12 Cat Sleeping Positions And Their Meanings

Cat Behavior Cat Fun June 7, 2024


12 Cat Sleeping Positions And Their Meanings

This page contains affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission.

Cats spend an average of 15 hours sleeping daily. That’s a whole lot of napping!

But there is a reason why your feline needs to snooze so much. For starters, wild cats sleep to conserve their energy as they need it to hunt and kill their prey. And although your pet may be domesticated, they still feel the need to sleep to prepare for the hunt. Another reason your furball sleeps so much is to give their bodies enough time to digest their high protein diet.

But as you might have discovered by now, your cat isn’t always deep asleep when they seem to be sleeping. In fact, cats only devote a ¼ of their sleeping time to deep sleep. The rest of the time, your pet is just napping.

But cats are not only famous for their love for sleep but they are also known for their weird sleeping positions (here are some other cool facts about cats). And did you know that your cat’s sleeping position can tell you a lot about their personality and how they’re feeling?

If you’d like to learn more, here are twelve common cat sleeping positions and their meanings.

1. The Crescent Or All Curled Up Position

cat sleeping positions the Crescent

Cats love to sleep in the curled-up position. While in this position, your feline will have their head tucked in their chest and the tail wrapped around their body. Your cat may be curled up so tight that she resembles a small ball.

Cats love to hug their body tight in the crescent position since this allows them to conserve heat and keep their body warm, especially during cold months. This sleeping position also protects your furball’s vital organs. Your cat may also sleep in the crescent position if they are feeling unsafe.

This sleeping position is also a polite way of your feline telling you they need to be left alone to get their much-needed sleep.

2. The Belly Up Position

The Belly up Position cat sleeping positions and their meanings

One of the hilarious cats sleeping positions is the belly up. In this position, your cat exposes their belly while her paws will be facing upwards.

If your cat loves to nap in this position, it shows she has complete trust in you and the environment where she is. It also shows that she feels secure enough in her environment to expose her vital organs.

3. The Cat Loaf Or Sphinx Position

cat sleeping positions and their meaning: The Cat Loaf Or Sphinx Position

In the cat loaf position, your cat will have their paws tucked up under their body while their head and body remains upright. In this position, your cat almost looks like a loaf of bread.

A cat who sleeps in the sphinx position is letting their owner know that they are enjoying their nap, but they are also very alert and ready for action in case of anything.  Cats love to nap in this position, and you may notice your feline staying in this position for a long time.

You may also notice your cat loves to nap in this position during the cold months. It helps them retain their body heat even when they are just relaxing. Cats that love this sleeping position are often friendly but will defend themselves when push comes to shove.

4. Cat In The Box Position

Cats are known to prefer sleeping in small hidden places, and boxes must be their favorite. Cats love boxes because they feel safe and protected. The walls in the box give your pet the security they need as they get some shut-eye. The smaller the box, the safer your cat feels.

Cats that love to sleep in boxes and other small hidden spaces are often bold and daring. Such cats are excellent strategists.

5. Half Shut Eyes Position

Half Shut Eyes cat sleeping Position and its meaning

You may frequently find your kitty sleeping with one or both their eyes half-open. If your furball often prefers to look at you with half-closed eyes when they’re asleep, it’s because they’re actually half asleep. Your cat is making sure that they are still very alert even when they are getting a light nap.

The half-shut eye sleeping position is very common in newly adopted pets or those that live in households with noisy kids or pets. In this position, your cat is simply telling you that they don’t trust their surroundings.

6. The Side Position

The Side cat sleeping Position and its meaning

The sideways position is very similar to the belly-up position. Your cat has their vital organs and belly exposed only that in this case, they are sleeping on the side. Again, the position shows that your feline feels very secure. The side sleeping position also indicates that your cat trusts you and the environment.

Cats that sleep in the side position are confident and relaxed.  Such cats are also go-getters as they make things happen.

6. The Contortionist Position

The Contortionist cat sleeping Position and its meaning

You might wonder how your cat can comfortably sleep in this strange position. In the contortionist position, your cat will have its limbs twisted up in different positions and the head resting at a weird angle.

Cats that sleep in this position are very flexible, and they also love attention. Your feline may prefer to sleep in the contortionist position to get your attention and show you how amazing they are.

7. Cat Sleeping On You

Cat Sleeping On You what does it mean

When your cat chooses to sleep on your legs, chest, stomach, or head or places their paws on you, it’s a sign that they respect and trust you. Cats will only sleep on humans that they feel comfortable with. Your cat will also rest on you when they want to get closer to you.

A cat will rarely sleep on your arms or other body parts that move often. This is because they would prefer to have an undisturbed nap even when on top of you.

A cat who loves to sleep on you is loving, affectionate, and trusts you completely.

8. Splooting Sleeping Position

Splooting Cat Sleeping Position and its meaning

When your cat sploots, she will be lying on her stomach with her fore and hind legs spread to the front and back.

Cats love to sleep in this position when they need to stretch their back. Your cat will also sploot if he is too hot and needs to cool their body down. In this position, a large part of your feline’s body is in contact with the cold floor, which lowers their body temperature. If you have a carpeted floor, you might find your cat splooted on the cold bathroom floor.

Splooting is very common among kittens due to their flexible joints. Cats that are also very fit will also not have a problem stretching their bodies in this position.

9. Superman Or The Lion Position

Superman Or The Lion Cat Sleeping Position

In this position, your cat’s front paws will be straightened out while its head will be laid on one of its legs.

The superman position indicates that your feline is at ease with no care in the world and likely in a deep sleep. Cats that sleep in this position are courageous and are known to defend their territories against any threats.

10. Tucked In Position

Tucked In Cat Sleeping Position and its meaning

If your cat loves to sleep tucked in under something like a blanket, sofa, or drawers, they are doing so because they need some warmth and comfort. You may also notice your cat hiding their face with one or two paws if they can’t find a place to tuck in their body. In this position, your furball is seeking protection as cats often feel safe when they are under something. It’s also a position that says that your cat needs some peace and quiet.

Cats will also often sleep under something when they are feeling cold. So, you might need to find them something warm, especially if the weather is chilly.

In terms of personality, cats that love the tucked-in sleeping position are introverts and prefer to spend time alone.

11. Sit Up Position

Sit Up Cat Sleeping Position and its meaning

In the sit-up position, your feline will be sitting straight up as they sleep with their tail around their paws.

This isn’t a deep sleep position, and if you check closely, you’ll notice your cat is probably just enjoying a light nap. The sit-up position keeps your feline alert, allowing them to take off in case of any intrusion.

12. Sleeping On Another Cat

Cat Sleeping Positions Meaning Cat Sleeping On Another Cat

When two cats sleep together butt to butt or one on the other, they are trying to generate as much heat as possible. This position also keeps the kitties safe.

The cat sleeping on another cat position is very common among mother cats and their kittens. It’s also common among cats of the same households that have an excellent bond.

Cats that prefer this sleeping position are affectionate and extremely social.

In closing, cats sleep in different positions. Study your cat and let us know which is their favorite sleeping position in the comments section below.

We’d love to hear from you!


What does it mean when your cat sleeps with its back to you?

A cat that sleeps with her back on you is probably in the curled-up sleeping position.  They are obviously protecting their vulnerable body parts while also keeping warm. In this position, your cat is politely asking you to let them have some quiet.

Your cat will also have their back to you when they’re splooting. Cats sploot to ease the tension on their muscles and cool their bodies on a hot day.

How do cats choose who to sleep with?

Your cat may choose who to sleep with based on several factors, including:

  • The one who feeds and takes care of them– A cat will feel closer to the person who makes sure they are well-fed
  • The person who makes them feel safe – Cats love to sleep in a safe, secure place, so they may choose to sleep with someone because the spot feels secure
  • Warm spot– If your bed is comfortable and warm, your feline will probably choose to curl up with you
  • Familiar smell– Your scent may be familiar to your pet, and therefore they will feel safer when they are next to you
  • Favorite pet or human – Cats can bond with one pet in your home or with one family member. For instance, if you’ve had your cat since she was a kitten, they may have grown to trust you, preferring to sleep next to you.

How do cats sleep when they’re sick?

A cat who is sick will probably seek somewhere private to sleep in. This is to discourage people and other pets from disturbing them. A feline who is ill may also prefer the curled-up position to keep warm and cozy.  A cat with a painful paw may prefer to tuck the paw in the cat loaf position.

What do cats stretch their arms out when sleeping?

Cats that sleep with their arms stretched sideways or in the superman sleeping position are in a relaxed mood and probably in a deep sleep. This cat is comfortable enough in his surroundings to stretch out. A cat may also stretch their arms if they find a warm spot to sleep on.

Agnes is a freelance writer with big love for all fluffy creatures, especially her Maine Coon cat. She's written over 200 articles about animal care, ranging from how to raise kittens to the healthiest pet snacks on the market
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *