Last Updated: 5 months ago

Do you know that cat sleeping positions have distinct meanings?

It’s true, and each one can tell you something unique about your feline friend.

Cats like humans have different personalities.

That’s why Tom is a more feisty and enthusiastic cat whereas Garfield is a more laid-back one.

How cats sleep tells a lot about themselves and how they perceive their surroundings.

Let’s find out exactly what each position means, starting with the most common one of all.

1. Cat Loaf

ginger cat on a loaf position

In this position, your cat is in his normal sitting state, with his paws tucked under its body and his tail curving around him.

Cat Loaf looks picture perfect and has its own hidden advantages.

What does it mean?

The loaf position indicates that your cats are ready for sleep as well as some action. They’re happy in their surroundings but, will spring to action if need be.

Consider the Loaf position, a position for a power nap. Our cats need to destress from time to time as well.

2. All Curled-Up

All Curled-Up cat sleeping position

The Cinnamon Roll needs no introduction. In this position, your cat tucks herself in a tight ball with its tail securely wrapped around its crescent body.

This seems like the most comfortable position to sleep in, let’s see what it means.

What does it mean?

When cats sleep in a curled-up position they’re preserving their body heat and protecting all of their vital organs.

In this posture, the cat feels protected while being aware of its surrounding.

3. Paws across the face

cat hiding her face with her paw while sleeping

Admit it! When your cats sleep with their paws across their face, a few pictures are a must. 

Even though it’s an extremely adorable site and you want to share the cuteness with your friends and family, don’t click too many pictures. Here’s why.

What does it mean?

When your cat covers his face especially its eyes with his paws, it’s an unintentional gesture. It usually happens when a kitty is in a deep sleep.

It is to block the unnecessary light filling its sleeping area. So, the camera flash and its sound may wake up your kitty.

Look at it as a “Do Not Disturb” sign and if possible, turn off the lights and shut the blinds.

4. Monorail cat

cat sleeping on top of a sofa

Have you ever wondered why your cat sleeps on the armrest of the sofa or similar narrow surfaces?

In this position usually, one or more limbs are suspended on the sides while your cat’s body is parallel to the surface.

This position has some ancestral significance.

What does it mean?

It’s not news that our pet cats are related to big cats.

At one point in time, the ancestors of our furry feline lived in an environment full of threats.

Back then survival was the prime motive. Although, the threats are almost non-existent now this sleeping position is best for general surveillance.

You might have seen big cats lounging on a thick branch in a similar position. This allows the cats to keep an eye on the surroundings while they relax.

5. On Their Backs With Belly-up

cat sleeping with his belly-up, one of the cutest cat sleeping positions

One of the most comfortable and adorable positions for cats to sleep in is the belly-up position.

When your cat lies flat on its back and exposes her belly while sleeping, know that it’s in peace with its surrounding.

What does it mean?

For any animal to expose its belly means a certain level of vulnerability, let alone for a cat who is extremely wary of new things and people.

If your cats show off their soft belly while sleeping, they trust you 100%. Only a cat who is comfortable with the environment sleeps in this position.

Plus he wants a belly rub!

6. Sideways sleeper

cat sleeping in sideways

Do you know cats have two types of sleep? One an alert sleep and another deep sleep.

When you see your cat laying on side with paws and hind legs stretched to one side and stomach partially exposed, it’s a sign of deep sleep.

What does it mean?

This position indicates that cats feel safe in their surrounding. They do not feel the need to be vigilant in their sleep.

Usually, you can see your cat sleeping in this position when they’re in a familiar environment.

7. The Box Lover

cat deeply sleeping in the box

Have you ever wondered what is more fascinating about a box than a $100 cat bed?

Well, certainly from our perspective a cat bed excels in comfort, space, and warmth.

Our cats have a different view of it. Let’s decode this sleeping style from our pet’s angle.

What does it mean?

If your cat is sleeping in a box too often, it’s more than just for amusement.

Although it may come as surprise, cats opt for boxes instead of cat beds because boxes offer more protection.

Is there something or someone in your house that your cat is scared of? A new pet, guests, or a vacuum cleaner?

This can drive your cat into a favorite box for quite some time.

In such cases, try to make your cat more familiar with whatever is scaring him. Eventually, fear will turn to disinterest and he’ll finally crawl out of the box!

8. Half-eye shut

cat sleeping with one eye shut only

Have you ever observed your cat sleep with her eye half shut? If yes, it is one of the most common positions for newly adopted cats to sleep in.

There is a unique reason behind it though, which again records back to their ancestors.

What does it mean?

When cats are wary of their surroundings, they prefer to sleep but stay awake at the same time.

This is mainly to protect themselves from any possible dangers. Now, this may sound insane and impossible to do, but our pet felines have mastered this art.

With a little bit of closer observation, you may notice, this sleeping style is seen in newly adopted cats.

It can also happen when your feline encounters something new in his surrounding which may be a possible threat.

9. The Split-Level

split level sleeping

Sleeping on two different levels is the specialty of being a cat.

No other animal can do it as efficiently as our little furry friends. To be honest, there is no real reason behind it.

What does it mean?

Often this happens when your cat falls asleep during its playtime, or in the middle of an activity.

Even though it looks like kitty can’t possibly be comfortable like that, just let him be.

Remember, that cats are capable of taking care of themselves and are extremely cozy no matter in which position they sleep.

10. With Their Human

cat deeply sleeping with his owner

Does your cat enjoy sleeping on your chest, stomach, legs, and sometimes shoulder?

If yes, then pat yourself on the back because you have completely gained the trust of your little pet.

What does it mean?

It is unlikely for animals to seek human closeness unless they fully trust said human.

If your cat loves to sleep on you or beside you then, she feels safe around you. It’s tough to gain the trust of animals, let alone cats.

Felines are extremely cautious of their surroundings and if your cat sleeps with you, chances are she likes your company. Congratulations, you’ve won her trust!

If you have a cat, you might be familiar with the cat mom’s sleeping struggles.

11. With Another Cat/Animals

a cat sleeping with his dog friend

Just like with humans, cats sleep next to other cats or animals only if they feel safe and protected.

Little kittens sleep huddled with their siblings and momma cat for closeness, protection, food, and warmth.

What does it mean?

This is an indication of a good friendship between your cat and his companion animal.

This again needs a certain amount of trust and friendliness.

So if you notice your older cat allowing a new friend to sleep up against him, take it as a sign that they’re accepting each other.

12. Contortionist

cat contortionist sleeping position

Do you ever wonder how our cats manage to comfortably sleep in the most uncomfortable positions?

With his limbs sticking out in odd positions and head hanging from the couch, your cat is in the mood to show off his flexibility.

What does it mean?

Cats have mastered the skill of making themselves comfortable and sometimes prefer to stretch themselves at weird angles for the sake of comfort and sound sleep.

So, now when you see your cat randomly passed out on the floor or the couch in an unrecognizable position, remember that he’s comfortable, feeling extremely safe, and sound asleep!

13. At Your Feet

Does it baffle you as to why you cat sleeps on your feet instead of cuddling with you? Then read on for the answers to this strange cat behavior!

Cats often choose to sleep near their human companions as a way to feel secure and connected.

It’s also possible that your cat is simply seeking your company and wants to be close to you, as cats are social animals despite their independent nature.

Overall, a cat sleeping at your feet is usually a positive sign of comfort, trust, and affection.

What does it mean?

When a cat sleeps at your feet, it typically signifies that the cat feels comfortable and safe in your presence.

Cats are instinctively drawn to warmth, and your feet can provide a cozy spot for them to curl up and rest.

Additionally, cats are known for their strong bonding and attachment to their owners, and sleeping at your feet can be a sign of affection and trust.

14. On Your Head

orange cat deeply sleeping beside her owner

If your cat sleeps on your head, observe their body language and overall behavior to better understand their specific motivations and feelings.

In general, a cat sleeping on your head is often a sign of warmth, affection, and familiarity, but it’s always best to consider your cat’s personality and other cues to interpret their behavior accurately.

What does it mean?

Cats often choose to sleep close to their human companions as a sign of affection and attachment.

By sleeping on your head, your cat may be seeking physical closeness and intimacy, as well as showing their trust and affection towards you.

Some cats may simply develop a habit of sleeping on their owner’s head over time, and it becomes a comfortable routine for them.

15. Between Your Legs

cat sleeping between his owner's feet

Cats may choose to sleep between your legs as a way to be physically close to you and establish a stronger bond.

This can be a sign of their attachment to you and their desire to be near you, even while you sleep.

What does it mean?

Cats may choose to sleep between your legs as a way to be physically close to you and establish a stronger bond.

This can be a sign of their attachment to you and their desire to be near you, even while you sleep.

16. On Your Face

lady cuddling her cat on the bed

Cats are known for seeking warmth and closeness, and sleeping on your face can be a way for them to bond with you and establish trust.

It’s always best to observe your cat’s body language and behavior to understand their individual preferences and needs.

What does it mean?

When a cat sleeps on your face, it usually means that they feel safe, comfortable, and affectionate towards you.

It can also be a sign of their dependence on you for security and reassurance.

However, it’s important to note that each cat is unique, and sleeping on your face may also simply be a personal preference of your cat’s sleeping habits.

17. At Foot Of Bed

kitty deeply sleeping on the pink bed

Cats are creatures of habit and may establish a routine of sleeping at the foot of the bed.

It can provide them with a sense of security, warmth, and personal space.

What does it mean?

For them it is a way to mark their territory and establish ownership over their sleeping spot.

Other various reasons can be temperature regulation, independence, or just habit.

18. In The Litter Box

senior cat sleeping on the litter box

Cats generally avoid sleeping in their litter box as it is a place meant for elimination.

Cats may sleep in the litter box if they feel threatened or stressed in their environment.

What does it mean?

Cats sleeping in the litter box could be indicative of a health or behavioral issue. It may mean that the cat is experiencing stress, anxiety, or discomfort.

If a cat is repeatedly sleeping in the litter box, it could be a sign of an underlying problem such as urinary tract infection, gastrointestinal issues, or other health conditions that require attention from a veterinarian.

19. On Your Pillow

Ever wonder why your cat sleeps on your pillow? For such a seemingly mundane question, there actually are some intriguing answers! Check them out!

Pillows are often soft and warm, and your cat may find it a cozy spot to rest and relax.

Your body heat and the warmth of the pillow may provide them with comfort and make it an appealing place to sleep.

What does it mean?

Cats are notorious for seeking attention, and sleeping on your pillow could be a way for them to get your attention, especially if they are looking for extra affection or interaction from you.

Also, it ,ay be their way of being close to you and providing companionship during the night.

20. In Bathroom

cute kitten in a bathroom sink

Bathrooms can be quiet and secluded spaces where cats can find privacy and solitude.

Bathrooms often have cool tile floors, which can be soothing for cats, especially during warm weather.

What does it mean?

Cats are naturally solitary animals at times and may choose to sleep in the bathroom to escape from noise or distractions and enjoy a peaceful nap.

Cats are known for seeking out cool surfaces to regulate their body temperature, and the bathroom floor may provide a refreshing spot for them to rest.

Cats often prefer to sleep close to their elimination area, as it’s a familiar scent and provides them with a sense of security.

21. With Head Up Or Down

cat sleeping with head up

When a cat sleeps with their head up or down, it can reflect their comfort level and overall relaxation.

This position allows them to quickly respond to any potential threats or changes in their environment while still maintaining a level of relaxation and comfort.

What does it mean?

When a cat sleeps with their head down, it typically indicates that they are in a deep sleep or a state of complete relaxation.

This position allows them to fully let go and rest without being alert to their surroundings.

It can also indicate a sense of trust in their surroundings and a lack of perceived threats or stressors.


Cat sleeping habits are indeed an interesting topic.

Next time when you see a cat sleeping, you can determine how it feels about its surrounding based on its sleeping position.


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.