page title icon Common Cat Sleeping Positions: What They Say About Your Kitty

by Linda Mathews Last Updated January 27, 2023

How we – humans – sleep can say a lot about us, about our characters and habits, and even about our relationships with our nearest and dearest people. Such tender creatures as cats are so familiar to us and their sleeping positions can be as revealing as ours.

You love your furry companion and might notice that your kitty sleeps in a very specific or just interesting way. Of course, you’d want to know what this posture means. In this article, we’ve gathered the top 9 cat sleeping positions that can help you understand how your four-legged companion feels.

Keep watch for your feline for a while and find out what’s its favorite sleeping position. Then use our guide on the most popular cat sleeping positions and know a lot about your cutie.

Common Cat Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

The Belly Up Position

The Belly Up Position

Among the happy cat sleeping positions, the cat lying on its back and showing its lovely belly is the most hilarious one. When you see your lying cat with legs up, you may laugh but it is significant to realize that actually, this great sleeping cat posture signifies that your feline feels safe and secure around you and finds its surroundings very reliable.

By showing you a kitten belly, your small companion says that it trusts you fully because such a charming posture is highly vulnerable for felines. This funny cat sleeping position makes not only the cat’s belly vulnerable but also is a rather difficult posture for felines to get up fast and run.

However, if your four-legged favorite chooses the belly up position, be sure it thinks of you as a loyal friend who will never betray.

The Cat Curled-Up Position

The Cat Curled-Up Position

What do you usually think when looking at your curled up kitty? Well, how charming it is! How sweet it looks! Or something like that… But what does this posture really mark?

The curled-up position is completely the opposite of the belly up one. Does it mean that the feline feels unsafe near you if it sleeps in this position? Yes, it’s a viable option and you need to take this fact into account.

But don’t forget that felines like all predators are quite instinctive creatures and such a secure position can be really caused by their instincts. The curled-up position makes a cat’s full body protected and keeps a fur ball on the alert regime.

By curling up, your kitty may also signal some changes in temperatures. Such a protective position lets your feline keep warm. So maybe it’s a bit chilly for your feline if you suddenly see it in the curled-up posture. Think about it?

The Cat Lying On Side Position

The Cat Lying On Side Position

When your four-legged friend is passed out on its side, that’s very very nice! This position is one of the most normal cat sleeping positions that felines typically use for naps. But some kitties can sleep in such a relaxed cat posture for longer periods.

The cat side sleeping position is a tranquil one and it usually demonstrates total trust since the feline belly is partially exposed. Cats who prefer this sleeping position – side sleepers – commonly have the patient and free-care temperament. Besides, such felines build a strong bond with their humans.

The Eye Half Open Position

The Eye Half Open Position

Sleeping with half-open eyes is one of the most usual worrisome cat sleeping positions. It is typical for recently adopted felines who try always to stay sharp.

If the kitty dreams with its eyes half-open (besides, its ears can be outstretched), this means that such a fur ball is ready to get up at any time when feeling threatened. Actually, just half of its brain is sleeping in this position.

However, if your cat isn’t newly adopted but also sleeps in this ‘ready’ position, this could mean that your favorite may have trust issues or it may use this posture to catch prey.

The Sphinx Position

The Sphinx Position

The most recognizable cat sleeping position is lying on its front with its front paws underneath – just like the Sphinx. Such an interesting and at the same time dual position identifies that your kitty wants to show its laid-back nature but don’t forget about its instincts and attentive attitude to the surroundings.

With cat legs underneath, your fur ball feels quite relaxed and calm. It can even meditate and stay in this posture for a long time. But at the same time, this comfortable cat loaf position allows your feline to be on its guard and respond quickly to any changes in its surroundings.

The Position Inside or Under Something

The Position Inside or Under Something

One more sleeping position that is also connected with the cat’s instinctive behavior is when you see your cat tucked in bed, blanket, or sleeping in a box.

This position can be simply explained. Your kitty feels secure and comfy when it is under or inside something. If you watch your four-legged companion in such a nice posture, it’s better not to disturb it because your favorite needs its own space and wants to enjoy some peace and tranquility.

Moreover, such a lovely cat sleeping position may also sign that your furball tries to keep warm in this way and it is a normal reaction to some changes in temperature.

The Acrobat Sleeping Position

The Acrobat Sleeping Position

Being one of the weirdest sleeping positions, it may surprise and even be a little scary. Couldn’t you even imagine that your furry companion might sleep in this way?

Well, you must think pretty little of it! Twisting its legs and body in all possible directions and lying its head at a strange angle… Of course, you may think it can’t be convenient, but it is so for your cat.

This sleeping position can’t be ignored and your kitty knows that because in such a way it tries to get more attention from its humans.

Sleeping On Other Pets

Sleeping On Other Pets

If you have other pets – cats or dogs, you shouldn’t be surprised when you find them sleeping together. Cats sleeping on dogs or cats sleeping on cats – that isn’t something strange. Don’t forget that your cat is bonding and sleeping on or with another pet, it wants to get closer to its furry sibling.

A cat sleeping this way signs feels loving and affectionate and it is totally comfy with other domestic pets.

Being In Touch With You

Being In Touch With You

Pretty normal to get up and notice your cat sleeping next to you or on you. That’s so sweet and adorable. When your furry friend wants to be with you even when it sleeps this means that it needs you all the time and wants to be close to you constantly.

Be happy and don’t forget to cuddle your kitty when it sleeps with you. Appreciate such cute behavior and remember that you’re the main person in its life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do cats sleep when they feel safe?

The most common cat positions when they sleep and feel safe are the belly up and the acrobat ones. Sleeping these ways, cats don’t worry about their surroundings and they completely trust their humans.

How long do cats sleep?

This is one of the main questions among cat fans. Some cat owners find their cat sleeping all day. Actually, that’s possible. Normally, cats can sleep for 15 hours.

However, some felines may sleep up to 20 hours. Such a unique habit is also connected with the cat’s instincts. Being wild creatures, cats try to sleep more to conserve as much energy as possible during the day to catch their prey when they have such an opportunity.

What does it mean when a cat sleeps with its back to you?

That means nothing wrong if your kitty sleeps next to you just with its back to you. Maybe your fur ball feels too warm and that’s why it doesn’t sleep on you. Nevertheless, it’s important that your four-legged companion choose the place near you for its nap and it doesn’t really matter how it sleeps there.

Do cats sleep with their eyes open?

Of course, they can and they often sleep this way if they don’t feel safe or worry about something. Sleeping with open eyes lets cats be alert all the time and react instantly to any changes.

Why do cats sleep in a ball?

“Cats usually sleep in a ball for two reasons – to conserve heat and to protect their vital organs from possible predators while they are asleep,” says Dr. Sarah Wooten (DVM, CVJ) of Pumpkin Pet Insurance.

How Much Do Kittens Sleep?

Dr. Sarah Wooten (DVM, CVJ) explains, “Newborn kittens sleep the majority of the day – they may only be awake 2 to 3 hours a day. As they grow, they slowly decrease the amount of sleep during the day, but even 3-month-old kittens can sleep or doze more than 16 hours a day.

Cat owners generally shouldn’t be worried about the amount of time their kitten sleeps as long as when the kitten is awake it is bright, alert, and active, eating and drinking normally, and gaining weight and growing.”

Do sleeping positions really tell us about a cat’s personality?

Dr. Sarah Wooten says, “I don’t think that sleeping positions tell us about the cat’s personality, but they may tell us whether the cat feels comfortable, or not.”

What is Splooting?

This is the position when cats lie on their stomachs with their legs out in front of them.

Should an Altered Cat Sleeping Position Pose a Concern?

Take note of your cat’s sleeping patterns and be sure to call your veterinarian if you have any concerns since any abrupt change in its sleeping behavior might indicate that your cat is ill.

Does it matter where your cat sleeps?

Where your cat sleeps might reveal a lot about it. Cats may rest on a towering cat tree to boost their self-assurance. If your pet sleeps on your bed, it wants to spend time with you or feels safe on your bed. Your cat could be hiding if it’s curled up in a ball in a quiet place.


Your cat’s sleeping position can tell a lot about your cat’s temperament and habits, relationships with you, and attitude to its surroundings. It is useful for you to watch what way your kitty loves to sleep and find out what this position means. Maybe it can help you understand your favorite better and make its life more convenient.