LifestyleDecoding your cat's sleeping positions. What their naptime postures reveal about their health

Decoding your cat's sleeping positions. What their naptime postures reveal about their health

Cats assume various positions in their sleep.
Cats assume various positions in their sleep.
Images source: © Getty Images | Alikaj2582
1:46 PM EST, January 18, 2024

Cats spend nearly 70 percent of their lives asleep. Therefore, understanding the significance of their sleep positions can be vital in deciphering the state of their comfort or discomfort, including indications of pain. However, not many people are aware of these positions and their particular implications.

Signaling pain through a particular position

Cats communicate in many ways, including through the positions they adopt while sleeping. These can provide clues to their feelings of security and comfort with their owners as well as potential health issues. The positions range significantly, spanning from classic ones, such as on their side or belly-up when cats are perfectly relaxed and comfortable to unusual positions like "the loaf," which is a cause for concern for owners.

The "loaf" position, otherwise known as the "pain position," involves the cat tucking its paws under its belly, resting only on its pads. In this position, its stomach does not touch the ground and is slightly elevated, protecting it from contact. Tense muscles in the cat characterize the stance. If noticed, it is crucial to immediately consult a veterinarian.

The "curled up" position signals distress

Three other positions are named the ball, pretzel, and sphere, indicating the cat might not be feeling well. Adopting these positions reveals the cat might be cold, and by curling up, it is trying to generate warmth, “embracing” all its parts.

Adopting these positions may also signal that the cat feels unsafe. By doing this, it is safeguarding its abdomen and organs, signifying that it feels threatened by potential attacks from other animals.

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