Cat Breed Guide - Sleeping Positions and What it Means

Cats, regardless of breed, sleep in unusual positions, sometimes reminiscent of a contortionist and often in places that take hours to find them. 

It doesn’t matter if the cat is of a regal ancestry or among the rarest breeds (see this cat page) in the world; all felines share the same habits when it comes to slumber. 

The assessment is that the commonalities in position habits can reveal various details about the species relating to mood, personality, and even their health. As a parent, you always want to pay attention to unusual behavior and contact the animal’s vet with anything that seems out of the ordinary.

What A Sleeping Cat’s Position Can Reveal 

When you see your cat sleeping in specific positions, you might wonder first how they were able to achieve it and what it says about how they’re feeling in the moment. 

Sometimes a feline can appear full-on relaxed, and in other situations, it looks like the animal is merely resting. Take a look at some of these examples and see what your cat might be telling you to gain a better knowledge do look on Chumka's Corner:

  • Body Curled Up:  Often, a cat will use her tail to encircle her body with her head tucked into her chest. Cats will typically fall into this pose for sleeping, mostly since it conserves warmth and protects primary body organs. It’s instinctual from a wild cat’s perspective. See this for advice on whether you nap with kitty in your bed.
  • Inside Of Everything: Cats will dive in anything to take a nap, even if the container is too small. But the most favored of all is a cardboard box. The instinct again is from their predatory genetics. It gives them cover for hunting. Also, from a prey’s perspective, a box offers a place to hide where there is safety and security.

You might take a moment to wonder why your kitty might be hiding. Is there a reason she may feel threatened in that particular moment? Perhaps, the house is a bit loud, or another pet is being somewhat rough in play. Correcting the trigger can help bring the animal out from hiding.

  • Tummy-side Up: If a cat is feeling safe and secure, she will get comfortable, and this allows sleep with the tummy up in the air. The stomach is a vulnerable part of the feline, so for her to expose it in your presence means she doesn’t feel like she needs to protect herself from you. She is secure. Experts recommend not letting your feline sleep with you in bed at night, though – go here https://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/8-reasons-you-should-never-let-your-cat-sleep-your-bed for details.
  • Eyes Half-way Open: Cats learn in the wild how to sleep but be consciously aware of their surroundings, kind of sleep-with-their-eyes-open mentality. Doing so allows the animal to react in moments of threat without hesitation and never be caught unaware. 

If you see kitty like this, she is resting, but she can react instantly. In fact, you’ll likely startle the feline into a reaction if you begin to pet her while she’s in this position.

  • Covering The Face With A Paw: When you don’t want to be disturbed while asleep, you generally cover your head, and kitty does the same thing. A cat, though, will use her paw to tell you to leave her in peace, all while enticingly placing flea medicine for cats nearby.

Typically, the animal is unaware of the action. It happens when deep slumber takes place. Sometimes it can be a reaction to being exposed to too much light in the room also.

Some cats like to get up high on top of the kitchen cabinets, or they'll find the back of the sofa or arm of a chair to their liking. Usually, these felines aren’t in the mood to rest. You’ll find them staring around the room like they’re casing the place. 

That’s likely precisely what the animal is doing. Cats like to survey as they would in a field or even the backyard, looking for anything that might make a move. It’s the natural hunter in them. The animal is paying close attention for the slightest chance to pounce.

As the awesome pet parent that you are, this is the ideal moment for kitty stimulation by providing a toy to satisfy those predatory needs - or maybe

 the desire to play a little while.