22 Cats Sleeping Positions Meaning You Need To Know

22 Cats Sleeping Positions Meaning You Need To Know

Cats can sleep up to 15 hours a day or even more as they age. You’ve probably discovered your cat sleeping in funny positions, some of which may be pretty unusual. Your cat sleeping in weird angles tells a lot about your cat and its current state.

Social tendencies influence much of a cat’s sleeping pattern. Despite their reputation for being aloof, cats may build social relationships and attachments with pet owners and other pets. While sleeping, they also seek warmth from body heat. That is why cats sleep on you, next to you, or with another home pet.

With some knowledge, you can decipher your cat’s sleeping positions and learn what they reveal about your cat’s mental state. Here are 22 cat sleeping positions and what they usually represent.

Cats Sleeping Positions

1. Superman’s Pose

The cat lies on its belly in the Superman position. Like Superman in flight, your cat stretches forward their front legs and paws while its back legs and feet are behind them, also extended. Cats in this stance can be comfortable, but all claws are still extended and ready for action. They also have the benefit of shielding their delicate bellies. Lying on something warm, like a fluffy blanket, can also aid body heat conservation. Cats may lie on a hardwood floor or some tiles to cool down if the weather is hot or the heating is on.

2. Perched on Furniture

It may look dangerous when a cat sleeps perched on furniture like the couch, armchair, or fridge. This resting position has some advantages for your cat. For one thing, sleeping cats feel protected from prospective predators due to their elevated vantage point. They consider dogs, children, or even unexpected visitors in your house as predators or disturbers of their sleep. A perched resting position also provides your cat with a panoramic vision to keep an eye on prospective prey as a predator. The “prey” in your home will most likely be toys or other pets rather than mice or squirrels, but the motive for your cat remains the same.

3. Uncomfortable Angles

Your cat sometimes appears to be a true contortionist, with its legs jutting out in all directions, its limbs and part of its body hanging off the sofa, and its head can be pretty twisted. Cats usually sleep in unusual and uncomfortable-looking poses. However, unlike dogs, cats are incredibly flexible, so a resting position that appears unpleasant may be pretty comfy for your cat. Cats’ spinal discs are elastic, allowing them to twist their bodies into unique shapes. A cat’s shoulder blade is also very loosely attached, providing them with an extensive range of motion at the shoulder joint. 

4. While Sitting

It’s adorable when cats sit up like they’re trying to imitate a person, but they’re showing confidence in their surroundings. Their bellies are exposed when cats sleep in a sitting position, indicating they are not in danger. In addition to this benefit, being upright makes it easier for cats to clean their stomachs in the time between periods of sleep. Cats who sleep in a sitting position may do so to give their back muscles some much-needed TLC.

5. Pressing the Head

Some cats sleep uniquely, sinking their heads into the ground in front of them. They may lie on a blanket in the cat loaf stance, but they bury their face in the fabric. Sometimes, this is only an additional technique for blocking out the light. It’s also possible that your ill cat favors this particular resting posture when it’s not feeling well. If this is how your cat usually sleeps, you should check with your vet to see if this is a normal sleeping position for cats.

6. Dangling on the Precipice

Cats frequently perch on long, thin surfaces such as the edge of a couch, a balcony railing, or a stairwell rail. When they are awake, this makes sense because they enjoy climbing and have excellent balance.

It’s astounding to see cats sleeping in such situations. To begin, how do they know they won’t slip off? How can this possibly be comfortable? Cats sleeping on the edge of cliff-like setups frequently dangle their paws over each end. When a cat sleeps in this position, it indicates that it wishes to watch its surroundings.

7. Curled Up Into a Ball

Many cats prefer to sleep curled in tight balls. They would have their tails close to their bodies and their heads on their front paws. This stance makes cats harder to notice in the wild and keeps them warmer. The curl is also much easier to jump from; if your cat hears a noise, it can open its eyes and look. However, this is a preferred, comfortable napping position for most cats. Your cat might place its paw over its eye to block off the light when she’s sleeping like this. When your cat senses your arrival, she may change her resting position to a tightly curled ball with her belly barely exposed. That can be your cat’s way of saying it’s glad you’re nearby and welcome to pet them softly.

8. Belly Up!

Your cat probably sleeps on its back, either with its front legs on its tummy or stretched out over its head, leaving its belly uncovered utterly. You’ve probably seen this position before. Because cats have the instinct to protect their delicate organs, the fact that they can relax with their bellies exposed reveals that they are incredibly secure and confident. Even if you think your cat is in a safe position, you should avoid touching its stomach when they are in this position as a general rule. In most cats, when people feel their bellies, they might instinctively attempt to defend themselves by biting, swatting, or scratching.

9. Within a Box

Cats, like prey animals, require a location to hide from their predators. This desire is why cats appear to enjoy jumping into empty cardboard boxes. Boxes also provide security and warmth for your cat, similar to how camping tents do for humans while giving an easy exit in an emergency. When cats strive to squeeze into a box that appears too tiny, they seek security. This behavior is similar to how an infant feels when swaddled.

10. In the Litterbox

There is frequently a medical reason for your cat resting or reclining in its litter box, such as urinary or digestive disorders. So, if your cat starts sleeping, resting, or lying in their litter box, call your veterinarian immediately. This situation could suggest a dramatic deterioration in your cat’s health. Some cats prefer sleeping in the litter box. In some cases, cats nap in the litter box because there are few places to hide or sleep, such as a cat in an animal shelter.

11. With Open or Half-Open Eyes

Cats can sleep with their eyes open or closed. You can sometimes view your cat’s eyes enough to watch rapid eye movement (REM) slumber. Humans (and probably cats) dream during the REM state of sleep. When a cat is sleeping, you can see a translucent third eyelid which you can find between the other eyelids. This eyelid protects the eye from irritants and from becoming dry. Though sleeping with your eyes open is common for cats, you should ensure there isn’t a medical reason for it. You’ll need to see the vet if you notice eye problems such as eye swelling or discharge,  Squinting, Pawing at the eye, or having the third eyelid visible while your cat awakens.

12. Sleeping on the side

Your cat may be trying to cool off when you see him sleeping on his side, with most of his torso resting on the ground. 5 If you’re outside during the day, he may find a shady spot on the pavement and lie down in this manner to reduce his core body temperature. When cats get too hot, they may lie down like this on the tile in your home. You will see this rather frequently. Make sure there is plenty of water available for your cat, and if it is hot in the house, you may want to try turning down the air conditioning.

13. Resting on Your Chest

There are numerous reasons why your cat may sleep on your chest. If your cat is attached, it may lie on your chest to be close to you. Your cat may also prefer to lie on your chest. They probably want closer to your mouth since they find your voice calming. In addition, as the sound of a heartbeat may relax a child, the sound of your heart and the regular motion of your breathing can calm your cat. Sleeping on your chest provides your cat with an excellent body heat source.

14. They’re Right Beside You

Sleeping next to you but not on you does not imply that your cat is not attached to you. Resting next to you indicates that your cat trusts you enough to sleep in a vulnerable posture. Some cats dislike sleeping on top of their owners because they prefer the security of a little buffer zone. This sleeping position is their way of communicating that they are attached to you yet require a little extra space, at least for the time being.

15. They’re On Your Headspace 

Sleeping very close to your head may be your cat seeking a peaceful place to slumber. After all, when you lie down, your head usually rests on a comfortable cushion. Because your head moves less than the rest of your body as you sleep, your cat is less bothered. Also, because many cats (however loosely) adapt to your sleep routine, your cat may want to be close to you and sleep when you do. When you sleep near your head, your cat has easy access to you. A cat near your head can reach out to you and wake you for food, attention, or other requirements.

16. By Your Feet

If a cat chooses to sleep at your feet, it will not only keep your feet warm but will also likely seek warmth from you. Your cat can be physically close to you by sleeping close to or on your feet. This setup also gives them peace of mind knowing they have a short escape route while sleeping close to the foot of the bed, couch, or chair.

17. On The Space Between Your Legs

It may be uncomfortable for you when your cat lies between your legs, but this position is relatively healthy for your cat. Your cat can sleep near you, and the space between your legs offers a warm, snug, and nest-like environment for your cat to rest. On the other hand, your cat takes comfort in the fact that there is a straightforward means of evasion.

18. Paws Over the Eyes

Even though it’s cute when your cat sleeps with their paws over their eyes, there’s a pretty good explanation for why they do it. The paws and the face can benefit from additional insulation and warmth if they cover their faces with their paws. Cats use their paws as makeshift sleeping masks by blocking out intense light and other allergens such as dust or pollen.

19. On a Cat Pile

Two cats napping curled up together are lovely. They may do this when they are cold. However, both cats may love and trust each other if they sleep close together. If your cat sleeps in your lap during the day or on your chest or legs at night, you’re a lucky cat owner! This behavior is a symbol of affection and trust. Cats are also more prone to seek out your body heat when it’s cold. You may notice your cat snuggling closer to you if you keep your house cooler at night.

20. With a Fluffy Dog

Even though they are not natural adversaries, some cats and dogs have a predator-prey relationship. As a result, you should introduce a dog and a cat very slowly, cautiously, and under supervision. Cats, like humans and other cats, can occasionally form friendships with dogs. Dogs and cats will sleep together for company, warmth, and comfort in certain instances.

21. Like a Loaf of Bread

This sleeping cat position is when your cat sleeps like a loaf of bread. Cats in this pose sleep with their front paws tucked underneath their bodies and their heads up. This stance keeps a cat’s body warm and protects its essential organs. Cats in the loaf stance are comfortable but ready to spring into action and use their claws if someone or something threatens them unexpectedly. Cats suffering from illness or pain may take on this position, so you must be extra alert when you see your cat like this.

22. Being Tucked In

If your cat prefers to sleep beneath the covers, they likely like your scent’s warmth, familiarity, and comfort. Cats can be susceptible to noise, and the coverings provide a respite from potentially unpleasant stimuli. Furthermore, some cats appreciate the security of being wrapped or swaddled in a blanket. While cats tucking themselves beneath covers or sheets makes them feel safe, please keep track of where your cat is, so you don’t sit on them and damage them. Check that the material where your cat tucked itself is breathable.

Final Thoughts

Cats are said to spend up to 70% of their lives sleeping. As we now know, sleep can range from a brief snooze to a deep slumber. Digesting their high-protein diet is one of the most important reasons they require so much sleep. While sleeping, cats adopt a variety of positions. There is frequent meaning to those stances, and understanding can help you be the best possible cat parent to your favorite kitty.

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