Owning a cat means having a fluffy little meow machine waiting outside your bedroom door every night as you go to sleep and every morning as you wake up. Truth be told, that’s why you succumb to her wishes and allow her to sleep with you. And, that’s why you wonder whether your cat’s sleeping positions hold any meaning.
Oh, they do! Whether your fluffy friend sleeps on her back with her stomach exposed or shaped like the most delicious-looking crescent roll, she’s bound to steal your attention when you’re trying to sleep. Of course, each position has a meaning and communicates something you should learn to understand.
But, haven’t you heard (from a bunch of mean-spirited people) that letting your four-legged friend sleep with you means you don’t have any parenting prowess? Or that something horrible’s going to happen when this friend grows up and figures out she’s got you wrapped around her paw?
And, don’t even get me started on the “cats aren’t clean” or “cats are filthy, unhygienic spawns of Satan” types of people that make you feel bad for finding comfort and solace by cuddling with your furry friend.
Whatever your reason for frustration might be, you should be happy for witnessing your creature’s sleeping antics. Not to mention that there are studies galore discussing how healthy snuggling and sleeping with your furball can be.
Trust me, from mending your mental health niggles to keeping your immune system in check, cats make everything better. So, let’s delve into all you need to know about the meaning behind your cat’s sleeping positions – before you scream thinking she’s dead because she’s sleeping face down.
A cat’s sleeping positions with meanings: An extensive guide to your kitty’s sleeping escapades
Snuggling with your favorite furry friend each night’s one thing. But, could there be a meaning to your cat’s preferred sleeping positions? Could there be something more than meets the eye when you catch a glimpse of her sleeping on her back or cuddling with the dog?
And, not to forget the most prominent problem, could there be a reason for you to lose sleep over your cat’s sleeping habits? Worry not, we’ve done the research for you. Here are 14 of the most common cat sleeping positions with meanings – some may blow your socks off! Let’s go!
1. Sleeping on your chest
Could there be a more adorable thing a cat can do!? Of course not, and there’s hardly anything any of us hope for than for our furry friends to snooze on top of our chests, on our laps, or pretty much anywhere near us. So, when your fluffer does that, you can’t help but wonder what it means.
Don’t worry, there are two reasons she might be drawn to you when she’s dozing off. Firstly, you’re a great source of heat and she wants to be near you. Not only does she feel safe and secure when you’re there, but you act as a great purrsonal heating device.
On the other hand, she’s probably appreciating the rhythm of your breathing. Oh, you’d be surprised to know how much comfort cats get from sleeping on top of your chest and listening to your heartbeat. Don’t shy away from showing her how much you love when she does that!
2. Sleeping on her back
Boy, when my cutie patootie sleeps on her back, there’s something mesmerizing about staring at the way her stomach ever-so-slightly stretches out with every breath she takes! Come on, there’s hardly anything more soothing than observing your kitty while she’s dreaming of munching chicken nuggets.
And, to make things even better, when your fluffy friend exposes her stomach while she’s sleeping, she’s communicating how much she trusts you. Cats protect themselves even when they’re sleeping (that’s an innate characteristic every cat possesses).
But, your fluffer trusts you enough to be at ease when she’s resting and recharging her batteries.
3. Sleeping with her eyes slightly open
“I’m telling you, she’s spying on me when everyone else goes to bed! I’m not crazy, I’ve seen her with my own two eyes!”
Sure, you’re wondering what meaning your cat’s sleeping positions might carry. But, more than anything else, you’re wondering whether she’s plotting to murder you when you drop your guard!
While you have every right to question your sanity (we’ve been there, done that), chances are that’s not what’s going on. There are two main reasons your curious creature might be sleeping with her eyes slightly open.
First, she’s not getting the best sleep of her life because she’s not even completely asleep. Or second, she might be keeping her eyes slightly open because she’s dreaming.
Come on, you can’t say you’ve never woken up out of a dream drooling everywhere, unaware of what’s happening? Oh, that’s the best sleep you’ve ever gotten – and that’s probably what’s happening with your sleepyhead.
4. Sleeping face down
As a pet parent, you’ve probably lived through a bunch of heart attacks (and other health scares) whenever you’ve come across your cat sleeping with her face down.
Not to sound dramatic or anything, but the first thought that crosses my mind seems to always be “OMG, she’s not breathing!” Of course, I’ve been wrong every single time.
But, that didn’t stop me from wondering why she does that. And, two reasons don’t pop into my head when I need them the most. Firstly, cats prefer sleeping face down when they’re stressed out because that helps them escape the chaos of the outside world.
It may also be that they appreciate the familiarity of the scent. Whether that’s your blanket, the carpet, or the T-shirt you had on yesterday. Cute, but you might want to consult with your vet if she keeps doing this all the time.
5. Sleeping in her litter box
We can agree – the first time we catch our furry friends sleeping on top of that sand, we think, “Aww, little baby, she was so tired, she fell asleep while pooping!”
But, we don’t take that long before we start overthinking and overanalyzing because we’re scared there might be something wrong with that. So, what does your cat communicate when she sleeps in her litter box?
Maybe she’s too tired to come back to bed and she decides to do whatever her body wants her to do – sleep right there and then.
On the other hand, maybe she’s stressed out and her litter box seems like the only place she can get some peace. Whatever the case might be, don’t hesitate to contact your vet and check whether everything’s fine health-wise.
6. Sleeping curled up like a crescent moon
One of the cutest cat sleeping positions, for sure, but what’s the meaning behind sleeping curled up like a crescent moon? Turns out kitties absolutely adore sleeping that way because they feel safe, secure, and protected from the outside world.
Whether your fluffer’s sleeping alone or with you by her side, she might be sleeping that way because that’s what her “wild side” advises her to do.
Wild cats sleep that way to warm themselves up, protect themselves from other animals, and make themselves feel better. And, that’s what your not-so-wild cat seems to be doing, too.
7. Sleeping with her head up
On the topic of keeping themselves safe and secure, cats often sleep “upright.” Now, you might catch a glimpse of your fluffy friend starting to doze off while assuming a sitting position, with her head high up and the rest of her body leaning against something.
Depending on the circumstances, she’s probably trying to stay alert. But, why? Wild cats do that when they’re stalking their prey (and fall asleep mid-action). Or, even when they’re making sure they’re ready to spring into action when necessary.
And, not to forget the domesticated portion of the feline world, cats often do that because they’re trying to groom the stomach area or because they’re trying to support the back muscles. Whatever the case might be, you don’t have much to worry about.
8. Sleeping snuggled with other cats
“Be still my heart!” you probably utter under your breath when stumbling across your fluffers sleeping together. And, your reaction’s nothing short of appropriate considering that there’s hardly anything more appealing than a pile-on of sleeping cats. People dare say heaven’s not real!?
But why do cats like sleeping together? Sure, when they’re outside they might seek each other’s company for warmth and added (fluffy) cushions. But, when they’re sleeping on your sofa, they’re simply surrounding themselves with the comfort of each other’s coats.
And, they’re banking on the fact you won’t walk past without stopping to snuggle with them!
9. Sleeping on your pillow
Now, your cat’s favorite sleeping position has to be sleeping on your pillow – and you can’t help but wonder about the meaning behind it.
Maybe she doesn’t even know that’s your pillow and she keeps sleeping there because she can. Or perhaps she thinks the two of you can share the pillow and sleep together because she doesn’t like sleeping alone.
If those were some of your guesses, you’re pretty close to what she’s communicating with her sleeping habits. But, when your cat’s sleeping on your pillow, she’s probably doing that because of these two things.
Firstly, she’s looking for a spot that’s going to provide her warmth, comfort, and reassurance. Secondly, she’s drawn to the scent on your pillow. And, of course, that’s great because your pillow smells like you and your cat clearly likes you.
10. Sleeping on top of your head
Oh, there have been times aplenty when my little mischief decided to sleep on my head! Whether she thought my head was a pillow or she was fascinated by the prospect of sleeping somewhere other than her bed, she has made me the happiest human on earth. But why does your cat do the same thing?
Now the answers are pretty obvious. Maybe she’s trying to bond with you and she thinks that’s the way to go. Maybe she likes the warmth you’re providing her. Or maybe she feels safe and secure when she’s that close to you.
Whatever the case might be, you should cherish those moments because they go by pretty fast. Before you even notice, she’s grown up and she doesn’t want to watch Friends with you because she’s bored. And, she doesn’t want to sleep with you because you’re stinky… Not literally, of course!
11. Sleeping like Superman with her paws extended
We’re pretty good at keeping secrets, which means there’s hardly a reason for you to shy away from sharing one with us.
Hasn’t your kitty started sleeping that way after you forced her to watch every Superman movie ever made? Hasn’t she started stretching her front (and back) legs the same way Superman does when he’s flying?
We’re kidding, of course! But, that sleeping position doesn’t come as a surprise when you think of the fact that most cats prefer sleeping that way to pretty much any other way. When you catch them sleeping like this, they’re probably hitting that REM phase, or at least getting close to it.
They’re protecting those vital organs from attack. They’re extremely comfortable because they’re stretching as much as they can. And, they don’t have to worry about “pins and needles.” That looks like a great sleeping position for me, too!
12. Sleeping in the “loaf” position
Who hasn’t heard of the “loaf!?” Pet parents around the world have been filming TikToks of cats making purrfect little buns of bread and assuming what seems to be the most comfortable position ever.
With their front and back paw pads tucked underneath their body and their tail wrapped around them, they look like they would fit right into your bread basket.
What’s the meaning behind the most famous cat sleeping position, you might wonder? When your four-legged friend transforms herself into your favorite pastry, know that she’s comfortable.
She doesn’t only become a loaf when she’s getting ready to sleep. She does this when she’s resting, de-stressing, and relaxing.
Don’t forget that she might be looking for warmth, too. Check whether she’s cold and shivering before you leave the room. If so, consult with your vet about other reasons she might be cold even though you’re doing everything to keep her warm.
Make sure she’s baking because she wants to, not because she has to – that’s pretty much the best way to go about the situation.
13. Sleeping with her paws covering her face
Here’s the thing, your cat might assume a bunch of sleeping positions with different meanings. But the position where she’s sleeping with her paws covering her face always means the same thing. Don’t disturb or else you’re getting your hands scratched.
Trust me, when cats sleep that way, they’re covering their face on purpose.
Don’t worry, your fluffy friend probably loves hanging out with you for most of the day. But, when she’s sleeping with her paws covering her face, she’s trying to communicate that you shouldn’t touch her or wake her up.
She’s overwhelmed with the chaos of the outside world and she’s trying to block everything (light, sounds, etc.) with her paws.
So, unless you’re worried she’s unwell, don’t even dare wake her up before she’s done with her beauty sleep. “Mommy, please, give me five more minutes and we can play!” When you hear her meow at you, that’s probably what she’s saying – leave her alone, please.
14. Sleeping stuffed in a box
Should we even go on a rant about how cats absolutely adore cardboard boxes!? We can agree there’s hardly anything cats enjoy more than playing with things they shouldn’t play with.
And, cardboard boxes seem to fit that description purrfectly. Not only are they easy to munch on, but they make for the comfiest sleeping sports ever.
But, why do cats seem to enjoy sleeping in cramped spaces (cardboard boxes, bathtubs, kitchen cabinets, those minuscule spots under the bed)? Sense of security, for sure!
Of course, there’s nothing concerning about your fluffer demanding to keep every cardboard box you’ve ever gotten delivered to your apartment.
But, you might want to keep an eye on her because she might be a little stressed (given that she doesn’t want to sleep anywhere other than tiny, tiny spaces). Other than that, you can happily continue placing more of those Zara orders – for your cat, of course!
Read this article for the best laugh ever: 10 Times Cats Fell Asleep In The Most Hilarious Positions