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What Does Your Cat’s Sleeping Position Mean?

As any cat owner knows, cats sleep a lot. It might seem like your cat spends most of the day sleeping–and since cats typically sleep 12-16 hours a day (most of it during the daytime while you’re awake), it’s true! 

With so much time spent sleeping, you may notice that your cat favors a particular sleeping position. It’s worthwhile to pay attention to your cat’s sleeping position, because it can tell you a lot about your cat’s personality and how comfortable they feel around you. Here are some of the most common cat sleeping positions and what they mean.

Sprawled Out

sleeping position

If your cat sleeps sprawled out on its belly with its arms extended, it’s relaxed and comfortable. This position indicates that the cat is in a deep sleep. It feels content and safe in its surroundings.

Belly Up

sleeping position

A cat sleeps with its belly exposed only when it feels extremely safe and comfortable in its surroundings. This is its most vulnerable position, and it will most likely only sleep in this position when you’re around. This means your cat is devoted and trusts you as its protector. 

Bread Loaf

sleeping position

A common sleeping position for cats is sitting upright with their front paws tucked under their body, reminiscent of a loaf of bread. If your cat sleeps in this position, it is probably anxious. It is mostly comfortable with its surroundings, but still alert and ready to spring into action if a threat arises.

Curled Up

sleeping position

A cat that sleeps with its tail wrapped around its body and head tucked is reverting to a natural instinct to conserve body heat and protect its vital organs. This cat may be shy and timid, and it enjoys the warmth and protection this position affords. 

Paws Over Face

sleeping position

If your cat is lying down with its paws covering its face, it is in a deep sleep and does not want to be disturbed. The cat is very comfortable and covers its face unconsciously as it sleeps. Cats who sleep in this position tend to be naturally lazy

Sitting Up

sleeping position

If your cat sleeps sitting up with its tail wrapped around its paws, it’s anxious and wary of threats. A cat in this position is sleeping lightly and staying alert for intruders. It can wake up quickly and spring into action if needed. 

Cuddled Up

cuddled up

If your cat sleeps cuddled up with you or another animal, it’s affectionate and loving. The tactile stimulation of cuddling up against you or a trusted animal friend helps the cat feel protected, so this position indicates that your cat feels safe around you and trusts you. 

For more information on common cat sleeping positions, check out this infographic from Honest Paws below.

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