Last Updated: 2 months ago

Are you wondering why your cat likes sleeping on the side or what other sleeping positions mean?

Then you’ve come to the right place! Below, we’re going to talk all about your cat’s sleeping habits!

Just keep on reading; I bet you’ll learn at least one new thing today!

Why Do Cats Like Sleeping on the Side?

Why Do Your Cats Like to Sleep on Their Side? 5 Reasons

Cats sleep so much that you’re bound to find them in many funny and odd positions.

It’s hard to resist petting them or taking cute cat pictures for your social media account, right?

However, you might not know that your cat’s napping pose can tell you a lot about what your cat is thinking.

It can also show you how much your cat trusts you and how comfortable they are in your home. So, let’s dive into the mysterious world of cats and discover why cats love sleeping on the side.

Then we’re going to talk about the other common cat sleeping poses that are too adorable to miss.

We’ve been living with cats for more than 9,000 years, and there are still so many things we don’t understand when it comes to these purring creatures.

Still, we can make a few guesses as to why cats do certain things, such as napping on the side. We have to read the cat’s body language and interpret it correctly.

1. They Feel Safe

Indoor cats don’t have reasons to fear predators or other dangers that could harm them inside the house.

Still, your cat’s instincts urge them to find a secure spot where they can relax without worrying about something sneaking behind their back.

That’s why cats like boxes so much or hide in tight, dark spots to have an interrupted sleep away from their humans.

However, when cats feel safe and secure in their surroundings, they sprawl on the nearest comfortable surface, such as your pillow or bed.

Your kitty knows that you will watch out for dangers and won’t allow anything bad to happen.

Some cats might even sleep on your feet to express how much they love you.

2. I Trust You

cat hugging

If your cat likes to sleep on the side in your presence, you should take it as a definitive sign of trust.

Your kitty feels so comfortable that they don’t mind being vulnerable around you.

In this pose, your cat’s vital organs are exposed.

Since the cat is sleeping deeply, it won’t have enough time to react and defend itself if a predator attacks.

That’s why you shouldn’t bother your cat when they’re asleep or startle them awake!

You might lose your cat’s trust or the emotional connection between the two of you.

3. I’m Resting

Most of the time, cats aren’t as deeply asleep as you think. They’re in light sleep and are ready to react to the slightest movement or sound.

However, when cats are napping on the side with their legs stretched, they’re usually in a deep sleep.

Your kitty is full and content and doesn’t have a reason to stay alert.

It’s normal for your cat’s legs to move or tremble during this phase of the sleep cycle, so don’t freak out! Your cat is probably dreaming about something.

4. It’s Hot

What's the deal with cats sleeping on the side? How about other cute kitty naptime positions? Find out the answers in our complete guide!

Another reason why your cat might prefer napping on the side is the temperature. It might be too hot for your cat to curl up in a ball.

It’s not uncommon for cats to cool off during the summer by sleeping on the side or in the belly-up position.

In winter, cats might also stretch on their sides in front of the radiator or furnace to get warm.

5. Something’s Wrong

Usually, sick cats curl up to protect their vital organs and vulnerable bodies.

However, when cats are in too much pain to curl up, they might lie on their side.

In these cases, the cat might need urgent medical help.

Heavily pregnant cats might also prefer to lie on the side since their belly prevents them from curling up comfortably.

The Hidden Meaning Behind Other Cat Sleeping Positions

Since cats spend between 12 and 16 hours a day asleep, they’ve got an endless supply of curious sleeping poses.

But we’re going to take a quick look at the most common ones and reveal their secret meaning to you.

Curled Up

In general, cats spend hours napping and curled in a ball with their tail wrapped around the body. That’s why this behavior has many possible meanings.

Cats might curl because they’re seeking a sense of security or want to preserve body heat because they’re cold.

They might also be anxious, stressed, or afraid of something.

Sick cats will also often curl up in a tight ball, especially if they’re in pain.


Like cats sleeping on the side, the belly-up sleeping position shows that the cat has a strong emotional attachment to its owner.

The belly contains all the vital organs, and cats protect it at all costs when they feel in danger.

It also takes more time for a cat to jump and defend itself against threats when lying on its belly.

For the cat to expose this vulnerable part, it must feel very relaxed and secure.

While many cat owners are tempted to give belly rubs, you shouldn’t do it. Many cats don’t like it and prefer it when you scratch them on the head or the ears.

The Loaf

The loaf or the leg-tucked-under position is probably one of the most adorable sights.

Usually, it means that the cat is happy, content, and in no hurry to hunt.

Some animal behavior experts also believe it has to do with thermoregulation and helping the cat preserve heat.

However, some cats might sit in a meatloaf pose (hunched with closed eyes and a nose on the floor) because they’re in pain.

It’s one of the signs that your cat needs help.

Eyes Half-Closed

When you see your cat dozing off with its eyes half-closed, it means that your feline is aware enough to react to possible threats or interesting scents or sounds.

In these situations, your cat is passing the time, waiting for something exciting to happen while taking a bit of shallow sleep.

Think about it as you lie on the couch and flip through the channels.


The contortionist position often leaves most cat owners baffled. Usually, your cat’s limbs are twisted in various ways while the head is at a weird angle.

However, it turns out that cats are comfortable in these strange sleeping positions and don’t need you coming to the rescue.

Final Word

It’s normal for cats to lie on their sides with their limbs outstretched.

Since the cat is in a deep sleep, it might take you a while to get them to wake up, so don’t panic.

However, if you notice that your cat is resting more than usual, has decreased appetite, and seems depressed, you should talk to a vet.

What do you think about cats sleeping on the side? Which is your favorite position? Share your guesses in the comment section.

Why Do Your Cats Like to Sleep on Their Side? 5 Reasons
Olfa T
Olfa T

Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.