We've all had that moment where we walk into the bedroom and find our cats curled up on our memory foam mattress in a bizarre sleeping position.
Just like your preference for a quiet spot and a good book speaks volumes about your personality, your cat tells you more than that they're tired.
Here are five common sleeping positions favoured by our furry friends and what they could be telling you about how your cat's feeling.
1. Tightly curled
Meaning: Please stop playing with my toes while I'm asleep.
To a cat lover, there are few things more irresistible than a sleeping kitty. Not only are they at their warmest, but their bellies are also utterly vulnerable, and their paws are perfectly positioned for poking. Naptime is often prime snuggle time. But just like humans, cats have a limit, and owners must understand and respect that limit.
When your cat covers their faces with their paws and curls their tail around their body while they're asleep, they're trying to shut out the world. Whether that means blocking out the light or merely closing themselves off from unwanted attention. This position is the cat equivalent of the way humans feel after a long day at work. They need a little time to readjust and reboot.
2. Belly up
Meaning: I trust you completely.
Cats' bellies are their most vulnerable spots, one that they instinctually want to protect. When your cat rolls over, they're telling you that they trust you. This position is also their way of testing that trust. When allowed to rub a cat's belly, it's best to proceed with caution. One false move and you're likely to end up with a bloody puncture wound in your arm.
When your cat sprawls out and keeps their legs raised or pointed at odd angles, leaving their belly exposed, consider yourself honoured. A cat will only reveal their stomach if they feel entirely comfortable with what's going on around them. It also means they trust those around them to let them be and not hurt them.
If anything were to happen that could threaten your cat while they're lying on their back, it would take too long to jump to their feet. The belly-up sleeping position shows they're confident they're not going to be attacked.
Resisting the urge to rub or tickle a cat's belly takes gargantuan restraint, but remember your cat is trusting you and telling you they trust you. It's best not to abuse that trust.
3. Cat in a box
Meaning: I need some alone time.
There's something about seeing cats squeeze themselves into odd or small spaces that instinctively drives owners to rush for the camera. There's no doubting it's an incredibly cute way to sleep, and it also speaks volumes about your cat's sense of safety and comfort.
Cats typically seek out small or compact spaces because they make them feel safe. A box with four solid walls where your cat can squeeze themselves into an adorable arrangement is the perfect form of security.
If your home is usually very active and busy, with children and other animals racing around, your cat might seek out a private napping spot. This could be a cardboard box, a draw or even the bathroom sink.
If you find your cat in what looks like a tight hiding spot, let them sleep and give them the quiet time they're craving.
4. Cat loaf
Meaning: I'm not fully asleep and could spring into action at any time
When a cat doesn't need a full-on nap but wouldn't mind some shut-eye, they form what's endearingly named the "cat loaf." This is where they lie on their stomach and tuck their front paws under but otherwise remain upright.
A cat that slips further into dreamland might form the "collapsed loaf" with their forehead on the ground. But usually, content cats will lay this way and let their eyes slowly close either fully of half-way if they feel the need to keep half an eye on things. They're ready to spring into action, but they're mostly taking some time to enjoy their comfortable surroundings.
5. Laying out on your dirty clothes
Meaning: I want to feel close to you.
Few things induce more powerful nostalgia than smells. When you first bring your cat home, you may have been told to move their blanket from room to room, so that they recognise their own scent around the house and start to feel safe.
As an extension of this, it's logical to assume that if you find your cat sleeping facedown in piles of your dirty clothes, it's because they want to feel close. Lying in your recently worn clothes is a great way to feel close to you and your familiar scent when you're busy or not at home.
Give yourself and your cat a comfortable and supportive place to sleep with Sonno mattress and pillow. Sonno natural latex and memory foam is the perfect combination for support and cooling.
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