WHY does my cat sleep like THAT?!?!
Apologies for the late blog post...and because I missed out on two weeks, I will be posting TWO blog entries. One today and one tomorrow.
Okay, so...ever wonder why your cat sleeps the way they do? Sometimes they're in the most unlikely position, that you're left to wonder: IS THAT EVEN COMFORTABLE?!
I’ve had people ask me this question quite a few times. I thought it was such a random question at first, then I started to really think about it.
I have SEVEN cats, yes, you read that right. And each one of them have their own unique way of sleeping. My boys are usually "all up in my business" while my girls give me a bit of breathing room, but still like to stay close.
Upon doing more research on the topic, I’ve concluded several things:
1. Cats seek out the most comfortable spot whether it be on their bed, box, cat tree, or even on your lap.
2. You can tell how much a cat is comfortable around you by the way they sleep.
3. Sometimes they sleep in the weirdest positions that you think might be uncomfortable, but really…they’re not.
4. There's A LOT of pictures on the internet of cats sleeping. LOL
Here are some of the "types/ways" of how your kitty sleeps (learned new terminology along the way):
1. The LOAF
2. Contortionist/Limbs Out
3. All Curled Up/Tight Ball
4. Belly Up
5. Paw(s) over the eyes/Hiding the face
8. Box Sleeper
9. Side Sleeper
10. Stretched Out
12. Cradled/Sleeping On You
13. The Leaning Sleeper
15. Cuddled Up/Piled Up
I know there's probably other names out there for them, but these are what I found upon my hours of research and watching videos on videos on videos.
What in the heck is that? Well, nothing beats a picture as a way to describe things just in case words gets lost in translation. Here is what "the loaf" looks like:
The LOAF is called as such because your cat, from a higher point of view, looks like a bread loaf. They've got their front paws folded and tucked in underneath their chest, and their back paws are under their belly.
So what does a cat sleeping in the loaf position mean?
Well, from what I've researched, it means that your kitty is simply taking a quick shuteye. It's not so much a full nap, where they sleep deeply for a few minutes to half an hour, but a quick relaxing shuteye. This position allows them to still be somewhat alert of their surroundings. So, if you happen to have a dog at home as well, or other kitties, they're able to hear them and be alert enough to react should they need to.
I know most kitty parents have seen their cats sleep in such awkward positions. Leaving us to wonder, IS THAT REALLY COMFORTABLE??? Lol. Well, I assure you, they're comfortable as they are.
Contortionist sleeping positions also translates to: HILARIOUS. HAHAHA!
So, what does THIS awkward sleeping position mean?? Well, one thing is for sure: they're absolutely comfortable in their surrounding. Turns out, this really doesn't mean much of anything. It's more how your kitty feels like sleeping at the time. Sometimes, they just want to stretch out in an awkward position because it's actually comfortable for them!
ALL CURLED UP/TIGHT BALL:
I've seen a lot of kitties sleep this way. It's not such an odd position, and can be very cute! They're usually in a tight ball, paws, head, and tail all curled in.
This sleeping position usually means that they're trying to conserve heat, either that, or they just want to curl up into a tight ball and sleep that way. Like in the wild, where temperatures can drop to freezing, cats usually curl up to make sure they conserve all the body heat that they can.
No, this isn't like in Finding Nemo. Belly up sleeping position for kitties is actually a very good thing.
A cat's belly is their most vulnerable part. When they sleep on their back, showing off their belly, that means they have ABSOLUTE TRUST in their surroundings and their human.
I've caught all my kitties in this sleep position at least twice. I'm very glad I could provide them a safe space to where they feel that they're comfortable enough to trust sleeping in the "belly up" position. As kitty parents, that's really what we want. For our kitties to feel warm, safe, loved, and cared for. Though it's a funny looking position, it's actually quite heart-warming.
PAW(S) OVER THE EYES/HIDING THE FACE:
I think it's so very dang cute when my kitties sleep trying to cover their eyes.
Paws over the eyes are so darn adorable!
As is the position where they're trying to hide their faces.
Usually, this just means that it might be too bright in the room and they don't want to see the light. Just like us when the room is too bright, we tend to cover our eyes with our arms or simply put on a sleeping mask! Now, wouldn't it just be so dang cute if your kitty wore a sleeping mask? LOL!
When I first read this one, I immediately asked: "WHAAAT?" Lol. I didn't know what it meant until I saw the picture...and it looked something like this:
This is when your kitty sleeps on top of something while looking like this. Arms dangling, chin perched on whatever they're sleeping on.
Sleeping this way means they're still alert enough to know what's happening in their surroundings, but comfortable enough to take a nap.
When I read this term, I immediately thought maybe they meant they only had one eye or something. Lol. I was wrong. It means that your kitty sleeps with partially opened eyes. Like such:
Sometimes, it looks like they might be looking at you, but they're actually sleeping.
In the wild, sometimes cats have to sleep this way. What's pretty awesome about cats is that they have the ability to be half asleep and half awake. Sleeping with partially opened eyes means they're trying to stay alert or just needs a quick rest. Sometimes your kitties sleep this way so they can keep an eye on this. In this case (pictured above) my cat Raymond is keeping an eye on me. He's actually sleeping on top of me, making sure I don't go anywhere. Lol.
This one seemed self-explanatory:
This doesn't mean that your kitty is simply sleeping inside a box, they could be sleeping in their little hideaway spot like a partially-enclosed cat condo or one of those teepee cat house.
Out in the wild, usually cats would try to sleep somewhere enclosed to make sure they're safe from elements or other animals. At home, usually, this just translates to how being enclosed makes your kitty feel.
They can also want to sleep INSIDE your blanket to feel a sense of safety, or to be close to you:
It's very cute when they want to cuddle up close to you.
Also very self-explanatory. Your kitty sleeping on its side.
Yeah, that's a balisong knife trainer. Lol. He was trying to play with it and just fell asleep hugging it. He's a weirdo, my fatman. Haha!
Cats who sleep on their side means that they most likely want to take a nap. Cats sleep a lot, but this nap is different from other naps; this is where they're comfy enough to fall asleep without having to stay partially awake and aware.
It's fun to see the different ways your cat may sleep. One of my favorites is the "stretched out" pose. It's pretty self-explanatory too:
Your kitty will sometimes look like they're stretching while sleeping. It's quite cute. It's one of those instances where your kitty is just comfortable with their limbs stretched out. They're still somewhat aware of their surroundings when they sleep this way, but they're probably too lazy to curl up.
Sometimes, a kitty just wants to be bundled up in a blankie. Lol.
Well, I'm not sure if that's true for your kitties, but it's certainly true for mine.
Usually, kitties will allow you to bundle them up if they trust you and they feel a sense of comfort being bundled up. They're usually in full nap mode when this is the case.
CRADLED/SLEEPING ON YOU:
This one is my absolute FAVORITE position. Your kitty has complete and utter trust in you to have you hold them close when they sleep.
Congratulations! You're part of the pack!
I read that when kitties snuggle up on you and actually sleep in your arms or on you that they absolutely adore you. It's hard to know sometimes if your kitty actually loves you, but this is one sure way to know for sure.
THE LEANING SLEEP:
I have to say, I've caught my kitties in this position quite a few times. I sometimes wonder if they're actually still awake and just closing their eyes.
Apparently, like with a lot of their sleeping positions, they're still very aware of their surroundings. This is just a short rest. Eventually, if they want to take an actual nap, they'll readjust.
This sleep position is usually when your kitty is in a loaf/half-loaf position while perched on something. Either on you, on a chair, a windowsill, etc.
In this position, they're still very much aware of their surroundings, but they're comfortable enough that they've fallen asleep on you or somewhere they're comfortable in.
CUDDLED UP/PILED UP:
Kind of another self-explanatory position. It's very cute when your kitties snuggle up together or sleep right next to each other:
They're just so dang adorable this way!!
Well, one big reason they sleep this way is to share body heat. During winter, my fur babies are all cuddled up on me, mostly for warmth. In the wild, they do this also to stay warm, but also to make sure that their pack is safe. It's very sweet.
I know that a lot of these sleeping positions are either funny or VERY adorable. However, they can also mean something quite serious.
Sure, kitties sleep in a tight ball to conserve heat, however, it could also be due to very low body temps and they're doing what they can to conserve whatever heat they can. If it's very hot in the room, and they're still curled up in a tight ball all the time, then you should probably take a visit to the vet to voice your concern.
One other sleeping position that could be worrisome is the side sleeper. Cats sleep in this position to alleviate any joint pain, should they have any, because it's a lot easier and less painful. This can also mean a breathing problem. When they sleep on their side, they don't put much pressure on their chests, so it could be a sign of respiratory problem. This is very serious, you should monitor the way your kitty sleeps if this is the case.
Here's a video I found on YouTube about common cat sleeping positions:
Well, folks, I hope you learned something today!
As always, be kind to each other, be kind to animals, love your pets!