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Have you ever found your cat sleeping in a position that couldn’t possibly be comfortable? Recently YouTube channel Jaw-Dropping Facts dropped some interesting revelations about common cat sleeping positions. Find out what specific cat sleeping positions reveal about your cat’s mood, health, and personality—and check out these cozy cat beds while you’re at it.
9 common cat sleeping positions
All curled up
Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash
You often see your cat curled up with her tail around her body and her head tucked towards her chest—it’s the quintessential cat pose! This is one of the most common cat sleeping positions, and with good reason: In the wild, animals sleep in this position to conserve warmth while protecting vital organs.
Cat in a box
Photo by Jannik Selz on Unsplash
Cats have some peculiar preferences for where they sit (a piece of paper, anyone?). They generally seek out boxes as an instinct to find cover for hunting, as well as to hide from other predators. Your cat probably equates tight spaces in general with security. You should consider why your cat may be feeling concerned about his safety. For instance, is there a rambunctious pet or a young child in the house?
Photo by Jonathan Fink on Unsplash
If you come across your cat in the belly-up position, you should feel honored: Cats generally only sleep this way when they feel extremely relaxed and safe. Your cat’s stomach is her most vulnerable body part, so freely exposing it means she is comfortable enough to give up her most protective instincts.
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash
Cats sleep a lot. (They dream, too!) But the amazing thing about felines is they can simultaneously be awake and asleep, a skill that comes in handy in the wild when they must be alert to their surroundings. If your cat is sleeping with one eye open, one eye closed, chances are he is both sleeping and conscious enough to react to an impending threat.
Photo by Alu Zheng on Unsplash
The loaf—where your cat sits upright but tucks her front paws under her body—is a social media favorite among the cat sleeping positions. This adorable pose likely means she isn’t planning to sleep for long, but getting in a quick rest before she moves on with her day.
Photo by Amy Chen on Unsplash
Like the belly-up pose, a sideways sleeper indicates your cat is very relaxed and in a deep sleep. His vulnerable stomach is somewhat exposed in this position and his limbs are stretched out. He feels safe and content enough not to remain in an alert, shallow sleep.
Paw across the face
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash
Be still, our hearts! When your cat strikes the precious pose of putting her paw across the face, it means she doesn’t wish to be disturbed. The video explains that this usually happens unknowingly while your cat is sleeping soundly. It could also indicate that your cat is trying to block out the daylight or a bright light in the room. Perhaps she needs a kitty sleeping mask!
Photo by Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash
One of the most interesting of the cat sleeping positions in the monorail, or when your cat lies on the arms or backs of chairs, sofas, staircase banisters, fence posts (and so on) and dangles down some or all of his legs. Apparently cats rest in this position because it is more suitable for general surveillance.
Photo by Francesco De Tommaso on Unsplash
Finally, we must pay homage to the weirdest cat sleeping positions out there, from limbs sticking out every which way to half hanging off the couch with their head twisted around. We generally refer to this as the contortionist position, and it turns out there’s no particular science behind it. Chances are, it’s just what feels comfortable for your cat at the time!
Now you know what the most common cat sleeping positions mean. Which is your—and your cat’s—favorite?