Cat Sleeping Positions: What Do They Mean? Curled Up, Belly Up, On The Side, And More

If there is something cats love more than anything else, it’s the art of sleeping.

A grown-up feline can sleep for anywhere between 12 and 16 hours a day. Regardless of how playful your kitty is, it may sleep all day long, especially during its first several months. Young kittens aged six months or less can spend 20 hours per day asleep.

Felines snooze their way through approximately two thirds of their lifetime! As your furball grows into maturity, it will need less sleep than it did as a kitten.

You may find it sleeping basically anywhere – on the window, in its bed, in your bed, on the couch, in your wardrobe, on the countertop, under the sofa – as long as it feels protected and cozy, the cat will sleep anywhere it wants to, even if you think that it seems like the most uncomfortable place on the planet!

Some cats prefer sleeping next to their owners, especially if they are extremely affectionate. One such breed is the Sphynx cat, which is always seeking the warmest place in the house.

But regardless of your fluffy pal’s sleeping corner and daily routine, its sleeping position can tell you a lot about your pet’s feelings and the way it perceives its surroundings.

Cat Sleeping Positions And Their Meanings

A cat’s sleeping position provides information about the way your kitty feels about its current surroundings. The various positions have different meanings and you can easily tell if your pet is feeling alarmed or at ease.

The Curled Up Crescent

If your kitty is sleeping in a curled crescent position and it has wrapped its tail around its body, this means that your furry pal isn’t sensing any nearby threats or dangers. Cats usually sleep in this pose when they wish to preserve some extra heat on a cold day. Not only are they keeping themselves warm, but they are also keeping their bellies hidden and safe from the world.

Tucked In Or Under Something

It’s not uncommon to find your cat tucked under the covers or inside your drawers. Dark corners, nooks, and upholstery covers provide safety, warmth, and comfort. And that’s exactly what the cat seeks if it’s snoozing tucked in or under the cover of furniture pieces.

However, allowing your pet to sleep under your bed covers isn’t the best possible idea. For starters, it’s unhygienic. Moreover, it also poses dangers for developing cat allergies. Not to mention the fact that your kitty will bury everything in cat hair!

Paws Pressed Together

Sometimes cats sleep on all four legs with their front paws pressed together. If your own cat does that, it means it’s feeling unsafe and wants to be in a position which allows a quick escape route and extra freedom of movement. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your kitty is scared. It can just indicate that the cat is on alert.

This sleeping position may also be a telltale sign of a health issue. If your cat has asthma or pneumonia, it will sleep like this in order to prevent compressing its lungs.

Outstretched Ears And Half-Shut Eyes

Felines sleeping with half-shut eyes and outstretched ears are definitely on high alert! They will wake up at the faintest of sounds. They will doze off in a troubled, restless nap and won’t get a proper break from their daily routine.

It’s usual for newly adopted cats residing with noisy families with children to sleep like that. The position means the kitty can’t let its guard down and get some proper sleep, whether it’s because of the noises in your home or the people in the area.

Most cats actually do fall asleep while on high alert. During the first few minutes they remain on the look-out, before falling into deeper slumber.

Belly Up

If your cat is sleeping with its belly up in a hilariously straddled sleeping position, then it’s the happiest kitty in the world!

The belly-up position means the cat is feeling 100% secure and elated. This type of sleeping position makes the feline’s body extremely vulnerable and it doesn’t provide the cat with a quick chance to flee from the scene. If your furball is rolling on its back while it’s sleeping, it means that your pet trusts you unconditionally.

Some feline breeds, like the Abyssinian, adore jumping and climbing. Such breeds may prefer sleeping on countertops, window perches, and difficult to access heights. Purchasing a cat tree with a variety of high levels will be more suitable for these breeds than a cat bed.

Regardless of your feline furball’s sleeping positions, make sure its health and safety are your priority.

Buy only high quality cat food, never miss appointments with the vet, and don’t ever neglect your kitty’s needs and well-being. As long as your pet is healthy, safe, and happy, it will cherish you for the rest of its lifetime.

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Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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Amber - January 3, 2019

I love letting my cats sleep on the bed with me, even if they get fur all over it! All you have to do is wash the bed covers a little more often. Cats are cleanly animals, and I don’t think it does any harm to let them sleep under the covers (unless they start attacking your feet). 😛


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