Purrfect Sleep: Why Does My Cat Sleep Like That?

Nothing will bring you more peace than watching your fur baby sleeping snuggled by your side.

Cats have a way of expressing how they feel through their behavior, and the way cat sleep is no different.

In this blog, we will take a look at a few of the peculiar ways that cats sleep and what those positions mean:

Curled up, sleeping behind the knees or on top of you:

Cat Sleep behind the knees

You might wonder why your cat sleeps behind the knees, curled up in a ball, or on top. While considered aloof, cats are very social and love being around their owners. Sleeping curled up behind your knees means that they trust you completely. They might also find calmness in the rhythm of your heartbeat, which helps them sleep better.

It also creates a barrier protecting the cat from all sides.

This act of seeking physical contact with you while they snooze indicates that your kitty is looking for warmth.


Cat Sleep behind the knees

While your kitty may look adorable and amusing to you sleeping inside a box, it is more than just visual aesthetics for your cat. Cats are vulnerable to predators while sleeping; therefore, they sleep wedged in small spaces to protect themselves.

If you find your kitty sleeping in this position, best is to give them space and leave them to it.

However, if your cat is often found snuggled, hiding in boxes or hidden spaces, it may be a sign of your cat feeling unnerved. Try to look into why your feline is stressed. There are a few common factors that could lead to your cat feeling anxious.

  • Feeling threatened
  • Change in the environment (new home/baby)
  • Maybe overly stimulated
  • Boredom
  • Feeling restricted
  • Separation anxiety

You can virtually consult a veterinarian at PetMyPal to answer common questions about what may trigger your cat’s stress.

If you continue to feel anxiety in your cat, consider going to a vet to rule out risks of pain or serious illnesses.

Loaf Position:

Cat Sleep behind the knees

As the name suggests, your feline looks like a soft, fluffy loaf of bread, with its front and back paws and tail completely tucked underneath. This position allows the cat to preserve heat, keeping them warm and relaxed.

In this position, the cat is never fully asleep but rather taking a nap and can easily make its escape at a moment’s notice. 

On their back:

Cat Sleep behind the knees

Sleeping in this position means your cat feels safe and secure in the bond you two share—opening itself to be completely vulnerable and relaxed in your presence.

This is also a great way for a cat to cool down, and you’ll often find your feline sleeping on the bathroom tiles in this position.

Sprawled out

Cat Sleep behind the knees

This is when your cat is lying on the side of their back with its paws out and belly exposed.

Sleeping sideways indicates that your feline feels completely at ease.

This is a vulnerable posture for your kitty with its belly exposed. This position also indicates that your cat may be feeling warm and needs to decrease its temperature.

Face Down Position:

Cat Sleep behind the knees

If you see your cat with its face planted to the ground and its paws covering the eyes, gently back away. Sleeping in this position often means your cat wants to be alone and doesn’t like the bright lights.

Your cat might also bury its face into your thighs or the side of your stomach and doze off; in that situation, it may feel cold and just wants to regulate its body temperature.

How a cat sleeps can indicate many things, such as their emotional well-being, body temperature, and physical need for safety. Knowing and understanding this behavior allows you to communicate with your cat and address its needs. So the next time your cat asks to cuddle next to you and take a nap, let it!

Emma Ken
Latest posts by Emma Ken (see all)

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