What Are The Meanings Of Cats’ Sleeping Positions?

Does your cat have a favorite sleeping position, or does he vary his way of sleeping often? Have you ever asked yourself, “What are the meanings of cats’ sleeping positions?

Two cats sleeping

Very often, a cat’s sleep behavior stems from social tendencies. Don’t buy into their aloof reputation too much, as they often have social connections and form strong bonds with their humans or with other pets.

Also, the cat seeks out warmth when he chooses a sleep spot. For this reason, your kitty likes to sleep close to you. Some cats, including both Pogo and Carlos, my last two cats, really enjoyed sleeping under the covers for the extra warmth.

When Carlos was the resident cat, I’d often come home to see a big lump in the middle of my bed. He’d crawl up under the covers from the floor, and work his way into the middle of the bed, stretch out, and bask in the warmth.

Cats in the wild became very observative of their surroundings, as they rank as both predator and prey. Thus, positions that protect their bodies could explain why they might sleep curled up in a ball.

Here are a few cat sleep positions decoded for you:

1.) Curled Up In A “Crescent”

The “crescent” or “curled in a ball” position is one of the most common sleeping positions for cats, as it helps kitty retain his body heat, and at the same time protects his vital organs.

I love the name “crescent” for this position. Have you read David Michie’s series on the Dalai Lama’s cat? I recommend it — a delightful creation.

In one of Mr. Michie’s books, the Dalai Lama’s cat decides to take up yoga, and she visits the yoga studio down the street to observe. That night when she goes to bed, she assumes the “croissant pose.”

2,) Baring The Belly

When a cat sleeps on his back, he can find the position so very comfortable. However, in this position, and asleep, the cat becomes most vulnerable. All those vital organs are exposed!

Loose Cat

Therefore, it makes sense that if your cat sleeps in this position around you, he trusts you a great deal. He also feels very safe.

Our black Kodiak “Loose Cat” would lie down for a nap. We’d roll him on his back so all four feet stuck up in the air. We’d stroke his stomach gently and slowly and say, “Dead cat, Lou.” He’d fall asleep right there, four feet skyward.

I’m sure the “Dead cat, Lou” was superfluous.

3) Meat Loaf Or Bread Loaf Position

This one occurs quite often among cats. Those paws disappear from view, as kitty curls them under.

She might look relaxed (as she usually does), but in this position she stays alert. Don’t underestimate her — she’s taking a little cat-nap and can spring into action at the drop of a paw.

4) A Sideways Sleeper

In this position, the cat sleeps on his side with all four legs stretched out. Though his tummy is more protected than when he’s on his back, this position creates more vulnerability for the cat.

If he sleeps near you in this position, he trusts you a great deal. He will most likely sleep lightly, ready to emerge from his nap in a hurry should the need arise.

5) Eyes At Half Mast

Does Her Majesty appear to snooze? Don’t bet on it. She operates in protective mode. She watches out for possible threats in your home.

Perhaps some strangers visit you. Maybe something new has changed a familiar routine. Your cat has a great awareness about any changes to your mutual home.

6) Paw Or Paws Covering The Eyes

Interesting, that this sleep position means the cat is in a deep sleep; do not disturb him.

The cat will cover his face unconsciously when falling into this deep sleep state. Likely, he puts paws in front of the face as a natural instinct for protection.

Don’t wake a cat up when he sleeps in this position. That deep sleep can become very important to kitty, and beside, if you wake him from a deep sleep, he may not be in too good a mood.

7) Supercat Sleep Position

This cat has the front paws stretched out in front of him and the back ones stretched out behind, and he sleeps on his stomach. If you use your imagination in viewing this position, you can see that kitty looks like Supercat in flight.

A kitty in the Supercat position is extremely relaxed. He might fall into a deep sleep in this position. Such a feline registers as comfortable, feeling very safe in his surroundings; content and relaxed. He’s pretty protected, too, as the vital organs are all underneath him.

These positions represent a partial list. Some cats act as contortionists in the positions they choose. Some cats like to sleep under the covers, or on some part of your body. Some become most contented in a cardboard box. Whatever sleep position your cat uses, you can rest assured that kitty has found a comfortable position.

What Are Cat Sleep Habits?

Cats sleep from 12 to 18 hours a day, depending on age and physical condition. Their sleep periods have evolved from the time of their wild ancestors, when they needed lots of sleep to conserve energy for hunt and chase.

Though the cat might spend 2/3 of his life sleeping, he can vary his sleep state from a light nap to a deep sleep. This light sleep often takes up about 3/4 of their sleep time. Thus, they get rest while still remaining alert and ready to pounce or run.

When in a deep sleep, your cat may dream. Since scientists believe that cats also experience REM sleep, their dreams may occur during this period.

Because a cat is crepuscular, or active at dawn and dusk, she may have to adjust to your sleep schedule. Once domesticated, the cat will more or less adjust to your sleep schedule.

I have noticed, however, that a cat often develops a case of the “Zoomies” at about the time you want to go to sleep. That’s okay, though — once kitty’s used up that spurt of energy, she may become more interested in joining you in bed.

Snowy or rainy days can make a cat sleepy. How well I understand that one! We might nap together.

Also, as your cat ages, she may wish to nap more. Another factor: Perhaps kitty suffers from boredom and finds naps the easiest way to get through the day.

Don’t become alarmed, however, by how much your cat sleeps. He’s meant to get lots of sleep, and all that rest helps keep him in good health. So, when he goes off for a snooze, wish him sweet dreams

References I used for this post:


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