritants and dryness while they sleep with their eyes half shut.
Front Paws Covering Face
Cats may sleep with their paw over their face unconsciously. Adorable!
The cat’s body language is saying that it wants to be left alone. This position may also be like a cat sleeping mask, using their paw to block out any bright lights.
In this position, your cat lies on its belly with its front paws stretched out in front and its back paws stretched out behind it.
This is a very relaxed and comfortable position. This is commonly seen if your cat is lying in the sun in a deep sleep.
Weirdest Cat Sleeping Positions
Sometimes you may find your cat sleeping in odd, contortionist sleeping positions. Positions so strange you couldn’t possibly name them! Your cat may have its head twisted one way, its legs sticking out the other way and its body half hanging off the lounge.
Cats are very flexible. Their vertebrae disks are elastic and their shoulder blades are attached quite loosely. This allows them to easily twist and turn their bodies.
A cat sleeping at a strange angle is purely for comfort. While it looks uncomfortable to us, it must be comfortable for your cat!
Near You or Other Pets
Your cat may choose to fall asleep next to you or even of your lap. Or your cat may fall asleep right up against your other pets – whether that be other cats or even the dog.
This shows that the cat trusts and feels safe with the person or animal it is laying near. It is also a way to show affection.
Whether it is a cat bed, a box, or under a piece of furniture, your cat likely feels more comfortable and safe when sleeping in an area that he can fully enclose himself in.
Cats usually sleep on the ground or somewhere low down. However, you may sometimes find them snoozing high up on furniture or long thin surfaces.
This may be on the back of your lounge, on the top of a bookshelf or along a staircase banister.
This position keeps them safe from predators (aka. the family dog) and gives them a good view from high up. It allows them to see who is coming and overlook their kingdom.
Under the Covers
Have you ever lost your cat then found him sleeping under the covers of your bed? Or under a throw rug on the lounge?
Some cats will sleep under blankets. This helps keep them warm and also surrounds them with a comforting, familiar scent.
If your cat is prone to tucking himself in, be careful you don’t accidentally sit on and injure him!
Your cat may go somewhere hidden to sleep – a cardboard box, under your bed, behind the lounge.
So they may choose this sleeping position when they feel threatened. It may not be a life-or-death threat. Sometimes your cat may just want to not be disturbed by your children or other pets.
In the Litter Box
It is rare for a cat to genuinely enjoy sleeping in the litter box. It is usually a symptom of digestive or urinary issues. If you see this occur, take your cat to the vet for a check up.
If a cat is in a very small environment with minimal space to sleep or hide, it may choose to sleep in the litter box due to limited options. This is mostly seen in animal shelters and in newly adopted cats.
Cat Sleeping Position Conclusion
Your cats sleeping position can tell you a lot about how your cat is feeling. Common cat sleeping positions and locations can tell you if your cat is feeling safe, vulnerable, comfortable, warm, cold, unwell or just needing some alone time.
Next time you watch your cats sleep, take note of their different sleeping positions and get to know them better.
Photos from Pixabay and Unsplash