Postures in which cats sleep and their meaning

Those of us who live with cats are aware of the richness of their language. In fact, they are more subtle than dogs in their communications with those they appreciate. Not only do they express themselves through meows or purring, they also express themselves when they rub against you and with the position in which they place their head, ears, tail or whiskers.

The choice of the place and the position in which they sleep is also a form of expression. In this case, how they feel about the environment in which they live. Depending on how safe they feel or the level of consciousness required at that time, this will be the postures in which cats sleep and their meaning. We started!

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How your cat sleeps and what does it mean

Kittens spend almost 75% of the day sleeping with an average of 12-16 hours of sleep spread over 4 or 5 naps throughout the day. Sometimes, they manage to adopt acrobatic poses that make us smile. However, sleeping under a chair is not the same as sleeping in a bed or pulling out their nails and wagging their tails.

Next, we delve into the most common postures in cats when resting. Remember that the greater your perception of security, the deeper your rest. Therefore, we have ordered the postures from highest to lowest degree of unconsciousness. Pay attention! Surely the meaning of more than one surprises you.


Face up

This is the posture of maximum well-being and security. The sleep is deep. If you see your cat sleeping like this, with its legs stretched out and a body area as vulnerable as the abdomen in view, it is because it is 100% sure that no intruder is going to interfere with its rest. Even if it costs you, you should not interrupt him, you could reduce his confidence in you.

In half moon

Cats that sleep curled up, that is, with the tail wrapping around their body and the head close to the chest, want to remain alone and not be disturbed. Your pet is enjoying a moment of restful sleep with a body strategy that allows him to preserve his body temperature while protecting his vital organs.

Over your head

If you discover your kitty sleeping on your head, you should be flattered because in the feline social code, like sleeping coupled to another living being, it is an obvious display of affection.

With the tongue out

It is more than likely that you are dreaming of something very appetizing. For example, with a can of tuna, a crunchy treat, or even a succulent game.


Cats love confined or covered places. Sleeping inside a box, covered by a blanket or sheltered under a table is demanded by their natural instinct for protection. Feeling the darkness and the contact with the walls allows them to enjoy a warm, private, safe place away from the hustle and bustle to sleep.

Resorting to this type of tactics to fall asleep is usually typical of cats that need to disconnect and escape from the hustle and bustle caused by children or other pets with whom they live. If you do not have it, it is always very healthy to provide a place for exclusive use, as a refuge, where you can go when required.

In certain cases, this posture can be indicative of health problems. Kittens with asthma or pneumonia instinctively seek shelter under a table or chair in an attempt to prevent their lungs from compressing.

On your back

Ethologists agree that when a cat sleeps on its guardian’s back it is because it is protecting it. Even if it seems that he is away sleeping, watch over you so that nothing bad happens to you.

With the front legs stretched out

We continue to advance in the level of consciousness during the break. If a cat sleeps with its front legs stretched out or what is the same, with them below the body it denotes a certain state of alertness. He is not sound asleep. This body position makes it easier for you to react if you had to run to protect yourself.

In sandwich

The expression of sandwich cat is used to refer to a position that you have surely seen on more than one occasion. The cat is erect with the front legs tucked under the body and with the eyes closed. What happens is that he did not intend to sleep, but closing his eyes gives him a pleasant state of well-being that he cannot resist.

It is a sleep-wake position in which there is responsiveness if action is necessary. The collapsed sandwich cat, with its forehead on the ground, implies a greater degree of unconsciousness, the dream in this case is somewhat deeper.

With ears pricked and eyes half closed


This nap is very light and it is likely that you will wake up to any noise in the environment. Many of the daytime naps for cats that have been in the home for a short time and are not yet fully familiar with the busyness of their family usually occur in this position.

As you can see, when a feline sleeps it is doing more than resting, it is revealing to you how comfortable and safe it is in the home that you have provided. If you have discovered interesting information and you liked it, do not hesitate to share it on your social networks or write us a comment. We will love to read you.

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