There’s no denying that cats look adorable whatever they’re doing. Chances are, your fluffer makes you go “Aww” when you catch a glimpse of her sitting with her paws tucked under her stomach. She makes you use your silly voice when you notice she’s kneading her blanket. She makes you wonder whether a cat’s sitting positions hold some meaning.
Oh, they do! Cats don’t have that many means of communicating considering they don’t speak English. But, that hasn’t stopped them from finding ways of showing humans how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking of doing, and what they’re expecting them to do (e.g. feed them).
Of course, cats can also meow when they’re trying to get your attention. Truth be told, cats only meow when they’re corresponding to kittens or humans. There’s something to be discussed about the fact that our fluffy friends consider us to be on the same level as the offspring they gave birth to.
Whatever your cat’s preferred method of communication might be, there’s no doubt that cats send messages through different sitting positions, too.
When they’re sitting and staring out the window, for example, they’re probably planning to attack someone or something. Or, when they’re sitting the same way you do, they’re showing how much they love you.
So, body language takes the cake when we’re talking about your cat’s way of saying, “Steve, get me another one of these treats, please!”
But, how can you understand your cat’s sitting position? Worry not, we’re bringing you a rundown on some of the most common ways cats choose to sit back and relax after a long day of napping, chasing after crawling creatures, and knocking things down.
10 cat sitting positions that make you squeak from cuteness
1. The loaf of bread
The popular loaf of bread position seems to have taken the internet by storm! Trust me, there’s no way you can go on TikTok or Instagram and not see videos and videos of cats napping or sitting while assuming the most adorable position ever.
With her little tail and paws tucked under her body, she looks like she’s ready to become a part of the most delicious sandwich. Pet parents love referring to the position as the loaf of bread because of the rectangular shape and the soft, rounded edges.
When you catch a glimpse of your cat sitting that way, watching her favorite TV show, or even staring out the window, that means she’s comfortable. She feels safe and secure, and she doesn’t feel the need to be ready to attack.
And, we can’t forget about the fact that there are different types of bread loaf positions. More times than not, your cat will tuck everything under her body.
But, other times she will have her tail wrapped around her body rather than tucked under. And, other (other) times she will have her front paws crossed at the front of her body. Whatever pose she chooses to do, she’s “bread loafing” as long as looks like a footlong Subway sandwich.
2. The “regular” sitting position
We had to start with the bread loaf cat sitting position because that’s the one that makes us squeak with happiness. But, that’s not the most common position you’re going to catch your cat doing all the time.
With her body relaxed, sitting on her hind legs, and keeping her front legs extended, your cat’s communicating that she’s comfortable.
Cats have different ways of sitting and observing the world around them when they’re threatened. They just don’t know where they are or what’s going on. But, when they’re familiar with the environment and the people around them, there’s no reason why they would need to be alert and ready to attack.
With that in mind, your cat should spend most of her time sitting the “regular” way. Apart from what we described a couple of paragraphs ago, she might also have her eyes slowly blinking, with her ears upright and forward. She might even have her whiskers spaced out (almost forming a smile).
3. The “look at me, I’m human” sitting position
Cats do look like their owners! When you notice your cat sitting like a human for the first time, you might think you entered some sort of alternate universe. Worry not, you haven’t lost your mind. But, your cat might have lost her compass because that’s not how cats should be sitting!
Sitting on her bottom with her back legs stretched out and her body upright, your cat looks like she’s copying you. Some pet parents believe that cats often adopt the same schedule and routine as humans. The reason behind that is that they spend so much time with them (rather than with other animals).
When you think about that for a second, you might remember that your cat goes to bed at the same time as you do or asks for a snack right before you get up to get yourself a bag of popcorn.
Cats are curious creatures which means they observe the world around them. You are your cat’s world and she’s sitting the same way you are because she trusts your choices.
4. The dangle
We can’t talk about a cat’s sitting positions without touching upon the dreaded dangle. We’re talking about the times when your fluffer sits on a higher area with her limbs dangling from the side.
Whether she’s sitting on the sofa with her paws stretching over the edge. Whether she’s sitting on the kitchen counter with her tail flailing on the side. She’s bound to give you a heart attack the moment you notice what she’s doing. How can she be so reckless?!
First off, cats know how to take care of themselves. They’re equipped with a gut feeling (we know and love) that tells them whether they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
And, they’re not lacking on the whiskers front. Though that might sound strange, whiskers help them navigate through space and not land on their faces when they fall. On the other hand, cats love sitting that way when they trust you won’t do anything to scare them.
Similarly to other positions we mentioned, cats assume the dangling position only when they’re comfortable around you. They trust you won’t do anything to make them regret the decision to rest that way.
5. The exposed stomach
Now, that’s a cat’s sitting position we can appreciate! When you’re a pet parent that can’t live without cuddles, snuggles, and belly rubs, you’ve experienced the sudden rush of endorphins that happens when your cat decides she trusts you enough to let you touch her stomach.
Here’s the thing, cats don’t appreciate the whole “petting the stomach” obsession humans have because they instinctively try to protect that area.
Wild cats prefer positions in which they’re able to protect themselves from predators. Whether that’s by sleeping with their eyes open or by sitting with their organs tucked away under the weight of their bodies.
Not-so-wild cats have the same instincts to protect themselves. However, there are times when they don’t think they need to do that because they’re sure you’re going to protect them. And, those are the times when you catch them sitting with their bellies exposed and ready to be squeezed and smooshed.
6. The “you can’t see me” sitting position
Cats have the oddest sitting arrangements because they don’t spend that much time sitting. They’re bigger fans of lounging around, laying on the sofa, or keeping your bed warm while you’re at work. That’s why you’re more likely to catch them napping than sitting and watching outside the window.
But, what happens when you can’t catch them at all? How many times have you spent what appeared like hours looking for your cat only to find her sitting under the table munching on rogue crumbs? How many times have you caught her sitting on the highest kitchen cabinet staring at everyone’s balding heads?
Cats adore humans (most of them do, at least). But, sometimes they need a moment alone because they’re anxious, stressed out, or overwhelmed.
When you find your cat sitting somewhere “on the down low,” observe her behavior. Flattened ears, whiskers pointing forward, and eyes wide open typically mean she’s not feeling her best.
7. The droop
We know you’re thinking “Aren’t the dangle and the droop the same?” They don’t represent the same sitting position. However, they do carry the same meaning.
The droop looks exactly like what you might think. Most parts of your cat’s body are propped up on a higher area. But, her stomach’s drooping over the edge.
Cats find uncomfortable spots… Comfortable. We can bet you found your cat resting on the edge of your table, on top of your door frame, or even between two pillows with her stomach dropping down. Cats seem to love the drooping sensation and they don’t mind sitting that way when they’re resting.
What does the droop mean, though? A sitting position in which a cat’s stomach droops from wherever she’s sitting doesn’t communicate anything negative (for the most part).
Actually, the position’s similar to the one where the cat exposes her stomach because she doesn’t think she needs to protect her organs. And, that’s probably why your cat’s sleeping with her stomach hanging out.
8. The cinnamon roll
Now we’re getting somewhere – the cinnamon roll sleeping position typically means that your fluffy friend’s trying to keep warm. Other than that, the cinnamon roll can also mean that she’s trying to protect her organs from predators, other cats, or unknown people hanging around your apartment.
What does the cinnamon roll look like? Most cats assume the cinnamon roll position while they’re sleeping because that’s when they feel safe and secure.
Maybe they’re trying to warm up or sleep while they’re not alone and feel the need to protect themselves. But, cats sometimes assume the same position when they’re sitting.
Long story short, they pretty much wrap the entire lower portion of the body around themselves. Rather than keeping their head down and tucked under, they’re awake and upright, observing the environment around them.
Cats sometimes assume that position when they’re getting ready to sleep but they can’t stop looking at you… Or the window… Or the food bowl that’s begging for a refill.
Right off the bat, you might be surprised by what that position means.
When a cat looks like she’s stretching her back legs, she’s probably going through her heat cycle and looking for a mate. She’s making sure other cats know that she’s available, and she’s marking her territory to make sure other cats know she’s the one that has the advantage over others.
Other than that, a cat can be sitting with her bottom up because she’s suffering from different health problems. Keep an eye on symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, decreased appetite, and depression. Of course, contact your vet the moment that you notice any of those symptoms.
10. The hunchback (of Notre Dame)
Last but not least, your fluffer might be sitting with her back hunched, her tail fluffed and wrapped under her body, and her eyes wide open.
While other sitting positions communicated positive thoughts coming from your cat (such as comfort, safety, and security), the hunchback of Notre Dame couldn’t be more negative.
When you notice your cat sitting that way, know that she’s stressed out, overwhelmed, and scared of something. She might have been attacked or startled by another cat. She might have seen something she didn’t like or even eaten something she wasn’t supposed to eat.
Check whether you can figure out the source of her contempt and remove whatever’s making her feel that way. Give her plenty of space to cool off before you attempt to approach her. Smother her with affection once she stops shivering and caterwauling.