If you’re a cat parent, you’ve probably seen your cat sitting like a human on several occasions. And if not, then you probably saw a meme or two on the internet of a cat leaning against the wall like an old man, with her little paws in front of her, as if she was supposed to be holding something. Little weirdo!
Our feline friends are famous for displaying a wide array of weird behaviors. Their quirky ways often leave us bewildered and with question marks above our heads. Especially when they’re doing something not so cat-like. Like lounging on the couch in front of the TV, sitting just like we do sometimes.
I love it when my cat does this. I think she looks silly and adorable (as she always does, anyway). But I can’t help but wonder if that’s okay or not. Is she in pain?
Sometimes I wonder if there will ever come a day when I’ll stop wondering about the meaning of my cat’s strange nature. Will I come to the point when I could safely say, “Okay! I finally understand everything.” For some reason, I’m not that positive about it. I believe my fluffball’s life mission is to confuse me.
I believe you know exactly how I feel, and I’m sure your little furry bundle of joy is also guilty of this weird human-like sitting position. So, if you wish to unravel the meaning behind it, this is the exact article you need!
Let’s cut through the fluff and see why in fact is your cat sitting like a human.
Why is your cat sitting like a human?
Cats are famous for getting themselves in all kinds of odd positions. They can be curled up in a fluffy ball, or be in their famous loaf position. Their paws can be politely crossed in front of them, or they can be lying on the couch, appearing to be a veritable contortionist with their legs sticking out in all directions.
Most of the time they look as if they are liquid – they fit purrfectly inside basically anything, as long as their whiskers are able to fit through. Their life motto sure is, “If it fits, I sits!”
It’s like nothing is impossible for our furry friends. Any position is doable and normal in the feline world, no matter how weird it appears to us. So, it would be best if we just simply get used to their peculiarities and quirky bodily positions.
But a sight of a cat sitting like a human? I’m sure that’s the one position that makes everyone go nuts! Every cat parent in this world is surely laughing his head off while simultaneously wrecking his brain trying to put two and two together.
“Why on earth is my cat sitting like a human?!” is a question that goes through everyone’s head, and we’re about to answer it right meow!
1. Your cat is copying you
I always thought my cat was mimicking me whenever I would catch her sitting on her bottom with her back upright. I’ve found it hilarious and silly, and would even make fun of her by telling her that she needs to straighten her back if she wants to be a proper lady.
Even though it was funny, I thought there was more to it than simple copying. You know how cats are – there’s always more to the story.
But actually, I wasn’t far from the truth. When cats do sit like their owners they are usually copying them. There are not many scientific proofs for this, but the evidence is there – in the abundant experience of our fellow cat parents (and some studies, too. It’s not like we’re completely unscientific here!).
If your cat is sitting like a human, there’s a high possibility she has memorized you in that exact position. She paid close attention to how exactly you do that and after some time decided to try it for herself. It’s actually quite cute and flattering she wants to be just like you in some ways.
2. She is self-grooming
Cats are known to be meticulous self-groomers. You would probably never catch your cat being unrepresentable or smelling funky. If you do, then that’s a sign that something might be wrong with her.
Their personal hygiene is their top priority, and they usually spend up to 5 hours licking themselves with their sandpaper-like tongue, trying to remove all the dirt and debris from their flawless fluff. And for the most part, they will stop at nothing to achieve purrfection.
To make sure they don’t miss a single spot, they have to contort their bodies in all kinds of weird positions.
One of the best ways for your kitty to reach her belly and private parts is to sit like a human. With her bottom on the ground and her hind legs up in the sky, there’s no way she’ll fail to lick everything.
You would probably find it hard to reach your stomach with your tongue, but for your little flexy feline friend it’s as easy as pie!
So, if you catch your cat sitting like a human, there’s a high chance you just interrupted her in the middle of her grooming session.
3. Sitting like a human is a sign of trust
Another reason why you might notice your cat sitting like a human is linked to trust. How’s that you may ask?
Well, the belly is a very vulnerable and sensitive body part for any cat and a human-like sitting position exposes it to a great extent. Several vital organs lie beneath the skin of cats’ tummies, and any damage to them could be fatal. Therefore, they’re usually guarding that area pretty fiercely.
I know this from my personal experience. My cats don’t like when I touch their stomach (without prior consultation with them). On several occasions, my hands have been scratched to the point of bleeding, actually. I’ve learned the harder way what a big no-no is for my cats.
Also, sitting like a human makes it harder for them to flee from any potential danger. Even though our frisky felines are avid predators of rodents, squirrels, and birds, they are the prey of some larger animals. Therefore, they rarely put themselves into positions that are challenging to get out of immediately.
So, if you see your cat sitting like a human in your presence, that means she feels safe and completely trusts you. Take it as a compliment, for sure!
4. It’s comfy!
Many cat parents, when they see their cat sitting like a human, automatically assume they’re uncomfortable. I guess it’s because they look very odd in that position since their bodies are nothing like ours.
However, cats actually feel pretty comfortable sitting like that. There’s a reason why they do the things they do, and why they choose to sit in positions they choose. Those reasons depend on many factors like temperature, emotional and mental state, and what generally feels good.
For example, if it’s too cold, most cats will sit curled up in a ball, next to a warm fireplace if possible. If they are stressed for whatever reason, they will probably choose to stand, alerted and scared, ready to flee anytime.
Also, almost every cat has her favorite position, the one she returns to always. Just like we humans do, right? Some of us probably enjoy falling asleep lying on our stomachs. During the night, we obviously change several positions, like lying on our sides or on our backs.
But, when we eventually return to our go-to one, the one that makes us go, “Yeah, that’s the one!” in the middle of the night, sleeping somehow becomes ten times better.
If we also add to the equation the turning of the pillow to the cooler side and sticking one leg out for perfect temperature achievement, a good night’s sleep is guaranteed.
Similar things happen to your kitty, too! She could be changing her positions as many times as she wants, but there will always be the ultimate favorite one she will keep returning to.
So, there’s no need to worry about her being comfortable or not. Your cat sitting like a human might be a position she simply enjoys at the moment.
5. Your cat is just seeking attention
It’s no secret that cats know the way to our hearts. Whether it be an adorable meow or a therapeutic purr, a sweet head rub against our arm, or an irresistible dilated-pupils kind of look, our fluffs know precisely how to capture our attention every time.
Admit it! When you catch your cat sitting like a human, you immediately stop whatever you’re doing, and you dedicate your whole being solely to her. I’m sure there are hundreds of pictures in your phone’s gallery of your kitty in an upright position.
Your cat is very clever; she probably noticed you adore it when she sits like a human. She has you wrapped around her little paws and know that, in order to get some yummy treats or couch cuddles, all she has to do is to sit like a human.
So, you can be sure that your cat sitting like a human is probably her way to manipulate you to get what she wants. Pretty smart if you ask me!
6. Your cat is sitting like a human to cool down
It’s true! Even cats get hot sometimes. Even though we usually assume they love to spend their time sunbathing, it can still be a tad bit too much warmth for them. They need their body to be at an optimal temperature, so they don’t overheat or get heatstroke.
Sitting like a human is a great way for your cat to cool down if she’s feeling too toasty. This is because her belly is not pressed to the ground or tucked behind her paws but actually facing upwards. That way, the air can freely reach your kitty’s belly and cool her down at least to some degree.
So, next time you see your cat sitting like a human, especially in a cold and shadowy area of your home, just know she’s trying to cool herself down. Maybe you could consider helping her. A feline royalty like herself deserves proper treatment, for sure.
7. She wants belly rubs (or does she?)
This last reason is a pretty conflicting one. We have already mentioned that the belly is a vulnerable area for every cat. And not every feline enjoys their bellies being touched.
You might be thinking, “Oh look! My kitty is showing me her belly. I’ve read the other day on my favorite website Cats Chef that this is a sign of trust. I’m going to rub her sweet tummy to show that I’m flattered.” But, you might end up with bite marks on your hands.
No matter how much your cat trusts you, she might still not enjoy belly rubs. Or she might. Finding out if she does is a trial and error and unfortunately, there’s no way for me to tell you what to do.
So, if you see your cat sitting like a human, it might mean she’s inviting you to pet the forbidden area (a.k.a. her belly). But don’t be surprised if she proves you wrong. And don’t blame me, please. I’m also trying to shed the light on my kitty’s love for belly rubs (or the lack thereof).
What other human behaviors do cats take on?
Many proofs indicate that our fluffballs see us as their role models. In so many ways they are imitating us, not just in the way they sometimes sit.
For example, cats are crepuscular creatures by nature. That means that they usually save their energy during the day and spend most of it at dusk and dawn. However, some indoor cats, due to spending a large amount of time with their hoomans, have appropriated diurnal routines.
This means that they are sleeping for the majority of the night and waking up in the morning. This kind of sleeping pattern isn’t a part of their nature, but rather something they picked up by living with humans for so long.
Some studies suggest that cats are able to “connect” our body parts to their own. They are well aware that their front paws are comparable to our hands, their hind paws to our legs, and that our heads are fairly similar. That’s why they high-five us with their front paws instead of their hind ones, for example.
Other human behaviors cats took on can be the way of eating food or the time they go to the bathroom. Somehow you always felt there has to be a reason why your cat always wants to use her litter box at the same time you’re sitting on the toilet seat.
Now we all know why we call a person who imitates another person’s way of behaving or dressing a copycat, right? It all makes sense now.
The legend of Tombili, the sitting cat: who was this famous kitty?
Many people like the various poses of their cats and often immortalize them with a picture or a video. Oftentimes, they post those on the Internet, on one of the many social media today, for other people to see and enjoy.
Cat sitting like a human is one of those positions that people simply adore! And rightly so, since it is both adorable and funny at the same time.
However, there was once a cat so famous for this position that she did not only become a famous meme on the Internet. She also became a legend of the city of Istanbul. That cat’s name is Tombili, and she was one of the many street cats in the city.
Not sure if you’re familiar with this, but Turkey is famous for its special relationship with our beloved feline friends. Street cats in Turkey are different from other strays. They are a part of Turkish urban culture and are loved and taken care of by locals as if they were their own pets.
Anyway, back to the story. Tombili roamed the city for nearly ten years. During this time, many people from the neighborhood fed her, pet her, took her to the vet, and aided her with her health problems. They even provided a warm home during the winter for her.
Tombili’s favorite position was (you’ve guessed it!) sitting-like-a-human position. Because of her laid-back personality and relaxed nature, the locals adored her. Since she was well-fed by many, she was a chunky cat and this stomach-out position made her that much funnier and cuter.
She soon became the symbol of the street. Many people took pictures of her, and one of them eventually went viral. Cat people all around the world went crazy for this adorable kitty and wanted to come and meet her in person.
Not only did she improve tourism in Turkey, but she also started a trend on the Internet – suddenly many cat parents started sharing pictures of their cats sitting like a human.
Tombili sadly passed away in August 2016. On the place where she usually sat, a life-size bronze statue was erected, after 17,000 people signed a petition for the monument to be made. The statue was a work of a local sculptor, Seval Şahin.
Hundreds of people each year visit the monument to pay respect to Tombili, the famous sitting cat. It’s definitely on my bucket list, and I’m sure from now on, it’ll be on yours too!
Cat sitting like a human: Should you worry or not?
As you can tell, there is absolutely no need for you to worry about your cat sitting like a human. This quirky sitting position isn’t linked to any medical conditions or health concerns. It is in no way a sign of problematic behavior.
If anything, it’s an indicator that you have a happy and healthy kitty who feels comfortable and safe in your presence. She’s not anxious or stressed whatsoever, and she feels free and secure that she decided to loosen up a bit.
And, she’s showing you her belly. An ultimate sign of trust!
So, just relax! Your vet can take a break this time. There’s no need for any emergency calls. All you can do is try to determine what is the reason behind your cat sitting like a human, so you could properly help her.
If she is feeling too hot, you could turn on a fan to help her cool down. If she wants attention, you could try dedicating several minutes. Play with her or give her treats and cuddles.
Either way, just keep in mind that she’s fine, being comfy and quirky. Maybe your cat has her own little theories about why she is sitting like a human. If you think that could be the case, try to determine why is she doing it.
And please, do let me know! I always enjoy learning new things and interacting with you. Our feline fluffballs are mysterious little creatures and with some of their behaviors, we can never be one hundred percent certain.
But as long as we are certain about the fact that they are not in pain – it should be more than enough for us, for sure.